Want your MTV back? For fans who bemoan the lack of music videos on TV, the Web offers a new alternative: PluggedIn.
The site has launched with what it says is a collection of 10,000 music videos from Universal Music, EMI, and Sony BMG, as well as indie labels. It also includes a raft of related features, including info on the stars, networking with other fans, suggestions of music you might enjoy, and, of course, options to buy the music and other merchandise.
But it's the videos that drive my interest in the site. PluggedIn uses its own media player, which it claims can play high-def video without hiccups on a typical broadband connection. The videos I played looked good, but the quality didn't strike me as high-def. And I suffered some stutters and stops.
The whole site, while impressive, seemed rough around the edges. Granted, the launch is as a "beta," so we'll have to see how things smooth out over time.
PluggedIn also promises other features, including integration with iTunes playlists. Upload the list of songs from your computer, and PluggedIn will find matching music videos. That could be useful, particularly as I fumbled to assemble a video playlist using the site's own tools.
It's all free to end users, with the site getting income from ads and helping to sell music and merchandise for partners like Amazon and Apple's iTunes. The price makes PluggedIn, early bumps aside, a good place to find and try new tunes. And you get a look at the performers behind them.