There was a time when I was totally against the idea of streaming music services. I was stuck in the old ways of thinking I must own all of my media and had a large collection. Due to a hard drive issue, I decided to give MOG a try and never looked back. Having a much larger library of music at my disposal than I could ever collect which is available on all of my devices anytime has been awesome. While there can be a separate discussion/debate on which service is the best, this post will simply focus on the recent release of the MOG iPad player. Prior to this app, I used MOG on my iPad through the iPhone version at 2x zoom. While it did play the music, it in no way was the type of user experience expected from a native iPad app. Let’s take a look at MOG for iPad.
MOG’s new iPad app is built from scratch for the most amazing music experience yet, with:
★ Unlimited downloads to your iPad.
★ Instant access to all the music you’ll ever want – find your favorites with blazingly fast searches, and discover millions more with features like comprehensive Similar Artists and in-depth artist/album info.
★ Recommended music tailored to your tastes.
★ Highest quality audio on the web: 320 kbps — better than any other music service.
★ Revolutionary radio: Truly personalized, with simple and amazing ways to discover new music, like artist-only radio, exclusive to MOG.
★ Elegant, intuitive interface with fluid adjustment between portrait & landscape modes.
★ Full-screen high-resolution album artwork.
★ Instant sync between web and mobile.
★ Built-in Airplay support.
★ Playlists created by your favorite artists, and tons more!
MOG users have been anxiously awaiting the native iPad player for months. I always play my music through my iPad when outside through a speaker system by my deck so the announcement of an iPad app was great news. Current MOG users will recognize the interface from the desktop and web versions. Music controls are found along the top of the screen at all times unless in full-screen album art view. Volume and track controls are located on the left, what’s playing information in the center and playback, random and radio options to the right. Most of the app controls are located on the left side of the main screen in the form of tabs making browsing quick and simple. The search bar above the tabs allows a choice between Artist, Album, Song and Playlist inquiries. I am especially excited that they included the option to search playlists and the ability to favorite them. This is a fun and quick way to find new music in certain genres or themes.
The tabs on the left are pretty self explanatory. Tapping on the queue tab brings up all of the music currently loaded and ready to play whether from a playlist or manually loaded by the user. It is simple to reorder, share tracks as well as go to the full album of any track. Tapping edit allows the entire list to be cleared as well as individual songs. The Just For You tab located below the Queue is currently not showing any results for me. I already had an account prior to the MOG partnership with Facebook that did not match my Facebook login. I am assuming I must be signed in through Facebook to get the Just For You recommendations since that is how it works on the desktop player. Basically, music and artists your FB friends frequently listen to are matched for you to discover. It is a nice social feature, but can use some development.
The Browse tab is the best place to find new artists and songs. At the top of the window are secondary tabs for New, Charts, Editor’s Picks and Playlists. New music is always added to MOG on Tuesdays and many of the highlighted albums are found in the new tab. The Charts tab provides a choice of Top Songs, Top Albums and Top Artists. Since I am not a teenager and hate pop music, there is usually nothing here that interests me. Oh how I wish for genre searches and charts!! Editor’s picks provides a huge range of music chosen by the MOG staff. It is always worth a look since you never know what you might find. The Playlists tab provides 10 playlists of varying styles. I was happy to see this tab, but not sure how the playlists are chosen or how often they refresh. This will take more time to get a good understanding. While you cannot save playlists you find to your own, you can favorite them and pull them up anytime on the next tab. My Favorites is a collection of artists, songs, albums and playlist you have favorited while using the service. I am finding this to be the easiest method to bookmarking items that will most likely be listened to over WiFi and not downloaded.
My Playlists is the collection of all created on the service. One drawback to the app is no ability to create or add to playlists while using this version. That is not to say that the feature will not be added, but it is disappointing to still have to rely on the desktop and web players to create and add to my playlists. I was hoping for a complete independent version of MOG. This tab also allows playlists to be downloaded, shared and songs rearranged. The final tab is for settings. There is the ability to turn on High Quality Streaming and downloads which I have done since my iPad is Wifi only. The number of songs downloaded along with memory used is also shown and can be deleted with a single tap. This can speed up a change of music stored on the device. When listening to music that is stored locally, MOG can be switched to offline. This will only allow the My Downloads and Queue tabs to be available. I will use this feature when away from a network.
MOG for iPad stays true to the usual MOG experience while providing a beautiful and intuitive experience. The desktop and web versions of MOG are nice, but I now realize they are best used as a touch interface. Similar services have not provided an iPad version of their players and I can clearly say they have a high bar to achieve. Most of my few complaints are not necessarily due to this app, but to the service itself. If the developers find a way to add songs to as well as new playlists, this app could be the best way to experience the MOG service. Since the release, I have only used my iPad for music while at home. The app is free and will require a subscription. Check it out.
What I like: Gorgeous and intuitive UI makes this app a must have for MOG users.
What can be improved: Please add the ability to add and create new playlists!