A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that they can visit this site to preview videos and music. It's an easy way to find out what your kids are listening and dancing to. Like the MTV TV channel, though, this site isn't for little kids.
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What's it about?
MTV/OVERDRIVE.COM offers some of the TV channel's broadcast TV content, plus special Web-only features. The site features two major sections: channels and music videos. You'll find channels for news, movies, style, and several more. There are "uncensored" backstage interviews at the Video Music Awards, special exclusive tours to H&M's latest fashions, and more. The MTV archive is a treasure trove of fun, including 36 episodes of MADE and 17 of Making the Band, among others. In the Music Video section, you can view the most popular music videos of the moment, either by artist or by genre. See a video you like? You can easily share it with a friend. Just click to open up an email form, enter your friend's address, and send the video's URL along. Or try "MTV Playlists." Many of MTV's popular videos are archived on the site or in one of the featured MTV Playlists.
Is it any good?
Although it bills itself as "the ultimate broadband channel for video and pop culture," MTV Overdrive's hefty appetite for bandwidth often leaves users in "buffering ..." limbo as the videos are transferred to their home computer. The audio is usually fine, but on a cable modem connection the video is fuzzy and jumpy. The site offers no guidance on its browser requirements.
You can't escape the site's commercials. Fast food, shampoo, cell phones, and other teen "necessities" are hawked in brief advertisements and also in static ad boxes as you select content to view. Parents can visit this site to preview videos and music, and find out what your kids are listening and dancing to. Get a quick course in pop culture trends, and maybe you'll gain some insight into your teen's world, too. But this site isn't for little kids. There are plenty of adult themes in the music videos and site features.