July 25, 2014

Get the Fix for Your Music Habit with MOG for Android!

Ever since I had my first MP3 player, I have been searching for a service that will offer me all you can eat downloads, a wide musical catalog, both at a reasonable price.  I remember back in the day begging and pleading with any kind of Apple rep that I could get into contact with to add a monthly subscription plan to iTunes, even though I knew that I had a better shot at breathing underwater.  My journey to find the holy grail of music services continued for many years.

Continued, that is, until I found MOG.com, and their cloud based music service that has an Android app tied into it!  Read on for more details.MOG is a service that offers everything that I have been looking for in a music subscription service.  They offer a huge catalog of music, all you can eat downloads for off-line listening, and the best feature of all in my opinion is their unique approach to music discovery.

The makers of MOG tout the fact that they have almost every song ever created in their database for listening. I decided to test this out, searching some of the more obscure music from my childhood.  I first searched out the band GWAR, a theater alternative rock band that some of my buddies were into from high school.  Sure enough, every studio album they have ever made was listed on MOG.  I am an addict of the band Phish, MOG listed all their studio work, plus all of their Live Phish albums as well.

I went on and on, from Christian bands to show tunes to the scream metal band Bile, MOG had it.  So they can take their claim of having one of the largest catalogs around to the bank.

The all you can eat downloads from MOG are a welcome feature for off-line listening.  Since I have gotten my new T-Mobile Vibrant, I have been using my Android handset more and more to listen to music and to watch video media.  There are times when I am completely out of range of a cell tower, so it comes in handy to create a download queue on my phone, and while I am in wifi or a strong network location to download a bunch of tunes to the internal storage of my phone. The MOG app both on your desktop computer and on the Android app works really well, downloading the tunes in either a low-fi format to save space, or a higher quality compression if storage is not an issue for you.

Probably the most intriguing and interesting functionality that MOG offers deals with music discovery.  One of the things that I have always struggled with as an avid fan of music is trying to find new bands and genres that I would like.  Sometimes I want to get away from mainstream radio music and find some deep cuts from a little known band or artist.  MOG has thought through this issue, and presents their users with the music slider inside their app.

The slider is pretty straight forward when you see it, and is a bit of genius in my opinion.  You have the ability to listen to artist radio, streaming tunes from an individual artists catalog.  Now the cool thing with the slider is that you can decide to listen to music just from that artist, or you can tell the app via the slider to add artists that sound like or have something in common with the artist you named.  I absolutely adore this function.  I have found some great music using this way that I would not have found otherwise.

The other helpful feature to discover music is the social aspect built into MOG in the form of user play-lists.  MOG users can share their lists with the rest of the community, which you can download directly to your handset, or stream immediately.  This is also immensely enjoyable, since you get to hear things that others are recommending.

During my testing of the service, I used both the desktop web app and the Android app on my handset equally.  The Android app feels like a polished beta, really a release candidate with some bugs to iron out.   It has some low memory issues that log you out of the service, requiring you to kill the app and log back in, but this happens infrequently.  The app plays nicely with all the other games and apps that I use on my phone, which was a really nice touch.

The Android app comes with a couple of really neat features that are Android specific, in the form of a control widget, and a live wallpaper plug in.  The widget lists the song you are listening to, and allows you to pause and skip forward.  The live wallpaper plug in will take the album artwork of the artist you are listening to, and make it your wallpaper on the fly.  When you change albums, your live wallpaper changes.  I found this two things to be a really nice touch, and an indicator that the MOG development team really thought out how to bring this app to the Android platform.

The MOG service has two levels, $4.99 a month for basic service that allows you to use the web app on your home computer, and $9.99 that gives you access to the mobile apps in addition to the web app for home use.  At first reaction, $9.99 seems like a lot, but really, it is the cost of a single CD or digital download of an album.  There are arguments of course that you don’t own your music, but for me, this is really the future of how I am going to listen.  If I really like something that I have heard on MOG, I am going to go and buy the album, which I can do right from the UI within the app.

I strongly encourage you to give MOG a try.  They have a 3 day trial mode where you can use the service without limit.  Go give it a test run, try it out and tell us how you liked it.  If you missed last night’s Android Guys Thursday Night Podcast, we had Anu Kirk from MOG on.  Tune in to listen to what he had to say about the service and Android in general!  Go download MOG right now! Use the barcode below to scan with your handset.