“Going up against Apple’s iTunes/iPod online music empire is a colossal challenge for any competitor. That’s true even for the most powerful software company on the planet, and one of the most venerable brands in music,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today. “…Since Urge, unlike iTunes, is a fee-based subscription service that lets you listen to boatloads of music, it more directly competes against Napster, RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Yahoo. Buoyed by MTV, Urge measures up favorably and is the best-looking contender, though you can find similar content elsewhere.”
“As you would expect, the service is sprinkled with music videos, but they’re not always easy to find and some failed to play. I was also put off having to watch commercials on a few of the videos. At the moment, there are no podcasts, though that is on the Urge road map. Perhaps befitting its beta status, the Media Player responded slowly at times and crashed all too frequently. Each time I had to sign into my account again. Two of my USA TODAY colleagues encountered deeper problems playing songs. So Urge isn’t all there yet. But it shows potential and is worth considering if you don’t have an iPod and prefer the subscription model to buying songs individually,” Baig writes.
Full article here.
Okay, it’s a beta, but how many reviews have you read where the “cons” were “crashed often and was slow to respond at times. Not all videos played. Colleagues had trouble playing music at all?” Yikes. Windows users’ willingness to accept mediocrity and worse is unmatched. Maybe Napster and Real won’t be crushed by URGE so quickly after all.
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MTV, Microsoft URGE music service begins life with a severe handicap – May 17, 2006
MTV’s and Microsoft’s URGE should concern also-rans like Real, Napster and Sony – not Apple – May 15, 2006
MTV’s and Microsoft’s iPod-incompatible URGE online music outfit faces uphill battle – May 15, 2006
EMI Music Chairman: Music subscription services like Napster and Rhapsody haven’t beeen huge – January 23, 2006
Oppenheimer downgrades RealNetworks based on Microsoft’s ‘URGE’ partnership with MTV – December 15, 2005
MTV-Microsoft URGE music service not targeting iPod, iTunes users; Real CEO PlayedForSure? – December 13, 2005
MTV and Microsoft team up for new digital music service ‘URGE’ – December 13, 2005
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005