Urge-WMP11: Can’t Win If The Idea Is To Woo Current iPod Users


I was a guest on Tom Ashbrook’s On Point (on WBUR) Monday, along with Brian Cooley, editor at large for CNET for a brief chat about the differences between iTunes and Urge. Based on the pre-interview for the show, I expected some discussion of Urge trying to replace the iTunes/iPod combo. Didn’t happen but it’s worth making the point anyway given the contention by some that Urge is a failure off the bat because it doesn’t work with iPods. Urge and other WMP-based services/devices can succeed only by creating an experience good enough to woo current MP3 player users to their services or reaching the substantial group that has yet to commit. Is this it? It may be very hard to tell for sure this early in beta; I’m trying the whole ecosystem out now with WMP11, Urge and the iriver Clix.
Here are some other views:
New Media Player: Nice Features, but It’s No ITunes: The headline is much nicer than the review … “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.”
Will Microsoft’s Windows Media Player 11 Take A Bite Out Of Apple?: “Don’t underestimate the potential impact of WMP 11 and URGE. The latter, thanks to the imprimatur of MTV, is the first truly viable alternative to iTunes. As such, it could give consumers – young consumers; the ones who matter most in this market — a reason to purchase non-iPod music players.”
MTV gets the Urge to enter rental market: “Thanks to a development partnership with Microsoft, the offering may be the slickest subscription service to hit the market yet. … But whether MTV is any better at convincing music fans to rent music rather than buy it remains to be seen.”
— WMP11 is missing podcast support. Also, Ed Bott has raised concerns about the Urge license agreement.

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