It’s time to put music services up against each other! This time the contenders are MOG and Rhapsody. Can the newcomer beat out the industry vet, or will one the the first to market beat out the newbie…

Background

Rhapsody is one of the veterans in the music subscription service game, with MOG a relatively new act in the scheme of things. It’s been around since 2001 and offer users a very elaborate music experience filled with top charts, MP3 store and more. MOG was started in 2008 in Europe and founded by David Hyman, former SVP of marketing at MTV Interactive.

Compatible Devices

MOG is one of those music subscription services that are compatible with it all! So here’s the list: phones like Android devices and all iOS devices, GoGear by Phillips and Jambox, Android tablets, MC, PC and tablets like Toshiba, Motorola Xoom and the NOOK. There’s also Roku, Boxee Box and many of Sonos devices. What’s cool about MOG, though, is that a lot of cars are integrating it into their models, like Ford, MINI Cooper, BMW and more. And if you don’t have one of those compatible car models then you can listen to it on your car’s stereo via Bluetooth , a cassette adapter or Aux Jack.

Rhapsody is also available on loads of devices. Of course, there are the typical iOS ones, Android phones, Mac and PC computers,  and lots of home audio systems. Here are a few: Sonos, Logitech, Russound Collage System, Yamaha MusicCast2 and more. MP3 players include: SanDisk Sansa Clip, Fuze and Clip Zip, as well as Philips GoGear.

Winner: MOG’s  in-car compatible trumps Rhapsody!

Computer Application

MOG’s grey color scheme is a bit blah. To the left of the main home screen are Playlists, Favorites, Play Queue, Browse and more. The middle of the mage features music you might dig, editor’s picks, top charts, and inspired by friends tracks. The music player can be found at the top of the screen. It’s pretty clean in turns of design.  When searching for music, it’s cool that MOG offers playlists that include songs/artists you’re looking for, so you can easily learn about new music that’s similar to what you like. Another cool feature is the radio is sort of like Pandora and provides cool mixes of related artists and songs, or choose only songs from that one particular artist you feeling like hearing at the moment.

Like MOG’s computer app, Rhapsody’s is laid out clean and easy to you. Learning it is easy and take a matter of minutes after joining. It’s also brighter than MOG’s, with a white and blue color scheme. The main page has it all: genres are located at the top left (with more than 15 genres listed), the music player at your right and new releases at the top. Blog posts and music charts are at the bottom, while sharing your songs on Facebook is as easy as a connect link. The ad-free radio is cool, and you can pick a station via theme, artist or song. Its interface panels like Playlists, Artists, Album, Now Playing and more are resizable, with users in control of the metadata they see in their own library. If you like a track you can buy it straight from the site. Music discovery comes from radio stations, top music charts and new release listings.

Winner: Both are simple and clean in design, but Rhapsody’s brighter color scheme is a lot easier on the eyes.

Mobile Application

MOG’s mobile app is black with red buttons and stands our more than the computer interface. The main page is very simple and, too. Big Search and Browse options are located at the top, while below are the Charts, New Releases, Favorites and My Downloads. The app does provide a lot of lists and recommendations so you can easily find new music and listen to public playlists that features mixes with both songs and artists you searched for. Streaming and playback takes like 3 seconds over Wi-Fi and a bit longer with 3G. You might get annoyed when a track hangs while buffering. Also, you can choose if you want to listen to music in high or low quality (highest is 320kpbs and lowest is 128kbps). Downloading tracks is easy, just press download and you’re all good.

Rhapsody’s mobile app is as easy to use as the computer version. It’s pretty responsive and fast. Buttons included in the app are: Genres, Queue, New This Week, Rhapsody Radio, Charts, Settings and Listening History. At the bottom of the main screen are some smaller buttons that feature Search, Playlists, My Library and Downloads. A lot of stuff is actually packed into the Rhapsody’s mobile app, making it packed with loads of stuff that you’d find in the computer app.

Winner: Rhapsody’s mobile app is packed with more stuff and allows for a more imitative experience.

Sound Quality

Audiophiles will LOVE MOG because it streams at up to 320kbps all the time (CD quality non-stop!). Rhapsody’s sound quality is: 256kbps CBR MP3 for purchased tracks and 192kbps CBR MP3 for streaming to home audio devices. It’s 128kbps AAC when streamed via a PC and 64kbps ACC+ or 192kbps AAC for streamed or downloaded tracks to Android devices, while iOS ones are 64 kbps ACC+.

Winner: MOG’s 320kbps takes this one!

Social Capabilities

MOG incorporates Facebook and allows you to share what you’re listening to or what you like on your social networks, but Facebook is the one that it easily integrates with. You can easily connect to Rhapsody via your Facebook and it’s an integral part to your listening experience.

Winner: Tie

Catalogue

According to MOG, they have 15 million tracks, and have deals with the likes of Sony Music and Universal Music group. Oh, and music producer Rick Rubin is on their board of directors. Rhapsody is said to have more than 13 million titles in their music catalog. BUT they also teamed up with MTV Networks so members sometimes get music before it hits stores.

Winner: MOG

Membership Perks

MOG’s radio player is Pandora-esque, which is a highlight to many. They also offer the best streaming quality and their in-car compatibility is really cool, too! You can buy MP3s via Rhapsody’s MP3 Store and they’re DRM-Free AND can be used on other portable devices, unlimited computers and even burned to CDs.

Winner: Rhapsody

Limitations

MOG’s desktop doesn’t work with Flash version 11.3 and will ask you to downgrade to a previous version, which might bother some. MOG’s free version makes you work for points to continue to make it free. The Free Music Bar shows how much free music you have left and to earn more points, you have to refer the service to friends or explore MOG’s site. Too much work for being free, and it’s free radio is only for iOS users, not Androids allowed. Rhapsody charges more for being able to access one account on more than one device at a time and there’s no downloadable app for Macs yet; you just have to use it via the Internet on your Mac. There’s also no free version, just a free trial…MOG at least has one.

Winner: MOG since it at least has a free version.

Pricing

MOG’s pricing is placed in two tiers: $4.99 gets you Unlimited and that includes add-free listening on your computer only. $9.99 a month is what you pay for the Premium service and that gets you mobile app on top of computer streaming (only one device at a time). Rhapsody’s pricing is a lot different than MOG’s. For Premier it’s $9.99 a month for one mobile device, online streaming via the home site or Windows PC Client Software and unlimited home audio listening. For $14.99 a month, you get all the above BUT three mobile devices.

Winner: Tie since both are $9.99 for mobile and computer streaming.

Overall Winner

This was a close one! Meaning both are pretty good services to use, but if HAD to choose only one, MOG would be it! It’s easy to use, has a clean interface and a free version for those who want to test out the service, longer than 14 days. It also has a bigger music catalogue.



Kristie Bertucci

 
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.