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November 13th, 2010

MOG

Since the sad demise of Lala at Apple’s hands earlier this year, I’ve hunted for a music service that will let me listen to what I want, where I want, with a decent interface. Most services were too cluttered, didn’t have a wide enough variety of music, or didn’t scrobble (yeah, that will always be important to me). And Rdio certainly wasn’t the answer. That didn’t leave many solutions other than MOG. I thought I’d share a few things I like (and don’t like) about MOG so far:

  • It’s cheap. For $5/month you can listen to any of over 9 million songs on your laptop or Roku. $10 if you want mobile access, but I don’t.
  • The streaming is high quality. It’s the highest of all the streaming services — most songs stream at a whopping 320k.
  • Lots of music in a lot of ways. Want to listen to only songs by one artist regardless of album? You can (unlike last.fm). Want to listen to that artist and similar artists? You can. Want to listen to a full album? Go for it. Want to make a playlist or listen to someone else’s? Sure thing!
  • New music when it comes out. One of the things I liked about Lala was the ability to listen to a brand new album right away. It helped me decide if I wanted to purchase it digitally, in physical form, or just stick with the ability to stream it at will. MOG fills that gap. No need to go Rapidshare hunting to hear if an album is any good. (High school me would have been so stoked by this.)

There are a few things I’d like to see improved:

  • Their play queue functionality is kind of clunky. I have trouble reordering songs and the queue doesn’t show much song detail. A nice, rich player (go ahead and clone the iTunes interface, if you must) would be really helpful. The current one’s OK, but not great.
  • The Roku player is tied to your account, but you can’t access your queue or your playlists.
  • Double scrobbles. The web player will scrobble a song twice if you pause and resume a few minutes later. I submitted this as a bug and they’re working on fixing it (if they haven’t already).

So, overall, I’m definitely a MOG fan. Their streaming service is a great supplement to my exisiting physical and digital music collections. And I think/hope they’re around for the long haul.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Lucas Gonze November 14, 2010, 12:27 am

Playlist browse, search and play coming soon to Roku, though not editing. You can access your queue (well, the part that’s in the past) on Roku by using the “History” menu.

Ryan November 14, 2010, 1:05 am

Thanks for checking in with the update, Lucas. Glad to see work on the Roku app is ongoing — that was one of the key reasons I decided to go ahead and subscribe.

I assume there’s a technical limitation for not being able to access your current queue on Roku? The way I listen, I queue up a bunch of stuff and listen over the period of a few days, so it’d be cool to be able to work my way through the queue whichever device I’m on.

Lucas November 14, 2010, 2:51 am

The biggest reason is that most of the queue features are too fine grained for a 10 foot experience. We wanted to make a new style of UI that was more hands-off.

For example the reason “History” is there is to allow people to have customization without actually having to take action.

Now I’m wondering about graceful ways to pull your queue into the UI somewhere… I’ll think about it some more.

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