Rdio vs. MOG: All-You-Can-Eat Music Buffet

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.

Today we’ve put together a battle royale between two of the newest contenders in the unlimited streaming music space. Rdio vs. MOG. Let’s see how these two new kids stack up. Let the battle begin!

The Criteria

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:

  • Selection
  • Features
  • 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.

Rdio Pricing

Rdio Pricing

Selection

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)

Features

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.

Saving Music

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.

MOG Player Saving Song/Saving Queue

MOG Player Saving Song/Saving Queue

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.

Rdio Collection View/Playlists View

Rdio Collection View/Playlists View

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 Purchase Window vs. MOG's Amazon page

Rdio Purchase Window vs. MOG's Amazon page

Social Networking

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.)

User Interface

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.

MOG Player

MOG Player

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.

Rdio Main UI/Rdio Desktop

Rdio Main UI/Rdio 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.

Winner: Rdio

The Verdict

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?

Both Rdio and MOG have free trials. Go out, give them a try, and enjoy some music.


  • http://www.fusemedia.ca Nick

    MOG = Fail

    You forgot licensing restrictions. Rdio.com is available in Canada, MOG.com is not. For that alone, MOG looses. Rdio FTW.

    • http://zachlebar.com Zach LeBar

      Thanks for bringing that up. My apologies for forgetting to take a more global look at things.

  • Ashraf Ali

    Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Grooveshark? Free subscription plus a cheap subscription option and cheaper mobile option than both of those combined along with a fantastic, simple, iTunes-like interface.

    Seriously, http://grooveshark.com.

    You won’t regret it.

    • http://Web.AppStorm.net Jarel Remick
    • http://zachlebar.com Zach LeBar

      Grooveshark is one of my go to online music options. Big fan. Rdio and MOG are just new. Always good to look at services that are already established.

    • http://www.casabona.org Joe Casabona

      I like that Grooveshark is free and really nice to use, but it’s really unorganized since everything is user submitted (as far as I know).

    • Michael

      I tried Grooveshark for a little over a year. Then one day I was told I breached their copyright rules and my account was frozen. So, there you have it. They never told me what song was the violation, they never gave me a chance to correct the situation. They just shut me down and told me to never come back.

  • http://www.sstechblog.com Andrew

    This is what I’m always confused on. Why would you use one of these when you could instead use something like Grooveshark that’s totally free for streaming music. And legal. And has no licensing restrictions I’ve come across. Are these available in Australia, licenses wise

  • Brian

    I don’t think most serious music listeners would consider Grooveshark. Yes, it is a free, but thats about the only advantage. If you want the iPhone app, you have to jail break it considering Apple officially denied the Grooveshark app. It’s just an online streaming version of Limewire if you ask me. All of the music on Grooveshark is uploaded by users, the album track lists are often times incorrect because they are done by users, and there a multiple copies of the same songs since they are uploaded by users. The sound quality of each song can vary and is not consistent because it depends on the quality of the song that the user decided to upload. In other words, Grooveshark is just messy. You can’t compare an online version of Limewire to professional music services like MOG and Rdio whom get all of there music directly from the record companies, who provide consistent high quality audio that is direct from the source, and who provide correct information in regard to album track listings, artist information, etc. I’m not saying Grooveshark is bad, but it just doesn’t compare with these other services that provide official copies of the actual music.

    • Molly

      I agree in everything you said. Great argument against Grooveshark.

  • ilz

    A huge drawback is license disputes. A song may be available one day, and in another it is gone. when you buy it, it is yours! I have a awesome CD from a band, but they had to change their name and now that CD is unavailable to buy let alone buying it digital.

    groove shark sucks unless you put a lot of work into building your playlists. Because it is user uploaded, there is duplicates of songs and some are edited. You can’t listen to a full album or an one artist music unless you want duplicates. You have to manually create a playlist to avoid that. I tried their premium, but their andriod app was major buggy. Grooveshark also isn’t legal. illegal music is being uploaded by users. Grooveshark is allowing that and they fully know what they are doing since that is what their website is for. One day those playlist will mean nothing when they are forced to put everything to 30 seconds. I bet their are building a case against them right now. It will just take 2 years or more to have it all together.

  • witjka

    not bad, this here too ok http://www.online-radioportal.de many stream radios online.

  • Alan Baer

    You missed one thing in MOG’s favor: they have really high quality (320 kbps) streams, as long as your bandwidth is sufficient. Even the Mobile app is high quality. Also, while you’re right that the difference between 7 million and 9 million tunes is usually hard to distinguish, it makes more difference if you stray into less popular genres. For example, MOG has a much better classical catalog. I do wish they’d modernize the UI a bit, though.

    • Dan-O

      320 kbps is HUGE! if a music service sounds ass who cares how nice the interface is, etc. I use mog cause it sounds the best – assuming selection is a non issue, which it is not for me, for the most part, then mog is the clear winner. That said, Sony’s music doesn’t stream at 320, or at least that is what I have been told. This would be consistent with sony’s treatment of their customers via other sites, such as zune (zune sells mp3s @ 320, with the exception of sony’s, which are at sold @ 256 kbps.) Please let sony know what you think of this treatment – I have and I don’t intent to give them another penny of my money until they ramp up to industry standards. selling lesser quality tracks and charging the same is a clear slap in your face!

  • crankin

    I prefer Mog. Their Google Chrome app is incredibly fast and the interface is amazing!

    mog.com/chrome

    • Molly

      It is good but needs a random/mix button and more artist info/suggestions.

    • Droymac

      I can’t stand MOG’s website interface, and while the Chrome is much better, it’s still pretty ugly. For some reason it bothers me enough to have switched to Rdio.

  • illz

    I want to add one more thing. What sucks about rdio and MOG is that some songs disappear probably due to license issue. It’s one thing when songs aren’t available to play to begin with, but another when it disappears. It feels like I paid for getting songs taken away.

    • Dan-O

      Agreed! But that is a label call. Missing tracks, missing albums, pulled albums, etc are all label calls. Hate the game not the player…

      • illz

        Rdio: Another thing I noticed is if you put a single in your collection and 1 month later the album gets released, the single is put on not active because it’s in the album now.

        I can just add the new one to my collection, but then this leaves a 30 second song (because it’s not active) in my collection. Just some manually work I have to do. It’s fine right now, but down the line I might get a messy collection.

  • Josh C

    Collaboration Playlists?

  • Mooj

    One thing that was not mentioned is mobile playability. Both services are available on android and ios, but only rdio is available on Blackberry. While this is not a big deal for everyone, it is for me. Obviously I use both on my roku and computer and on the rare occasion that I use my Android phone, that too. However, my primary phone is a blackberry and contrary to promises from Mog to develop an app for Blackberry, I am still yet to see one.

    However, I have noticed Mog’s music selection to be slightly better catered towards my unique taste of music, but Blackberry playability could be a make it or break it kind of deal. Right now I am subscribed to Mog and in my free trial for Rdio and trying to decide between the two.

  • Pingback: Why do MOG and Rdio Hate Music Genres? « Hyperbolium

  • 66xG

    MOD subscriber here-music nirvana is all about the audio quality[320kbsp]! Wish MOG offers lossless…

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