A new online entertainment service is coming to life, it’s called
WHAT IS IT?
An all-inclusive digital multimedia streaming platform (website and App), possibly the first to offer all of the following together:
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
- $9.95/month if you choose one media type – unlimited use
- $24.95/month for the bundle of 4 medias – unlimited use
- 30-day free trial
WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT IT?
I was granted free service for a few days to try it and tell you what I think about it, especially about their ebooks and audiobooks
- the reader is nice, with ability to change font size, and with Table of Contents for your ebooks
- very convenient to choose the media you want on the same service, with built in players, so you can read ebooks, listen to audiobooks or watch movies all with the same tool – you do need to download a special player for Games
- the service is new and somewhat still in Beta, and it will expand, so I noticed it has lots of popular books, but not exactly that recent
- thus the New Releases section is not impressive so far, but again I believe this is going to change
- I was asked to focus more on books, but I did have a look at the Movies. I noticed there’s no Classics category! The list of Documentaries is very poor. Again, the database is surely going to grow on a regular basis
I’d like to give more details about a few other features.
The Search function is a very important tool for me, like the Catalog of my Public Library for instance. If you just like browsing and reading whatever comes up, then no problem, enjoy.
But if you are like me and spend time looking fr specific authors or titles, know that the Search tool needs some more refining:
- I tried searching for Kate Morton, a favorite author of mine. She has a brand new release, The Lake House that I recently reviewed. I believe her to be a very popular author AND an excellent writer, so I thought it would be a good test. Well:
- “Morton” gave me Merton – I do love Thomas Merton, but seriously there is NO connection between both authors, apart from a different vowel in their last name. It also gave me Mormon…
- so then I tried Kate Morton. It gave me other Kates, but not the one I was looking for!
- I was getting worried they had no books by her! I finally found one!: The Secret Keeper.
- When I clicked on The Secret Keeper, it said it was in the categories Fiction, Literary (good!), and from there clicking on that category, I was able to find other books in the same genre.
- But it’s weird that when you are on the Main page for Categories, the Literary Fiction category is not present. Neither the historical fiction category either, if I remember correctly.
- One neat thing if you type a title in the General Search, you get results from all the medias included in the service.
- It would be even better if these results were classified by media. Instead, they seem to be randomly mixed up, with a few ebooks first, then audiobooks, then movies, then again ebooks, as an example.
- Another detail, hilarious or totally irrelevant, depending on how you look at it, is the Suggestions offered when you add a book to your library. For instance, I added “Recipe for Murder” (by Nancy Drew), and the read-alike suggestions I got were books with Recipe in the title…
So to make a long story short, I think this service has a lot of potential and I’m sure down the line they will expand their databases and smooth out the issues I highlighted here.
In the meantime, and if you are on a small budget like me,
are you aware your local public library has amazing digital tools available for you for free, from the comfort of your house?
I teach online to students from all over the country, in fact all over the world. And talking with them, I’m amazed at how many people have no clue what’s available in their own public library – and they pay for these services with their taxes.
Go have a look at your public library website. Most libraries in the US, even tiny ones, have a page with online services.
Mine offers ebooks, audiobooks, music, magazines, movies, newspapers, and classes – no games (which Playster has), with a choice of different platforms for some of these.
They even have a digital multimedia streaming platform, it’s called Hoopla, and it offers ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies! With a great selection, and it’s free when you access it trough your library website.
I’M CURIOUS, ARE YOU USING
ALL THESE DIGITAL SERVICES FROM YOUR LIBRARY?
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THEM?