May 17, 2006

Must... resist... the urge... to make a pun... about URGE

I couldn't do it. I just couldn't help myself. And neither could the mainstream media.

I still haven't written up the story of how I finally got a job and moved to New York, which is kind of the point of this site. Regardless, the project that I'm doing graphic design for, MTV's digital music service URGE, launches today. URGE is a combination a la carte music store, ala iTunes, and subscription service, ala Napster--but it's much more editorially-driven. There are a lot of passionate music fans at MTV programming the various channels, feeds, blogs, and playlists in URGE--all of which are ways of helping users explore its very, very deep catalog. iTunes operates under the assumption that you pretty much know what you want when you head to its store; URGE is designed to be a place you can go to discover new music. And I'm not just talking about the teenyboppers screaming outside my office window; whatever your niche may be, it's likely well-represented in the service (one of the first things I did at MTV was to make a Klezmer playlist image, if that gives you any idea). And while my taste in music was pretty indie by North Carolina standards, I've got nothing on the folks I sit next to.

Don't just take my word for it; initial reviews of the service have been very favorable. Head on over to URGE.com, or download Windows Media Player 11 (also released today) and click on the URGE button. You'll see my dirty work scattered about.

UPDATE: For everyone who's complained to me about URGE costing money, I'd like to point out the big "14-Day Free Trial" button on the site (no credit card required). If your trial period runs out and you decide not to subscribe, head on over to Pandora or Last.fm. I actually wrote a review of both services once upon a time (I liked Pandora more), but I forgot to post it--essentially they're both music recommendation engines similar to URGE's Auto-Mix feature, without the portability. It's the new millennium--there are no excuses for not having your musical tastes extend deep into the Long Tail.

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