Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Businesses The Internet Media Music Apple

Microsoft Unveils 'Urge' Music Service 582

Posted by Zonk
from the fewer-clones-will-die-in-this-one-i-think dept.
CHaN_316 writes "CNNMoney has an article entitled, 'Gates unveils his Urge.' From the piece: 'Bill Gates aims to take over your living room and late Wednesday he unveiled a new music service and new software to do it. Using an appearance with Justin Timberlake, the Microsoft chairman debuted a new music service, Urge, to directly compete with the iTunes music store and interface. Urge launches with over 2 million tracks for purchase or as part of an all-you-can eat subscription, an option the iTunes music store doesn't have. The offering will include exclusive material from MTV.' Begin the living room wars we must." Confirmation of an earlier story on this topic.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Unveils 'Urge' Music Service

Comments Filter:
  • Urge? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JHromadka (88188) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:15AM (#14400203) Homepage
    I have the urge to point out that Urge is a stupid name.
  • Urge to... (Score:3, Funny)

    by losman (840619) * on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:15AM (#14400204)
    The only urge Bill should have is to pee his pants and the ass-whooping iTunes is giving him!
    • This service won't go anywhere, and one big reason is that most iPod owners don't buy music through the iTMS anyway. They rip existing CDs or download illegally. The iTMS is just an incentive to keep people using iPods.

      Urge won't work with iPods, so it's dead in the water. Windows Media Player is a horrid music jukebox anyway, even despite its new interface rip-offs from iTunes.
      • Re:Urge to... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by lowrydr310 (830514) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:22PM (#14402114)
        My first thought when I saw the headline was "are they selling AAC or MP3 files?"

        I didn't RTFA, but I'm guessing they're going with DRMed WMA files. Does anyone actually use WMA besides Napster and Microsoft? I have a lot of idiot friends who don't know how to use computers and they ripped their CD collections into WMA because it was default encoder in MediaPlayer. As soon as they bought iPods, they had to re-rip their CD collections as MP3.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:15AM (#14400206) Homepage Journal
    Geez...just the mention of him appearing with Justin Timberlake just killed any idea of quality and usefulness I might have had thought of concerning this service...
  • by Freexe (717562) * <serrkr@tznvy.pbz> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:16AM (#14400208) Homepage

    When will somebody notice that with a sentance that include the words

    though it will not be compatible with iPods

    in a story about a online music shop, that all this DRM is really just shooting themselves in the foot! If it doesn't work on a iPod will it not work on a RIO either? how about a sony walkman? Maybe I should download a copy for free and at a higher bit rate from the internet?

    Why would i want to buy/rent music that i can't even listen to?

    • I subscribe to Yahoo! Music service for $5 a month for unlimited listening. I listen to it at work on my PC. Not everyone needs an iPod to hear music.
      • We have this great invention in the UK. It's called "radio". You tune in and you get to listen to music. And better yet, it's free. You even get unlimited listening too. Buy two radios and you can both listen to the *same* station at the *same* time - no extra cost, it's still free!

        Wow.
        • Maybe the radio is better in the UK, over here all we get is wannabees (many nearly as pathetic as Justin Timberlake) on the radio. Yahoo music is a scam because you dont get anything other than commercial free radio. You can't keep the songs, and you can't play it in your car. On the other hand, you'll find a lot more metal, and a good collection of trance on usenet.

          • Yahoo music is a scam

            I got my Yahoo Music subscription at $36 for a year. That's a whole year of listening to quite a few preset and customized radio stations that never have commercials. And I can skip any songs I don't like or don't feel like listening to at the moment. I can even check a little box to remove the songs with explicit lyrics so I can safely listen at work (though, admittedly, this feature needs some tweaking).

            I don't call that a scam. I call it pure genius.
    • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:24AM (#14400291) Homepage
      in a story about a online music shop, that all this DRM is really just shooting themselves in the foot! If it doesn't work on a iPod will it not work on a RIO either? how about a sony walkman? Maybe I should download a copy for free and at a higher bit rate from the internet?

      A great man once said, "I have seen the future, and it is inconvenient."
    • >>though it will not be compatible with iPods

      That old joke about "if Microsoft built cars... they'd only drive on MSFT licensed roads" just got a little funnier.

      >>Why would i want to buy/rent music that i can't even listen to?

      As if that should matter. It's not your job to ask such troublesome questions, your job is to sit at home and wait for instructions from marketing departments (commonly known as commercials), then spend money on the appropriate techogadget dujour. And you have the nerve to
    • by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:11PM (#14400743)
      though it will not be compatible with iPods

      Yeah, that's pretty much where I stopped reading. I really need to get some of the drugs they must be using down in Redmond. Delusion like that must be an incredible high.

      I did like the "all you can eat" idea, though. The real question is "If I unsubsrcibe to the service, does every song in my collection just disappear?" If the answer is "yes" then my answer is "no thanks."

      -Eric

      • Yeah, that's pretty much where I stopped reading. I really need to get some of the drugs they must be using down in Redmond. Delusion like that must be an incredible high.

        While I do think they are on bad drugs, I don't think the philosophy is so cracked. It's just playing out differently this time.

        When Apple started to have huge success with the iPod, all the naysayers came out of the woodwork and (rightly) pointed out that this very strategy - keep it proprietary and lock it down as best you can - tot

  • names (Score:2, Funny)

    by donnyspi (701349)
    Urge? and Vista? Where do they get these ridiculous names?
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:16AM (#14400215)
    Or dirge. Just the sort of hip, radical, urban and bitchin' cool attitude that is so well understood by old white male executives in grey suits.
  • DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:16AM (#14400218) Homepage Journal
    The articles are short on technical details unfortunately, so I'll assume that the music is in WMA format, which, for me, is a reason right there not to download it.

    Anyway, I imagine this service is much like Napster in its all-you-can-eat mode; all the music you can download, until you stop paying, and then all the music stops playing. While I could easily strip the DRM off the WMA files (assuming they use a current-gen version of WMA, which we don't know), that would take too much effort on my part to make it worth the money.

    Message to Microsoft: If you want to attract people who are currently downloading their music for free elsewhere, you have to offer more than what other music stores offer. Let people who download music through the subscription service (with perhaps a decent per-month limit, say, 100 tracks, to keep people from trying to download the entire database) keep their music when their subscription ends. Otherwise, the service has no value to me, because I know later on I'll get tired of downloading music for a while, and quit paying for the privilege to do so; that doesn't mean I want my entire music collection that I've already paid for to stop working.

    I'd also recommend using non-DRM MP3, but hey, this is Microsoft we're talking about. Can't expect everything...
    • that doesn't mean I want my entire music collection that I've already paid for to stop working.

      See, under this model, I don't consider myself to have paid for the music collection. I've paid for the privelege of using someone else's music collection, and I wouldn't expect that use to be permitted once I stopped paying. I don't think of it like albums that I have purchased, I think of it more like Satellite Radio that I control the programming of.

      • But that's what people WANT! People don't download huge, several gig collections so they can burn them to albums and listen to them in the specified order, they just throw them on their Winamp playlist and turn on shuffle!

        Maybe it's just me, but I wish one of these companies would get it some time.
    • By similar logic...

      After I've gone to a movie theater and watched a movie I should get a free copy of the DVD.

      After I've paid rent on my appartment for a couple of years I should own it.

    • Re:DRM (Score:3, Interesting)

      While I could easily strip the DRM off the WMA files (assuming they use a current-gen version of WMA, which we don't know), that would take too much effort on my part to make it worth the money.

      Um, how? Last I checked, WMDRM10 had not been cracked for nearly a year. And, the last crack that came out didn't let you strip the DRM from any old file, you had to own a license to it first.

  • by hattig (47930) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:17AM (#14400222) Journal
    "The offering will include exclusive material from MTV, though it will not be compatible with iPods, which are currently the most popular MP3 player."

    In my opinoin, that will doom it in the long run. Sure, people will play with it for a while, but those with iPods won't be happy when they can't put the music on the iPod.

    Unless someone gets Apple to open up Fairplay to potential licensees, or to include WMA playback on the iPod. I don't see either happening without a court case though.
  • Whoever comes up with this kind of product names at MS has to be fired.

    Now let those Bill Gates "urge" jokes roll.

    • I'll bite (Score:3, Funny)

      by o-hayo (700478)
      I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is any of Billy's Urges being aimed anywhere in my living room.
  • by tectomorph (844828) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:19AM (#14400246)
    to pull down Bill's breast pocket...yet another Microsoft equipment malfunction!
  • It won't work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kerrbear (163235) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:20AM (#14400257)
    Yes, Microsoft has the desktop market, but they are too clumsy to see this through. Music purchasing requries a finesse that they do not have. Apple has made its mark in the content delievery medium. It goes beyond PC applications into an ease of use, integrated delivery system. I predict this to be DOA. Savvy people won't put up with the hoops they have to jump through to get their content.
    • Re:It won't work (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AccUser (191555)
      Savvy people won't put up with the hoops they have to jump through to get their content.

      But do savvy people use Microsoft products? :-)
  • by MECC (8478)
    Two great tastes...
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:21AM (#14400265)
    "These (partnerships) will allow you to enjoy high definition content and take that away on a portable media device" for what Gates called both the "two-foot experience and the 10-foot experience."

    Two feet or ten feet, Justin Timberlake still sounds like crap. Whenever I listen to him, I get a temporal lobe malfunction.
  • Not only is the name stupid, but it's downright creepy for some reason. Also, does it play on iPods? Oh, no? Then nice try.
  • Just another attempt to get people to buy lossy music in a proprietary format wrapped up in fair-use-obstructing DRM. But Microsoft is better because...they have Justin Timberlake?!?!???

    Obligatory Simpsons quote from snpp:

    Homer: _These_ are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said, "Me too!"
  • by kabocox (199019)
    The offering will include exclusive material from MTV

    I hope they are depending on more than that to sell their service.
  • by liangzai (837960)
    WMA downloads not compatible with iPod?

    Believe me, when the snake bites the apple, the apple makes no mistakes...
  • If you go to urge.com [urge.com], you see just a "coming soon" graphic. It's marked copyright "MTV Networks", no mention of M$, but the really great part - the bookmark icon is the Netscape logo...
  • by RingDev (879105) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:26AM (#14400312) Homepage Journal
    Check out http://www.urge.com/ [urge.com] it looks like MTV owns the rights to the Urge name and it might not be a MS name decision.

    -Rick
  • When will other famous people that association with Justin Timberlake is just asking for trouble?

    First, there was that whole thing where Britney broke her public oath of virginity.

    Then, he helped Janet Jackson get funky with the famous "wardrobe malfunction."

    Later, he was there when Cameron Diaz stole a paparazzi's camera, not a particularly classy reaction to the tabloid sleaze.

    Now he's gonna help Bill's Urge to compete against Apple in a consumer space where the competitor already has a huge majo

  • Bingo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:26AM (#14400317)
    Now, let's see... Microsoft, MTV, Justin Timberlake?

    Throw in "50 cent" and we're all set.
  • by CupBeEmpty (720791) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:27AM (#14400324) Homepage
    Apple advertises using Bono and U2. Microsoft goes with Justin Timberlake.

    Only one of these choices actually makes music. Coincidentally only one of these companies has a successful online music store.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:27AM (#14400331)

    OK, I read the article. I still don't know what the software being released does. Is it a Web application or a traditional one? What OS's are supported? Does this include a Media player, like iTunes, or is it just the retail store portion? Is this being illegally bundled with Windows or offered separately? They go on to talk about support for TV, without mentioning if that functionality is supported by this new service, and if so what programs will be available. Of course I'll never install this crap anyway, being as it is tied to WMP and I can't think of anything worse for the media industry than to be locked into an MS controlled, proprietary format. Still, I want to know what crap I'll have to deal with when working on PCs. Where's the beef?

  • These services, while having a lot of variety, lack any real spice for finding good quality, inspired music/bands/artists. Try ituneslove.com... an A/V club for online music.
  • by potpie (706881) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:29AM (#14400347) Journal
    The offering will include exclusive material from MTV

    MTV is involved? So I'm guessing this service won't have any music. ;)
  • Seriously...

    iPod is a piece of hardware.

    IS Microsoft really, REALLY saying it cannot write a piece of OS software for a hardware product like ipod?

    I'm serious, the chip used in most ipods is well known. It can even handle WMA...its just not done via Apple's ipod OS.

    As far as "oh that would make them responsible for support" BS! Like they support any piece of hardware windows runs on.

    Oh well, I should be happy it didn't happen this time...cause Urge is a horrible name -_-
  • by MacGod (320762) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:34AM (#14400399)
    The reason, for those who are about to ask, why this is under the "Apple" category, is that this is really an Apple ad in disguise. The slogan practically writes itself: "iTunes: No WMA and No Justin Timberlake as spokesman. What more proof do you need?"
  • Smart move (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:37AM (#14400422)

    Subscription-based music is the way to go. This, combined with the Windows "Plays for Sure" [playsforsure.com] initiative will ultimately give MS the upper hand over Apple in the music arena, unless Apple comes out with a subscription option.

    I have a subscription to Yahoo Music Unlimited [yahoo.com] and I've found it is definitely worth the $60/year. Right now I've got 744 songs in my collection, which if purchased at iTunes would cost more than 12 years of subscription fees (assuming the price doesn't go up). I can license 3 computers to access my subscription, so I've got it set up on my home computer, my work computer, and my laptop. The service keeps them in sync so if I add music at home, it gets downloaded at work next time I start the service. Since I download the music to my computer, if the network goes down I can still play music.

    If I want to burn CDs I can buy tracks for $0.79. But I haven't needed to do that. I have a Creative Zen Micro to carry around. What's really nice is the Roku SoundBridge [rokulabs.com] is compatible with the service. I've got that hooked into the home theater system (and our wireless network) and I can access my complete music collection (even ripped music) using a remote control.

    Ok, I realize this sounds like a commercial for the service. It's not...but I'm very happy with it and think that $60/year is a steal. I used to search the assorted P2P networks but my time has value too and it just wasn't worth it to search for and download music, only to find that I've picked up a bunch of bad tracks (P2P is still great for porn though).

    So based on my experience with Yahoo Music Unlimited I think that despite its name Urge will be successful and combined with MS's marketing power may turn out to be an iTunes...well, not killer but maybe wounder.
    • Re:Smart move (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sphere (27305)
      In contrast, I use iTunes and eMusic because they're not subscription services. The main flaw of "all you can eat" services (like Urge and Yahoo!) is that you don't own your music. My understanding is that if you don't keep on paying, your subscription-based music vanishes. Yahoo! has got you tied to their service, now and forever.

      Obviously eMusic, with their downloadable unDRMed mp3 tracks, bypasses all of these problems. Though the eMusic catalog is not very mainstream, that's fine by me because I actuall
    • Re:Smart move (Score:3, Insightful)

      by massysett (910130)
      I like the subscription model. I used it before I switched to Linux (I guess the subscription model wasn't compelling enough to keep me in Windows.)

      But most people don't understand the subscription model and, when they do, they're hostile to it. People don't want to pay money month after month for music.

      "Plays for Sure" will never give MS an upper hand over Apple. Consumers don't much care if their music is WMA or AAC; what they want is cool, easy-to-use software and hardware. Apple has this cornered. N

    • Re:Smart move (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @02:48PM (#14402383)

      Subscription-based music is the way to go.

      Gee, really? I guess that explains why none of them are doing very well then and why analyst after analyst has found that people want to own, not rent music.

      I've found it is definitely worth the $60/year. Right now I've got 744 songs in my collection, which if purchased at iTunes would cost more than 12 years of subscription fees (assuming the price doesn't go up).

      So how many songs do you think you will download, versus how long do you think you will live? I spend under $60 on used CDs and music downloads a year. Plus, I don't ever have to worry about whether or not I will get enough any given year. It stays forever. Finally, there is no danger that someone will go out of business and my CDs or downloads (which I burn to CD) will go out of business. You're betting that in 30 years Yahoo music service will still be around and carrying music you like, otherwise your investment is wasted. That's a lot of commitment to one service. I have some friends who are looking for a good man, would you like me to forward some marriage proposals to them for you?

      Seriously though, I hope it works out for you, and nothing is wrong with choice, it just isn't a choice many consumers seem to want, according to most market evaluations.

      • You're betting that in 30 years Yahoo music service will still be around and carrying music you like, otherwise your investment is wasted.

        Actually, I'm betting that in 30 years the DRM will have been cracked and I'll have all my music burned to holographic cubes or whatever replaces DVDs. :)
    • Re:Smart move (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thaelon (250687)
      Some people don't like subscription services. I, for one am disgusted by them. The only things that are worse are subscriptions with 1 year, or even worse 2 year contracts. (U.S. cell phone companies I'm looking at you. "Wow, for $960 minimum over the next two years I can get a $250 phone for only $200? What a deal!" *gag*)

      I know it's the biggest trend in business right now; recurring revenue and all that, but some things just shouldn't be subscriptions and a downloadable music service is one of them.
    • Re:Smart move (Score:3, Informative)

      by thatguywhoiam (524290)
      I have a subscription to Yahoo Music Unlimited [yahoo.com] and I've found it is definitely worth the $60/year. Right now I've got 744 songs in my collection

      Not to split hairs... but no, you don't.

      You don't have a single song from them; you have access to those songs as long as you continue to pay. This is a great system for those who understand this (rather large) distinction, and crave constant new music. To many other people - the vast majority, according to my company's research (I work for a DSP)

  • by SnuffySmith (780790) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:45AM (#14400493)
    Microsoft is to computing what Christian rock is to real rock and roll.

    Christian rock is like some youth minister's idea of what rock and roll is: you don't even have Link Wray or the Rolling Stones, no it's derivative boy band music and hair metal. And Urge is like some out of touch dorky software mogul's idea of hip -- aesthetically perfectly paired with Stryper, Petra and Creed.

    ``Have you heard about this totally praiseworthy and righteous new music service, Urge? Rock on! Praise the Lord, man!''

    • Re:Christian rock (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anaphiel (712680) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @01:23PM (#14401481)
      I found myself at an awkward point last year where the two best live shows I saw were from mewithoutyou and the Hidden Cameras. A Christian punk band and a militantly queer Canadian group, respectively.

      Good rock is good rock, and Stryper and Creed would suck no matter what their message.

  • by ajservo (708572) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @11:55AM (#14400584)
    When Steve announces a product, he makes it available. There's no coming soon, or available within 4 years, or in the near future crap...

    Steve announces these things and you can buy one immediately. If it's software, you can download it/buy it today.

    I think the slow lumbering of MS will make this product as much of an also ran as every other competing service to itunes. Tying themselves to MTV is supposed to appeal to a younger demographic, but what teenager associates MTV with music? Unless they're awake at 2:30 am on a Tuesday, they've never seen MTV air a music video. What older person does? VH1 coulda been a better fit than this.
  • by theolein (316044) on Thursday January 05, 2006 @12:24PM (#14400875) Journal
    Billy Boy has had his MSN music store [msn.com] around for around 2 years now and it has been, like MSN itself, a total failure. Now, Billy Boy, touched by the same infinite creative wisdom that produced Microsoft BOB, Clippy and Windows ME, brings out exactly the same fucking product under another brand, and, using exactly the same model as Napster and Yahoo and his other store, expects to win out with his "superior" product.

    Billy Boy's new toy, not compatible with the most popular by far audio player, will only help Billy Boy to lose even more money than his current MSN venture does.

    My only wish, Billy Boy, is that in a year or two, some journalist with real balls instead of the pants-shitting, brown-nosing creeps that pretend to be such these days, will play you back a recording of your words this day and force you to either admit to just how badly you erred, or to get you to walk out of the studio in tears.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

Working...