You can never have enough music, right? Doesn’t it seem like your bank account’s been drained before your hunger for more tunes has been satisfied? Do you wish there were exciting new services that let you pay the price of, say, a CD per month, and gave you access to as much music as your ears could handle? Then this article’s for you.
To make sure this is a fair fight — and isn’t based solely on this writer’s opinions — we’ve chosen a couple of areas to compare and contrast Rdio and MOG. They are:
- User Interface
You might notice, price isn’t on the above list. That’s because it isn’t a point of contention between these two apps — they’re priced identically. Both have PC-only streaming options for $4.99/month and offer additional mobile streaming options for $9.99/month. The only real difference between the two, monetarily, is that Rdio has a 7-day trial period, whereas MOG offers a 14-day trial.
The quality of any content service’s selection is really going to be a matter of personal preference and opinion. It doesn’t matter how many tracks are at your disposal, if the one you want to listen to isn’t, then you won’t be happy with the service.
In the interest of numbers for number’s sake, MOG currently has 9 million tracks in its library, while Rdio has roughly 7 million. But again, I can’t tell you just because MOG has 2 million more tracks, you’re going use, need, or appreciate those missing tracks. They both offer trials, so that’s the perfect opportunity to test and see if what they offer is what you’re looking for.
Winner: MOG (because 9 million is a bigger number than 7 million)
Alright, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Features are what matter, right? What does Rdio or MOG let me do with my music that I can’t do already? For starters, both services are built on the foundation of unlimited access to music. They let you stream the music you’re going to listen to from their servers. There’s no downloading, it doesn’t take up space on your hard drive, and it’s 100% legal.
As part of your user profile on either service, you get the ability to save content that you listen to on a regular basis. MOG provides the ever familiar playlist. From its Player interface you can save the currently playing track, or the entire queue, to a playlist. For the former there’s a Save button at the top of the window, and for the latter there’s a button at the bottom.
While playlists are classic and familiar, they aren’t really exciting, are they? I mean, sure we want that functionality, but shouldn’t a new startup try something more original, more creative? Rdio has.
Rdio gives each of its users a “Collection” in which to store their music. On your Collection page is an interesting infographic/bubble view of all the artists you’ve saved in your collection. From this infographic you can get a birds-eye view of your listening habits.
You’re also presented with an option to play your Collection as an Rdio Station. This creates a custom shuffled queue of songs from what you’ve saved. You, of course, have the option to also play the artists from your Collection individually, creating Rdio Stations of their own. Oh, and there’s playlists too, you know, if that’s your kind of thing.
Downloading & Purchasing Music
Both Rdio and MOG give you the ability to save music — at least in a sense. Neither includes downloads with their subscription fees. Rdio does include download buttons throughout their app, but an additional price is always attached with it. If you choose to download an album or single through Rdio, you get a nice modal payment processing window.
MOG also includes a buy button in their menagerie of controls, but clicking on it simply kicks you to an Amazon MP3 page with a referral code embedded in the top. Personally I’m more a fan of Rdio’s all-inclusive style, but honestly, I’m really not all that inclined to drop more money on tunes if I’m paying a monthly subscription fee. But hey, that’s just me.
Rdio and MOG are both web 2.0 apps. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the definition for one of those is that social networking features are required. Both deliver, especially if you can talk some of your friends — at least the ones with good music taste — into signing up to your preferred service.
Rdio seems to take a more Twitter-esque approach, using the concept of followers to connect you with other users. You can then view the listening data of your newly created Network in different locations throughout the app.
MOG, while also utilizing the followers model, adds to it Facebook-like profiles. Each user has a profile page, showcasing their listening habits. You also have a feed area which looks strikingly similar to one’s Facebook wall. All in all, from a social standpoint, MOG seems to take it to the extreme. If you’re into that kind of thing, MOG is definitely the way to go.
Winner: Draw (While Rdio has superior cataloging and purchasing functionality, MOG’s social networking features put up a hard fight.)
This could be a potentially touching and opinion-based section. I’m going to state up front, if power and control are what you’re after, then MOG is the way to go. MOG presents a pop-up, widget-like window called the Player when you select a song from MOG.com. At this point, you can basically close MOG’s website, and go solo with the Player window.
You have complete control of the music experience, from playlists and MOG Radio to their Fast Search bar, whatever you want to listen to is only a couple clicks away.
Rdio is a little shinier. With rounded corners everywhere, and slick, subtly textured buttons, Rdio has a truly beautiful and contemporary style. I really like it. Sporting a two columned layout, Rdio.com gives you features and controls in the main view on the right, and playback of your music on the smaller, left side.
Rdio also offers an Adobe AIR app called Rdio Desktop that lets you take control of your current queue and have it displayed autonomously on your desktop.
From a user experience point of view, MOG gives you one relatively small window to control the entire app. But that creates a noisy and cluttered interface, one too preoccupied with what’s coming next, what else you could do, what else you could listen to. It takes away from the core feature of MOG — listening to music.
Rdio executes it’s design with a little more finesse. While it doesn’t offer the same self-contained UI as MOG, it gains strength from the principle of less is more. For me, it’s a more pleasurable experience. Coupled with the simplistic Rdio Desktop app, I’m able to use Rdio as a tool, a tool for listening to music, instead of being constantly distracted by what else I could do.
Whoops! Seems like we’ve come to a tie. Honestly folks, going into this, that wasn’t my intention. But, after using these apps, it kind of makes sense. These are two full featured music subscription services, both with fair pricing and large catalogs.
Rdio has a more polished and modern interface with a unique and interesting approach to organizing your collection, while MOG has a more powerful toolset for enjoying music and being all social about it. It comes down to you, dear reader. Which do you prefer? Which one fits into your musical lifestyle?