Windows Media Player 11 & URGE Make Hip Hop Accessible
The latest version of Microsoft Windows Media Player features easy access to legal music purchasing with MTV's URGE music service.
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
5/18/2006 7:08:51 AM

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today unveiled the public beta of URGE and the new Windows Media(R) Player 11 beta. URGE, MTV Networks' new digital music service, is seamlessly integrated with the new Microsoft(R) Windows Media Player 11, and builds upon MTV Networks' renowned music heritage, offering rich, handcrafted programming, first-rate editorial and innovative music discovery features to create a truly immersive entertainment experience. URGE is the recommended digital music service in Windows Media Player 11 beta, which offers enhanced search and media management capabilities, a visually driven user interface and optimized portable music player support. MTV Networks and Microsoft collaborated closely on the development of URGE and Windows Media Player 11, creating a unified and integrated user experience.

Just as MTV, VH1 and CMT are recognized for their ability to curate music, URGE offers unparalleled context to all styles of music, as well as rich music programming to guide users through a world of virtually infinite music choices. Innovative features also bring music discovery to the fore, exposing users to new artists and genres they might not otherwise encounter.

"When we first set out to design URGE, our goal was to create an immersive experience that surrounded fans in all things music," said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music/Logo/Films Group. "URGE distinguishes itself through handcrafted programming, innovative music discovery features and unique integration with Windows Media Player 11. It's an important pillar of MTV Networks' overall digital strategy, and as our audience continues to embrace digital music delivery, URGE will serve as a vital vehicle to connect fans with all the music they love."

"We wanted to create a media player that delivers the most powerful features in a program that is intuitive and fun to use," said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. "So in designing Windows Media Player 11, we incorporated a significant amount of feedback from music fans and worked hand in hand with MTV Networks. As a result, Windows Media Player 11 truly revolutionizes the way we enjoy music and provides a test drive of the breakthrough entertainment capabilities people will experience in the forthcoming Windows Vista(TM) operating system."

URGE: Rich Programming, Features and Musical Discovery

URGE allows users to simply buy music by the track or album, and yet goes well beyond the concept of a storefront through music subscriptions, promoting the twin concepts of exploration and discovery, such as these:

* Informer music blogs. The service's marquee editorial franchise written
by leading voices in music, Informer blogs celebrate nearly every genre
of music -- pop, hip-hop, country, children's, classical, jazz,
electronic/dance, world, inspirational and more. And each blog is
accompanied by a dynamic playlist, enabling users to simultaneously
listen to or download the music they are reading about.
* More than 500 custom-made playlists. URGE offers programmed playlists
such as "Must-Haves" (the best in given style), moods, decades, cities
and more. URGE's "This Week In . . ." series features new music each
week across all genres, which a user can save to an automatically
updating Feed. "Super Playlists" offer hundreds of songs in a given
genre or to fill up a portable music player in one click. Popular on-air
programs including MTV's "Total Request Live," VH1's "Best Week Ever"
and CMT's "Top Twenty Countdown" all have dedicated and regularly
updated playlists. Celebrity Playlists include offerings from such
artists as Green Day, Rihanna, Rosanne Cash, Tony Hawk, T.I., Mike Myers
and many others.
* Feeds. Feeds allow music fans to sign up for dynamically updated
playlists of the music they love and

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