It’s time to put up MOG against another music subscription service. This time, it’s Rdio’s turn to see how it measures up to MOG’s services. With so many music subscription services out there now, here’s some info on how to decide if you should buy MOG’s services or opt for Rdio instead.

Background

MOG allows you to search for music you love and discover new tunes and is pretty much like any other music streaming service out there. Rdio jumped on the scene in 2012 and was founded by Skype’s founder. Like all the others, it offers paid membership services for ad-free music that incorporates your current library and allows you to check out new tunes you don’t have.

Compatible Devices

MOG works with all iOS devices, including having its own iPad app, a slew of Android devices and tablets like the BOOK, XOOM and more, and a few other wireless-connected gadgets, such as Jambox and Phillips’ GoGear. The Roku, Boxee Box and some Sonos devices are also compatible. It works on Mac and PC computers and a huge plus is it’s actually being implemented into many cars. Models like BMW, MINI Cooper, FORD and some select JV multimedia in-car navigations devices have integrated the MOG music service into their systems. But you can also listen to it on any car stereo by using Bluetooth, an Aux Jack or a Cassette Adapter.

Rdio works with Mac computer, PCs, iPhones, iPods, Android phones, Windows 7 phone, Blackberry phones and a variety of living room devices like Sonos devices, Roku devices, iPad and Wireless Speakers.

Winner: MOG has more compatible devices than Rdio

Computer Application

MOG’s design scheme is grey with all musical tabs on the left like Playlists, Favorites, Play Queue, Brose and more. The middle of the screen shows music you might be interested in, such as Editor’s picks, top charts and Inspired by Friends tracks. The music player is actually on the top of the home screen and all of its fonts are quite big, so you can easily read each tab to see what you’re doing. The space is pretty neat and organized with not much clutter to confuse you when you first start using MOG. Searching music is quite easy, as users can do it under Artists, Albums, Tracks and Playlists. The Playlist option is pretty cool since you can see the song/artist you want, plus find some other new favorites that are also included in various playlists.

One thing about MOG is it doesn’t mix your own music library with their content so you don’t get any duplicates of songs (but it also doesn’t provide you with alternatives if they don’t have it). The radio function is another option to listen to music and has a slider bar where users can easily choose anything from Pandora-like mixes of related artists and songs or choose to only have all songs on the radio by that one particular artist you’re asking for.

Rdio’s color scheme is white and blue and every easy on the eyes. Signing up for the free service allows you to check out the service before committing to its monthly membership. The homepage is really straightforward and easy to navigate the first time you log on. You can see all the artists that are new or currently being listened to the most, choose to follow friends also on Rdio and more. You can also choose to import your own music from iTunes or Windows media so that your collection is mixed with theirs, unlike MOG. And it doesn’t scan music that doesn’t already have in its music library due to licensing issues. You can see your music on the left hand side under the Your Music tab that includes Collection, History and Queue. Creating new Playlists is easy with the button right under the Your Music tab. The music player is white and at the bottom of the screen. It shows up at the bottom on every new page you navigate.

Browsing music is done do in a variety of ways, such as the album grid, searching in the Rdio collection, sorting through a chart of frequently listened to artists or song list. Finding new music is great when using the Browse Music button, which shows new releases and what’s popular in the service at the moment. Another plus is that it can provide you recommendations based on what’s in your collection already.

Both MOG and Rdio offer free trials for those who would like to test drive each of the services before committing to a subscription service, as well as offer a free desktop version with limitations.

Winner: Rdio allows you to bring your own music collection with you by matching it with your library and is pretty straight forward in terms of being very user friendly

Mobile Application

The mobile app for MOG is black with bright red buttons that contrast the dark scheme. The app opens to a very minimalist screen with big Search and Browse options at the top. Charts, New Releases, Favorites, and My Downloads are below that. It does feature a lot of lists and recommendations so you can find new tunes, especially the public playlists that are mixes with artists/songs you search for. Some negatives of MOG’s app is that streaming and playback can take a while, like 3 seconds over Wi-Fi and a bit more with 3G. Some might also find annoying that MOG’s app sometimes buffers tracks too much and obviously ruins your musical mood. With MOG’s app, users can choose to stream in a higher high or low quality, with the highest being 320kbps, and lowest 128kbps. Users can also download tracks by merely pressing downloads instead of it being buried somewhere in the app.

Rdio’s mobile app mimics its computer app in its easy-to-navigate ways. The app pre-loads tracks in your queue for uninterrupted playback, and provides the ability to load music right into your phone so you can listen to when in offline mode. What’s cool about the app is that is has a +Button that the computer app has, too, which lets you add things to your local storage via 3G or Wi-Fi (and with 3G or Wi-Fi, you can access Rdio’s entire musical catalog). Another cool feature is that the app changes colors when you’re using it in offline mode so you always know when you’re online and off.

Winner: Rdio’s mobile app is practically the same as its computer one, making it easy to use

Sound Quality

MOG is actually great for those who really care about the way they listen to their favorite tracks and is an audiophile’s dream streaming service. It offers streaming at up to 320kbps all the time. Rdio streams at 256kbp over Wi-Fi in its computer, browser and mobile app, but 3G seems to stream at a lower rate, which users have often complained about.

Winner: MOG provides CD quality streaming

Social Capabilities

With MOG, you can get social via Facebook, as well as share what you’re listening to on other social networks. Rdio allows you to follow people in order to find more music. You can follow friends, tastemakers, critics and even the artists themselves.  Rdio also easily posts links to sites like Twitter or Facebook to show what you’re listening to and you can even scrobble your plays to Last.fm or embed their music player on your blog.

Winner: Rdio goes one step further with social sharing with scrobble to Last.fm and allowing you to embed to your blog

Catalogue

Both have deals with the major record labels and distributors so they get most of the big releases and most up-to-date songs. MOG says they more than have 16 million songs, with deals from the likes of Sony Music and Universal Music Group (also it helps a bit that famed music producer Rick Rubin is a member of MOG’s board of directors). Rdio has 18 million jams and counting (so their site says).

Winner: Rdio’s 18 million trumps MOG’s 16 million

Membership Perks

MOG’s radio player is really cool since it’s pretty similar to Pandora’s and has some pretty robust stations. Streaming quality really good with MOG and the in-car integration is also an awesome feature for those who in the market for new cars. Rdio allows you to play music you don’t already have, as well as has cool features like music that’s hot right now, top charts, review recommendations and more.

Winner: Tie

Limitations

The desktop app for MOG doesn’t work with Flash Version 11.3 and recommends you downgrade to a previous version until Adobe releases an update to fix the problems with audio playback, so that might bother some. MOG’s free version is also weird and annoying since it has this Free Music Bar that shows how much free music you have left. To earn more free music, you have to keep doing random tasks like referring friends or exploring MOG and its site, so the more you explore, the more free music you earn. Too much work if you ask us.

Rdio doesn’t have any podcasts and songs can take a while to start streaming. Songs are also erased that you download to your mobile device if you cancel the service. Also, you might not find a lot of older jams on here.

Winner: Tie, both have their drawbacks

Pricing

MOG has two pricing plans $4.99/month for Unlimited, which includes add-free listening on your computer only and then there’s a $9.99/month for their Premium service, which includes ad-free listening, mobile app accessibility on one device at a time. Rdio has three pricing plans: $4.99/month for unlimited web streaming with no adds. If you want to add access to its mobile app, then it’s $9.99/month. For those who want more than one subscription, it’s going to be $17.99/month for 2 unlimited subscriptions (three for $22.99).

Winner: Rdio allows you to add on more users to your account.

Overall Winner

It seems Rdio triumphs here. It’s easy-to-navigate computer and mobile apps, clean layout and pretty straight forward, no fuss service seems to take out MOG. But if your’e looking for audiophile-like streaming, MOG is going to be your best choice.

 










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.