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