MTV today announced its URGE
online music service which is destined to take on the overwhelming
dominance of Apple's iPod/iTunes dominance. The URGE music service
was developed in conjunction with Microsoft's Windows Media Player 11
and aims to displace the somewhat misguided and unfocused music
services currently offered for Windows-based media players through
Windows Media 10.
URGE is built directly into Microsoft's
new Windows Media Player 11 software (an official beta download is
available for testing here)
and will initially offer over 2 million tracks for download.
Customers will be able to download single tracks for 99 cents apiece
or choose from two tiers of monthly subscription service. $9.95 will
give you the ability to download unlimited tracks to your PC,
however, you would only be able to listen to them on your PC. The
$15.95 plan allows you to also transfer the music to a compatible
media player -- iPods get no love with WMP11 and URGE. Users can immediately begin a 14-day free trial
of the service with unlimited music downloads. No credit card is
required to sign-up for the trial. While the initial version of URGE will
only support music downloads, it will be expanded to video downloads
in the coming months.
As for Windows Media Player 11, the new
interface for software application is quite a break from the largely
text-based columns of Artist/Album/Track
Number/Track/Genre/etc. With my music library neatly organized with
Apple iTunes, I have to continuously scroll through page after page
of music to get to whatever album I'm searching for. With
Windows Media Player 11, I can organize my music and peruse through
my collection using my album covers as a guide; nifty touch. Other niceties include simplified navigation using Instant
Search, audio fingerprinting for advanced metadata tagging and new
audio formats including Windows Media Audio Professional and WAV
Also launching with Windows Media
Player 11 and the URGE online music service is the new iriver clix 2GB
media personal media player. The iriver clix features the ability to
playback music, video and photos. The device has a 2.2" color
screen along with a built-in FM tuner, integrated voice recorder, USB
2.0 connectivity and up to 25 hours of battery life. The iriver clix
is available now from iriver's
online store for $199.
quote: MTV = the source of all crappy music.