MOG, the subscription music service, rolled out a bunch of improvements to its web-based music player, which now integrates with Facebook with some help from that side, to recommend music based on the bands you and your friends Like on the social network.
Myspace has famously been on the wane for years, and YouTube has replaced it as the place where you can hear almost any band in seconds, for free, while Facebook has not become the sort of music destination that Myspace once was. We’ll get to the MOG changes in a minute, which include a free trial with no credit card required, a big step forward. Our first impression is that people are going to have to Like a whole lot of music on Facebook in order for MOG and other companies hoping to integrate with the social network in the coming months, to make these recommendations really pay off.
My Facebook-generated recommendations (above) were pretty accurate (other than Michael Jackson, whom I had to Like for a story). The thing is, I haven’t spend much time hunting down artists on Facebook to add to my profile. If I had, these recommendations would be much more extensive.
Of course, I haven’t seen all of Facebook, but many of my friends also appear not to be using Facebook as a place to Like their favorite artists — in part because there haven’t been many great music apps on the service. This problem might be solved if “hearting” an artist in MOG and other music services also Liked them in Facebook, but that is not the case, at this point anyway.
However, there is one big, unrelated bonus to this new Facebook Connect integration: You no longer have to bust out a credit card in order to try MOG on a computer, which puts MOG on par with Spotify in one sense (although Spotify’s freemium trial goes on month after month, unlike MOG’s 14-day trial). Instead, all you have to do is log in with the Facebook Connect button.
Back to MOG’s new web app, which is essentially a port of the MOG Google Chrome app, as expected, that has been rolled out as a beta option to existing subscribers. The new interface is way more standard than it used to be, so anyone familiar with Windows Media Player, iTunes, or other last-century music players will be able to get a handle on it more quickly than they could with the last one. This is a good thing, because we all use so many sites and services these days that some degree of standardization can be helpful, and some users may have found the secondary play queue window a bit confusing.
MOG’s new design makes it easy to search the over 11 million tracks on the service by presenting the results tabbed by Artist, Album and Song (see second screenshot), and as before, once you start music, it just sort of continues by turning that song into a radio station, which is a nice way to take advantage of the fact that you have an unlimited subscription.
Oh, and you can also rip CDs into the service with your iPhone camera, as reported earlier.
Playlists are also easier now. You can drag and drop anything from anywhere onto your playlists, which reside in the left pane, just like other players you’ve used. At times, it can easy to forget how far the browser has come, but this HTML5 drag-and-drop feature is a big reminder of how app-like web pages can be these days.