MTV Urge: The latest iTunes killer

Susi Weaser Tech 3 Comments

It’s been four long months since Justin Timberlake and Bill Gates made their digital music marital vows, at the Church of CES, to take on iTunes. I was beginning to think it was a marriage of convenience, with no actual basis in fact (hello, TomKat).

But this week has seen the launch of MTV Urge to rapturous applause. It seems the four months were well spent, putting together an easy-to-use service, choc full of content.

There are two subscriptions choices available. For those that gravitate towards the All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet, $14.99 per month allows you to transfer all the music you download to your MP3 player (although not an iPod), whilst for $9.99 you can listen to it on your computer. I’m convinced subscriptions are the way forward, but if you’re an a la carte fan you can pay 99 cents per track.

One of the reasons MTV Urge is going down so well is the way it is embedded into the latest Windows Media Player, making it really easy to buy music. And since Apple’s media player has a 17% market share versus Microsoft’s 45%, Steve Jobs may now have something to worry about.

MTV have gone to town on content, employing several notable music journalists to write blogs, which are then linked with playlists.  The genius bit is that your MP3 player will automatically be updated with tracks added every time you connect it.  So you’ll be forced out of that British, guitar-based, nice-boy-rock rut whether you like it or not.

MTV Urge is currently only available in the US, and is running a 14 day free trial. No date yet on when we get it over here, but I’m starting the petition now.

By Susi Weaser | May 18th, 2006

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  • Mystech

    Although not officially iPod compatible, the Urge site had this to say in their FAQ:

    “Music you download or purchase from URGE is in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and protected by the Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which is not compatible with the iPod. Apple has currently only made the iPod compatible with another format called AAC. If you use URGE to rip CDs, you can save your files as MP3, WAV or WMA (unprotected), all of which will play on an iPod.”

    Did they just suggest that we circumvent the all mighty DRM (CRAP according to Wired)? :-)

  • ScarlettSusi

    Looks like MTV is encouraging a bit of anti-Apple activity. Apple are getting the DRM argument from all sides at the moment – French courts, MTV FAQs…!

  • Heather Hopkins

    Urge will have a better chance of gaining market share if competiting music players prove popular. While in the UK, the iPod is by far the most popular, Hitwise data shows that searches for iPod are down significantly compared with last year.