a preview of online music service MOG's mobile offerings for Android and iPhone and now the waiting is finally over. Like most any new app, it has a few bugs and a few features missing (like multitasking and fast app switching for iOS 4) that we hope to see with future updates, but otherwise proves to be a solid entry into mobile, cloud-based music apps.It's been four months since we first got
For $10 a month, MOG offers a library of 8 million songs that users can stream over 3G and Wi-Fi, as well as download direct to their phone. It's the first app in this space that's really made us consider the monthly fee in exchange for the ease of access to a massive collection of music. Right now, MOG is offering a 3-day free trial (no credit card required, so it isn't one of those "you need to call to cancel" scams) to tempt users with its vast collection and feature set. And we have to admit, we're tempted.
The app is much like the one we saw at SXSW in March, providing an "all-you-can-eat" service that surpasses competitors with its ability to download any music available on the service for offline play. It's library of 8 million songs - while smaller than Rhapsody's 10 million - is certainly impressive, but immediately showed some gaps and possible bugs on first inspection. For example, when searching for "The Stereo" - a pop-punk group - the app listed a number of their albums alongside those of "Stereo" - a club/dance electronic group. While this is understandable, all of "The Stereo"'s albums were shown as available, but clicking on the "play album" and "download album" buttons did nothing, as it turned out no songs were actually available. Beyond this, initial tests of the catalog had varied results, with some more rare albums showing up and others not.
Pandora, streams music according to whatever artist you chose. It has a slider to tune the station between focusing solely on songs from that artist to sampling songs from similar artists to anywhere in between. As for downloads, songs are downloaded as 64 kbps AAC+ unless you turn on the "high quality downloads" in the settings, which selects a 320 kbps MP3 format, but we found the audio of the low quality just fine for some ear buds. Of course, if you actually have some decent headphones or speakers, you may chose otherwise.Two features, we think, really set MOG's mobile offering apart and they are its radio feature and the ability to download songs, albums and even entire discographies to save locally for whenever 3G is iffy or unavailable. The radio feature, which is much like
The final aspect of MOG mobile is music discovery. MOG offers a few ways to discover new music, from the just-mentioned radio feature to user created playlists - a feature we know many were excited to see with (still unavailable in the U.S.) Spotify. When searching, you can chose the standards - artist, album or song - as well as playlists. It's a great way to find new music that others are listening to. Beyond that, MOG offers its own charts for popular songs, albums and artists, as well as a selection of popular albums, radio stations and playlists.
The $10 service includes both Web and mobile access, meaning you can set up playlists, browse music and interact with the library on the website before letting the app sync everything to your phone. Unless you're really into creating you're own playlists, however, we see little need for the website. And if you find yourself traveling or on-the-go often, MOG mobile seems like a great way to constantly have access to new music. As for the bugs and glitches, we hope to see them fixed up along the way, but for now they don't get in the way too much.