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MOG Makes All Of Your Dreams Come True

January 5th, 2010 by

MOG Review

The first thing you see when you pop over to is a hyperbolic statement: “MOG is where your music listening dreams come true. All of them. Weird.” However, when I started playing with MOG a few weeks ago they were saying, “Better than Pandora, and iTunes. Combined,” right up front. I don’t know whether MOG changed up the promise in order to spice things up or to seem less arrogant, but they weren’t too far off the mark with that first–rather ballsy–claim.

MOG music player

Really, there’s no contest between MOG and Pandora, even Pandora One; MOG takes the cake. I almost feel bad as Pandora’s got a lot of heart, but it seems they got stuck in bad negotiations with labels which have had a negative impact on the enjoyability of the entire service. Without track scrubbing, the ability to skip more than a handful of tracks an hour, or songs on demand (even on the pay version!), against MOG, Pandora never stood a chance.

Music on demand is where things are heading and MOG is the first player that really does it right. The stylish player pops up into a new window and does its job unobtrusively. To make new additions to your playlist, you can either add songs right from the player using the intuitive search box, or browse on the main MOG website. There, you can search for more albums for your queue or play your selections immediately. The only gripe I have with the in-player search is that while it is beautifully done, I feel like sometimes it misses what I’m searching for and I have to rearrange my query a bit.

MOG also has a Radio mode which tries to match up songs with your selection, either sticking close to your specified artist/track or roving out into a wider arena based on a slider bar you control. In this case, Pandora has an advantage in its breadth of recommendation and variety, but without an unrestricted skip functionality it becomes a negative point if the recommendation engine sticks you with a string of misses. Though it doesn’t reach as far out even when I max out the Artist Only/Similar Artists slider,
MOG sticks me with far more hits than misses.

But other online music services, fear not! You’re not totally vestigial yet. There is still a place for as far as keeping track of what I listen to out of my personal library and being able to recommend me good shows in my area. Ah, a point I forgot to mention for Pandora that also stands true for I love custom genre/tag radio stations. I have a soft spot for bossanova and that’s all I have to know for or Pandora to bring me those sweet, sweet tunes. On MOG I’m forced to come up with an artist from which to derive and I am unfortunately (and ashamedly) ignorant in that regard.

The real heavyweight match is not between MOG and Pandora, or even with The contenders are Lala and MOG, and I won’t keep you in suspense: MOG wins by TKO. As a service Lala just doesn’t appeal to me. They only let you play a song fully one time before they make you buy either the web version ($0.10) or the full version ($0.89). The main reason I use any of these music services is to be exploratory with my musical tastes, and Lala’s model simply isn’t compatible with that . Being able to store music on the cloud with Lala might be a huge selling point for some people, but it seems like a solution to problem that I don’t have.

Out of the box, MOG far exceeded my expectations and I’m sure they have a lot more up their sleeves (I can’t wait to see their iPhone app). On top of being top of the class as a music service, their social functions are well thought out and integrated. For only $5 a month, MOG gets my full recommendation.

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Tags: Music · Technology4 Comments

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zaud Jan 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    no mobile solution, though – that’s been a dealbreaker for me. I don’t only listen to music from my laptop.

  • 2 Eric Jan 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Rhapsody has a much better selection of music and has a mobile app.

  • 3 david hyman Jan 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    brian, thanks for the thoughtful review. years went into the creation so we’re so appreciative that you deep dived into the services the way you did. we’re certainly smiling today at headquarters from this and giving ourselves a bit of pat on the back. mobile is coming VERY soon and is even more mindblowing than the website. stay tuned…..

  • 4 Adam Jan 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    MOG has rocked for several years now, but the new MOG All Access service is completely beyond. Bravo!