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Mog

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CNET Editors' review

We began testing the iPhone version of MOG, a subscription on-demand music service, as soon as it became available. While it performs adequately, we haven't seen anything that really makes it stand out from the other competitors we've looked at recently, like Rhapsody, Thumbplay, and the still-in-beta Rdio.

First, the positives. Sound quality was excellent when streaming over a 3G connection and you can download any song to store in a local cache, so you can play it even when you're offline (like Rhapsody and the BlackBerry version of Thumbplay). You can choose to download songs in a high-quality (320kbps) version as well. The MOG radio feature works the same way as it does with MOG's Web-based application: it builds a playlist around your currently playing song, and a slider lets you control how much variety you want--you can play all songs from the same artist (a nice touch that free radio services like Pandora lack), or mostly songs from other artists. We were also favorably impressed with the depth of MOG's catalog, which has improved since we looked at it last year--it had selections from a local Seattle band, The Curious Mystery, which we haven't seen in too many other places, and most of the big names (with the usual exceptions like The Beatles) are present, with a full array of songs and albums.

Unfortunately, there are some problems with the playback experience. There's no scroll bar for the currently playing song, so you can't fast-forward, rewind, or move to a specific point. There's also no way to add songs to the currently playing queue--as soon as you touch the song you'd like to add, it immediately interrupts the currently playing song and skips to the song you touched. This is particularly annoying, because it does add the new song to the current playlist...at the bottom. MOG says it'll add both of these features in the next few weeks. The search function also failed with surprising frequency on single songs--it didn't find Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" or "Train Kept A-Rollin'" by the Yardbirds, even though both are in the service's library and available when you search by album or artist.

Using MOG on your iPhone will cost you $9.99 a month, which is the same as most of these other services. We still find Thumbplay to have the best user interface, and we're intrigued by Rdio's ability to recognize all the songs in your on-device music collection and its social-networking features. But MOG looks slick and has a strong focus on sound quality, so we won't count it out.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.3 stars

    out of 3 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

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    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 1
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Results 1-3 of 3

  • 4.0 stars

    "MOG is better than Spotify!"

    May 18, 2013  |   By evan_237

    Version: Mog 1.8.3

    Pros

    MOG has all of their music at the highest bit stream quality of 320 while Spotify still seems to be lagging behind in this area. Another big advantage (for me) is the pricing difference! The lower tier plan on MOG for $4.99/mo not only allows PC access at the highest bit stream but you can also use another home device, such as a Roku, to stream at the 320 bit rate. For the lower tier price on Spotify, you can only use your PC or MAC. Spotify does not allow any home devices, such as a Roku, for the $4.99/mo plan. MOG also offers a better radio feature with a sliding scale based on all from a single artist or mixture of similar music (similar to Pandora). Spotify's radio feature does not have this sliding scale, which allows for less control of the radio feature.

    Cons

    The online (PC) interface on MOG is not quite as intuitive as Spotify. Also, creating and managing Playlists within MOG feels a bit clumsy versus the better built-in management and control that Spotify offers with Playlists. MOG does not allow the listener to import that own personal music into the player like Spotify.

    Summary

    Because the highest quality music and radio features are very important to me, I have to conclude that MOG is the better deal! And not only that, but if you only want music streaming for the home, MOG is definitely the clear winner since it allows home devices, such as the Roku, under the lower tier $4.99/mo plan. This last statement must be emphasized with many listeners attempting to budget their monthly expenses.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "lacks some basic features"

    July 9, 2012  |   By money4me247

    Version: Mog 1.8.3

    Pros

    1.) great music quality at 320 kbps
    2.) radio feature is very good
    3.) has new releases & editor's recommended section that is great
    4.) has a top artists/albums/tracks section
    5.) under each artist, there is a top 10 list of tracks & recommendations for similar artists
    6.) ability to download songs for offline listening

    Cons

    1.) There is a favorite limit of 600 & play queue limit of 250.
    2.) No way to sort playlists/favorites by track name, artist, or album
    3.) No way to browse by genre.
    4.) No way to save downloaded music on your phone to your SD card.
    5.) Mog web player is still pretty buggy with frequent pop-ups about script problems
    6.) No way to do batch operations or have multiple selections
    7.) does not allow you to integrate your own personal collection with the streamed music

    Summary

    While Mog offers a great music subscription service and innovative ways for you to broaden your musical horizons with their radio feature, the lack of some of the basic features required in today's music player such as unlimited favorites & unlimited play queue as well as crippled music sorting abilities makes it difficult to recommend this service over its competitors.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Big selection, ALL 320 kbps streams, cheap desktop tier"

    April 23, 2012  |   By ks2problema

    Version: Mog 1.8.3

    Pros

    The selection of available music is comparable to Spotify Premium or other services. The content is all 320 kbps now, not some promised time in the future. There's a ~$5/mo desktop tier; another $5/mo takes you to the smartphone+desktop tier. For those who want their friends to know about their great (or terrible) taste in music, there's social integration with Facebook, similar to Spotify's. And, so you can 'share' music with friends, there's a free tier.

    Cons

    Browser based player defaults to "L" and the toggle switch is 'hidden' in the lower left corner until you mouse over it. They used to have some helpful user reviews but those seem to be gone in a recent makeover.

    Summary

    A great service, all in all. And with full 320 kbps content at the $5 tier, it's a much better deal than Spotify (unless you want the smartphone tier, then they're about the same, pricewise).

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