The LonghornXP Review of URGE:

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LonghornXP

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First URGE is the new music service that was worked on by Microsoft with other parties such as Viacom. This music service can be used in the new beta of Windows Media Player which is now at version 11. First even though this is a beta version it runs quite well and I haven't had a crash once and the player feels very responsive but it does take getting used to as the layout is quite different and I think its better but YMMV. So first you should download the new beta of Windows Media Player and you can download it at the link below.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/download/download.aspx

NOTE: If you install this beta of Windows Media Player 11 "and" you currently have a subscription to an online music store it may corrupt your digital rights management which in turn will make all your files not play anymore nor can you download new files using said service until you remote WMP11 beta and the only known way todo this is to use system restore but as with anything system restore doesn't always work. I can confirm that Yahoo Music Unlimited "DOES NOT" work after you install WMP11 beta so if your using Yahoo Music Unlimited I "URGE" that you have backups in case system restore doesn't work.

Now the following online music stores listed below in blue are fully supported in this beta of WMP11 so if you use any of these services below they will work within the beta player.


Audible, FYE, Live365, Movielink, MSN Music, Napster, Passalong, Puretracks, URGE, Wal-Mart, and XM Radio.

So now onto the review of the service. First unlike other online music services URGE allows you to get a free 14 day trial without needing a credit card. Also some of you might be thinking AOL that by them saying you don't need a credit card you still need to use a debit card or check or something. Well you would be wrong. During signup just click the button that says skip billing and your done. After the 14 days are up you will be converted the buy as you go program and any subscription music you have downloaded will no longer play until you subscribe with a credit/debit card. So for that 14 days you don't have to worry about when to cancel if you don't like it as you never gave billing information.

This alone makes this store the only true risk free trial around and that is a very good thing isn't it. Now when searching for songs as you type in the name of an artist the list auto fills nearly real time to show a list of artists. Once you find the artist just double click on their album work which brings up a list of available tracks. You can sort by album and track. In album mode it displays a picture of each album along with the name of the album and on the right lists the tracks for said album. When sorted by song it still lists the name of the ablum on the left and this is hard to describe but its very well done.

Now next to each song you will have several different types of buttons.

If you see a download button you can click this button to download the files as part of your subscription and yes this works during your trial period.

You might also see a Buy button and this means you cannot download it so the only way to get this song is to buy it.

Album Only button means you can only get this song if you buy the album and yes I said you must buy the album not download the album.

Play Button means you can only play (stream) this song.

If you see no button next to each song it means you can't play, download or buy that song which means its a useless entry.

Now if you click on the download button you will notice that within a second a green bar will move across the download button itself and when it reaches the end the button will change and say In Library. That happens to be the basics of the service but I'll not get into two more features that many services lack and one of these two features is only present with URGE and I consider this a critical feature for a person like myself who installs Windows XP fresh often enough and forgets to deauthorize the computer and I know many of you are like me.

So you can view your account area and click on manage computers and all computers authorized are listed and you can change their names. So say I name this computer Windows XP under my account and I fresh install but forget to remote the computer. Well once I install URGE again it will authorize my current computer of course but unlike other services I can click on the name of the older computer and select remove and be done. Now URGE only allows "one" computer to be removed every 30 days but that should be enough for those of us who reformat our one computer three times until we find out the hard way and that will allow us to just remove one computer for now. Also in the rare case you have more than one computer and so on phone support can reset this and allow you to authorize just your new computers.

Now onto the last feature which some services have today is the ability on a fresh install to use their recovery feature which brings up another windows with all your songs downloaded (including purchased songs) and you can pick and choose which songs you want and redownload them and get a new license.

I will tell you guys that I've only used this service for just an hour and when my two weeks are up I will cancel and uninstall yahoo music unlimited and start paying for URGE as long as nothing drastic occurs between now and the end of my trial. I got yahoo when the service costs me only 60 bucks a year with portable device support with Janus and my subscription ends in September and I'll be charged 120 bucks for the next year and I sure as heck won't pay that kind of money for beta Yahoo. Yahoo feels very beta (maybe even alpha) to me compared to URGE with WMP11 beta. Before Yahoo was worth the tradeoff with the price difference but I think I have now found a service that has listened to customer complains because its very evident they have. So yes I'm going to start paying for a service that is the same (as far as music access) as what I'm getting but hey I got quite a few months out of yahoo for that 60 bucks but I think its time for a change to what I consider the best service available for me.

Again this service might not be the best for you but I "URGE" you all to at least give it a spin if you can as you have nothing to lose not even having to enter in any type of billing information. So signup and select skip billing and you will know when your free trial is up because your songs will stop playing and it will bug you to signup with a credit card or the like to continue using the service in subscription mode.

So I rate this service as a B+ and if the service stays the same (no new bugs or quality issues) after six months this service is IMO an A+ service and a must have service if you want a subscription music service. This is the music service that all others must look at and learn from. I'm just amazed that of all the companies to add the features we hard core users want is Microsoft. You would think otherwise but nope it was Microsoft who did a great job with this service.
 
BFG

BFG

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Mar 2, 2004
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Orlando
I installed wmp 11 and didn't get urge. haven't really used it and just uninstalled the seperate entry in my uninstall list
 
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