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Tuesday, May 16, 2006
MTV's Downloading Service to Challenge iTunes


MTV teamed up with Microsoft to launch a digital music retailer which is expected to be the first serious rival to Apple's iTunes. The MTV store, called Urge, starts tomorrow and comes integrated into the new version of Microsoft's Windows Media Player.

At launch, Urge will have more than 2 million tracks available individually at 99c (53p) or for a monthly subscription charge, which allows users to transfer songs to more than 100 compatible portable music players - but not iPods.

It will also soon start selling downloadable videos, including exclusive appearances on MTV's TRL and MTV Unplugged shows, according to Van Toffler, the president of MTV Networks Music Group. Microsoft, meanwhile, is trying to pick away at the dominance of iTunes, which has sold more than a billion tracks in the three years since its launch.

Urge will be the featured music service on Microsoft's latest Windows media player but, unlike the iTunes player, which links only to the iTunes store, will also have built-in links to several other retail services.

For more information visit http://news.independent.co.uk .


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