May 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

Review: MOG (Updated)

Founded in 2005 as a social and blog network, MOG has evolved and pivoted several times; the current incarnation of the app has no real editorial content, and is a simple music streaming service (although does include a network of music blogs by pros and amateurs).

The service claims to have 10 million songs, and users can select from a $5 per month desktop only plan, or $10 per month plan that includes mobile use. The free trial period is fourteen days, and users are required to enter credit card information when they sign up to try the service, though MOG is planning a freemium service, as first reported here.

Positives: MOG’s app is clean, intuitive, and super easy to use if you know what you want to listen to. Users can search for artists or albums, or skim through new releases, album and single charts, and curated “editor’s picks.” There are also a number of playlists ranging from a collection of Coachella artists to something called “alternative funkyfresh workout,” which proved a great match for the treadmill.

Negatives: Searching for a more obscure band (Bikini Kill) as well as a huge superstar (Lady Gaga) in the radio function resulted in a small collection of songs by that artist, but not some of the related artists one would expect. Gaga radio, for example, doesn’t include any Madonna tracks (sometimes it does; see the update below). The number of playlists offered in the app is pretty small, which doesn’t help its allure as a music discovery platform.

Who it’s great for: People who want to listen to all those albums they’re curious about or just feel like you “should” hear, will love MOG. If you want a risk-free way to see what the new Britney Spears record sounds like, an overview of the top hits, or to do some exploring on your own based on what you see online, MOG’s great.

Read more cloud-based, on-demand music subscription reviews.

Update: MOG CEO David Hyman responded to this review (slightly edited here).

The writer complained that Lady Gaga radio did not bring up Madonna. Well, that’s radio!  You don’t always get the same results, but on my first try this morning, I did get Madonna on Lady Gaga radio. One could argue this is a feature.

There was no mention of our Chrome app/HTML5 player. Did the writer try this new player? [ed. note: we were focusing on the app in particular, which is why those web features were not a part of the review.]

Also, the writer mentioned a lack of editorial. We have a few hundred thousand blog posts integrated, all AMG reviews, and in-house editorial team that actually does in house editors picks every day. We’ve written hundreds of reviews in house. It was strange to receive this criticism when we’re the only service that does this much editorial [again, this review focused on the app, not the website, where MOG has plenty of editorial as mentioned above].

Also, writer criticized the lack of playlists. We have an insane amount of playlists available created by subscribers. There is a dedicated playlist tab in the primary navigation to browse and search user playlists. There are thousands of playlists available created by users [again, our reviewer was examining the mobile app, which doesn't include all of those playlists].”

  • Brian Hazard

    You’ve left out the best part about MOG, which is being able to download to your phone at 320 kbps. For audiophiles (well, those willing to accept any form of lossy compression), it’s by far the best option. In contrast, Spotify mobile only downloads at 160 kbps. Granted, it’s Ogg Vorbis, but I’ve used both services and MOG is the hands-down winner for sound quality.

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  • Mike

    MOG by far the worst online streaming audio I have ever used, and I thought Rhapsody is bad wait till till you try MOG, it crashes 50% of the time when I try to play anything in the queue, this service it’s not worth the subscription.

  • A Ghost Like Me

    I agree…I use Mog because it’s the only service with high quaility audio..320 kbps…..That’s the most important thing for me is quaility….

  • Gary Moore

    Catalog is the reason I chose MOG over rdio and spotify.  I probably prefer the rdio iOS app but what good does it do if you can’t get the music you want?

  • Ouichef

    I also have nothing but problem after problem with MOG freezing, lagging, and crashing. I cancelled my membership the same day I purchased it.

  • Anonymous

    I subscribe MOG for one and only one reason, audio quality – 320kbps.