I love my music.
Now that I keep regular hours in an office, listening to music at my desk has become as necessary for my productivity as coffee and a computer. I also, however, have a ridiculously long commute every day (over an hour on the train there and back) and can’t afford to have my entertainment leave me when I turn off my computer.
Luckily, two new services have launched iPhone apps to go along with their streaming music services recently: Rdio, a startup affiliated with some Skype veterans, and Mog, an older service affiliated with music blogging. So let’s evaluate the two head-to-head…
Rdio clearly has a smaller music library. During their Beta, their music library of 1 million songs was dwarfed by Mog’s library of 8 million strong. Today, Rdio is catching up, but still has a ways to go toward getting all of the music I would like. Some notable absences from the Rdio catalog are Metric, The Libertines, and most of the Death from Above 1979 albums.
That said, Rdio still has most of the mainstream music I listen to, and some of the not-so-mainstream artists.
Winner: Mog (but Rdio, at 7 million songs, seems to be catching up quick).
Both services have easy searchability. The Mog player has a great option of divorcing itself from your web browser, allowing you to close the browser and keep listening. Any points Mog won through this feature, however, were quickly lost by the choppy and constantly stalled playback I experienced through the Mog player. It was a rare song that streamed through the Mog player without at least one pause for buffering (I tried the player on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome - no difference).
I experienced no lags with the Rdio player.
Winner: Rdio (being able to hear the music you choose without awkward pauses is paramount).
Both mobile apps have similar functionality and shortcomings. Searching on both is a little stilted. There is the occasional lag time before a song plays. I happen to like the interface on Rdio a little bit better, but that’s just personal preference.
Rdio boasts a social networking component that could prove to be pretty cool. That said, I don’t know too many people who have Rdio, so social networking is fairly moot for me until the subscriber base grows.
Mog has a radio option that allows you to listen to a Pandora-like stream based on an artist - which lets you vary how often the chosen artist’s songs play. I loved this option even though there were some pretty strange selections. Rdio’s radio option is pretty good too, but is not as customizable as Mog - you either mix in similar songs, or you don’t.
Winner: Mog (I suspect the social aspect will eventually push Rdio ahead - even at present, Mog only wilns by a hair).
At the end of my trial period with both services, I decided to subscribe to Rdio. I found that any of the nice features that Mog offers were very much outweighed by the regular player trouble I experienced.
Have opinions on the two services? Leave a comment and let me know.