REVIEW: Forget Spotify, MOG is the future of Music

Disclaimer: The Couch Sessions is a part of the MOG Music Network

MOG All Access can be found at MOG.com.

Music in the Cloud. If you’ve frequented music business websites like I have you might have heard of the that term being the “next big thing” in music. A revolution that will have a greater impact than iTunes and Napster combined. But is it true?

In a word? Yes.

Music in the cloud means that you don’t have to purchase music ever again. Instead of physical downloads, you stream your music collection over the internet, either via your computer or your mobile device, while the physical files lie in the could, a geek term to refer to a central server instead of your hard drive.

UK’s Spotify has been heralded as the next big thing. WIth that service you can stream music either free (ad-supported) or upgrade to the premium service that will allow you offline access to your music as well as higher bitrates (quality) files.

But alas, Spotify is Europe only, with no immediate intentions of coming to the US. So what is a music lover to do?

Fortunately for us Stateside, there is MOG All Access, which is cementing itself as a viable alternative in the streaming genre. Launched earlier this year, and backed by all four major music labels (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, the Warner Music Group and EMI Music) the service is no doubt a viable alternative to Spotify in the United States.

The heart of MOG is the web interface, which allows desktop streaming. What’s more interesting is the fact that you can add several albums into your queue for continuous playback as well as shuffle songs, save and load playlist in addition to social functionality via Facebook and Twitter.

The “the killer app” functionality of MOG lies within the mobile client however. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android, the mobile client allows for streaming on the go as well as the ability to download tracks to your mobile device for use offline. The latter might be one of the more interesting things about the service as you have unlimited album downloads of some of the top names in the music industry, just like Spotify.

The downside to the downloads however is that they are not synced to your iTunes account and can only be played through the Mog player, and the tracks are stuck on your mobile device until you delete them. Not a bad thing, however, as you can always re-download these tracks again.

I didn’t get a chance to play with the social components as much as I would like, but I do like the fact that you can preview similar artists right within the queue as well as skip tracks backwards and forwards, unlike Pandora. However, there is no way to skip through a track, event ones that are downloaded on your device, which is a major fail in my book.

Also, since I have an iPod Touch over wi-fi, I wasn’t able to test MOG over a 3G Connection. However, I’ve not had a problem running Pandora over the Blackberry without an interrupted connection for a 2 hour trip, I forsee MOG being similar.

But what really makes the service shine is its content. With the backing of all four labels you get chart toppers like Lady Gaga and Eminem all the way down to Curren$y and Slum Village. In addition you get classic albums such as A Tribe Called Quest and Nirvana. Not a bad look.

I know this might be fanboyism, but I’m really impressed by what MOG has been able to accomplish here. The fledgling music service not only has been able to get the blessing from all four major labels but also has been able to create a cloud-based music service that brings together the best of Pandora, Spotify, and yes, even iTunes.

For $9.99 the price is not a bad look and when you think about all of the money that you’re saving on music, and the fact that you can download it to your mobile device is definately a game changer.

So, will this shift our thinking about music in the future? Quite possibly. However, with physical copies already sliding, I doubt that the industry will support this model in the future. But until then, I can free up space on my CD shelf in the meantime.