Intro to Streaming Video Apps

Streaming apps have been around for over a decade, and they’ve only continued to grow in popularity with the rise of Netflix and Hulu. In recent years, many households have even opted to forgo paying for cable television and instead choose to get their entertainment almost exclusively from streaming apps. And why not? They offer a wide assortment of TV shows, movies, and documentaries that you can watch anytime, and many streaming services offer shows and movies that are only found exclusively on their platform.

Large cable networks have begun offering exclusive streaming services as well, and many of the shows and movies you love to watch are now made available to see anytime you want. Long gone are the days of browsing the TV Guide to see if anything good is on, or checking to see when that movie you really want to watch airs again. Nowadays, you are able watch what you want when you want, and not just on your TV, but also on your smartphone or tablet. Streaming apps are pretty great, and CPL has some of its own for you to browse when you’ve finished your Netflix queue or when nothing on Hulu is quite popping out at you.

Canton Public Library cardholders have access to Kanopy and Hoopla for streaming. Signing up is quick and easy; all you need is a compatible device, your e-mail address, your library card, and your PIN. You can even download the apps to your SmartTV. Once you’re signed in, you can start browsing through tens of thousands of titles that are available to borrow instantly, and once you check out a movie or episode, you have three days to watch it as many times as you like.

Kanopy offers a library of over 30,000 films including classic Hollywood movies, popular reality TV series, and documentaries from channels like History and PBS. CPL cardholders receive five Play Credits a month; this resets on the first day of the new month.

In addition, Kanopy occasionally offers a Credit-Free Viewing shelf with a variety of videos that do not require a credit to watch. Kanopy also has a zone for children called Kanopy Kids. Kanopy Kids videos are free to view and do not require the use of your credits to watch, meaning you can keep the kids entertained for hours with TV shows like Sesame Street and Franklin or animated versions of popular picture books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Hoopla offers not only e-books and e-audiobooks but also movies, TV shows, and music. Making an account as a CPL cardholder is easy; just download the app for Android or iOS and follow the prompts to create an account. Hoopla's library includes 10,000+ films and TV shows to browse including popular BBC shows, Lifetime movies, and PBS documentaries. If you find that impressive, it has an even larger selection of e-books and e-audiobooks.

Hoopla also has a Kids Mode that you can toggle on and off as you please, and the platform offers plenty of popular kids titles like The Magic School Bus, Caillou, and Dora for your child to enjoy.  Hoopla allows 20 checkouts per month, and you can save titles for later by clicking on the heart icon. To view titles that you’ve saved, click "My Hoopla" at the bottom of your screen and select the heart icon. Hoopla also keeps track of your borrowing history. To view your history, click on "My Hoopla" and select "History."


A good rule of thumb for a misbehaving app is “when in doubt, close it and restart it.” If this doesn’t solve the problem, have no fear: both Hoopla and Kanopy offer detailed Help pages. Whether you’re having trouble signing in or your video isn’t playing right, both services offer articles covering common problems.

Tip: If you’re getting a specific error message in Kanopy, you can type the error code into the search bar to get targeted help.

For more information about our e-media platforms including Kanopy and Hoopla, check out these FAQs below. 

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