MTV URGE will have hard time competing with also-rans Rhapsody, Yahoo and Napster, let alone Apple

“Microsoft has spent the last few years getting smacked around by Apple in the digital-music market, and it must be getting tired of this treatment. So it’s doing something drastic: It’s throwing its own MSN Music store under the bus and launching a new music program that spotlights another company’s service,” Rob Pegoraro reports for The Washington Post. “Microsoft’s new Windows Media Player 11, released in test form last week, looks and works little like older versions of the company’s music and video organizer — starting with its front-and-center placement for Urge, a new music store from MTV.”

Pegoraro reports, “Microsoft and MTV say this integration of software and store offers an ease and simplicity to match iTunes. But if a week’s trial of the service is any clue, Urge will have a hard time competing with such also-rans as Rhapsody, Yahoo and Napster, let alone Apple.”

“Windows Media Player 11 isn’t any old beta release; it’s essentially a system upgrade, one that can be removed only with XP’s System Restore tool. Nobody should install this kind of preview software lightly,” Pegoraro reports. “Like every other Windows Media-based store, Urge suffers from the Not iPod problem — its downloads don’t work on Apple’s elegant music players. Instead, you can choose from a wide assortment of other devices that all seem to fall short of the iPod’s high standards… Not only has MTV failed to match iTunes, it has repeated some of the worst mistakes of earlier iTunes challengers. Apple needs — and customers deserve — vigorous competition. But that’s not going to happen if the best Apple’s rivals can manage is a combination of beta software of dubious reliability and a tie-in to a music TV channel that devotes most of its airtime to things besides music.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Gandalf” for the heads up.]

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Related articles:
USA Today reviews URGE music service: crashed often, not all videos played, trouble playing music – May 18, 2006
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


  1. The only thing wrong with iTunes competing services is the source of their software.

    They could all develop better services if they weren’t horribly handicapped by Microsoft’s Windows Media Player technology.

    Don’t blame Napster, Yahoo, Virgin, Wal-Mart, MSN Music, Music Match or Rhapsody for being poor alternatives to iTMS. Blame Microsoft.

    As long as the above continue to use Microsoft technology to power their sites, they will be also rans, and the sad thing is they know it.

  2. This is another example of the MMC™ (Microsoft Myth of Choice). Looks like a lot of choice out there with all those different music stores, but guess what, underlying it all, is one platform, and it’s MS and it’s junk.

  3. Just showed two completely computer illiterate friends how to use iTunes and the iTMS last night. They were shocked at how easy it was to use, and they already started buying music.

    They’ve owned their computer for two years and couldn’t figure out how to burn a cd on Windows Media Player.

    iTunes doesn’t really seem to have a credible threat yet.

  4. “Now that the towels are back at Redmond, a fantastic turnaround is in the pipeline. All of the products as a result of this turnaround are rich in its content and Microsoft’s product pipeline has never looked richer. We believe in a collaborative approach and this approach has already enabled our partners to thrive as a result of this richness.”

    Monkey Boy

  5. I get the image of a fetid mass of feces passing through a rectum every time I see the “URGE” word. Urge, purge, poo, poop….ahhhhh! OK, I feel better now. Time to feed to Windows masses more of the same.

  6. If I had a subscription to the MS Music store (I can’t since I don’t own a PC and don’t want to pollute boot camp) I would be pretty upset now. MS is essentially telling me my subscription is worthless, to cancel it and re-subscribe with MTV.

    All my efforts of downloading songs would be time down the drain and have to begin again with MTV. My music player would empty itself of playable music. This is not a sustainable model, since another store may become the ‘flavour of the month’ next month.

  7. “Microsoft has spent the last few years getting smacked around by Apple in the digital-music market, and it must be getting tired of this treatment. So it’s doing something drastic…”

    Now that’s a business decision that is very revealing about the thinking in Redmond. We (Microsoft) react without much thought – with a huge dose of desperation mixed with a giant measure of frustration.

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