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Spotify vs MOG

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

I gave Spotify Premium a try, and I really liked it. The interface is great, and I like that there's minimal delay between tracks.


However, I found out that most of Spotify's library is actually not in 320 kbps...they seem to have basically been screwing over their userbase. Also, I found out that tracks synced to cellphones aren't in 320 kbps either.


I decided to give MOG a shot. I don't like the interface as much, and there's a pretty substantial delay in between tracks. But, there's radio, and everything is in 320 kbps, and tracks downloaded to cellphones are also in 320 kbps. I'm listening to the Fleet Foxes debut on my Meelec AI-M6's right now, and the sound quality is superb. Further, a lot of albums that I found missing on Spotify are available on MOG. I also REALLY like the feature suggestions feature: http://feedback.mog.com/forums/50607-feature-suggestions


Thoughts? Anyone else give MOG or Spotify a shot? For non-US users, I guess it might seem silly to be discussing the merits of Spotify this late in the game. But, I never considered streaming before Spotify made it across the pond. Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player seem nice, but a lot of my music isn't as high quality as MOG streams (or as high quality as Spotify is supposed to be streaming)

Edited by quadomatic - 7/21/11 at 10:09pm
post #2 of 68

Not much to add here except to say that I'm in the middle of sorting this out tonight as well and would love to hear what others thought. I'm listening to Spotify tonight, but have also read some comparisons tonight that give the sound quality nod to Mog because it streams 320 at $4.95 while Spotify only does 320 at the "premium" $9.95 level. I've tried stumping both with weird artists and they both are surprisingly deep, although I did see a review that gave the depth-of-library nod to Mog mostly because Mog had the entire Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan catalogues and Spotify didn't. The reviewer claimed that Spotify had a hole in it's classic rock catalogue. 


I'm a little new to the quality pursuit - I just bought a Schiit Asgard, a DAC, and some Sennheiser HD598's so I'd like to know whether the difference between 160 and 320 kbps is as big as it would seem. 

post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 

I'm not entirely certain that I can tell the difference between MOG's 320 kbps and Spotify's ogg vorbis -q5 (160 kbps). I've never done a blind test, so I really can't say.


That being said, if only on principle, I believe that if I'm paying for a product, I better get what I'm paying for. MOG's library, at least for the US (at the moment), seems to be more thorough, at least for me. I'm finding album's on MOG that weren't available on Spotify (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Fleet Foxes's debut album, Radiohead's In Rainbows, Ra Ra Riot's The Rhumb Line). I haven't seen anything on Spotify that wasn't on MOG.


MOG's radio feature is pretty nice. Their feature request system seems really solid. They're going to start beta testing a desktop client soon, so that will be a substantial improvement on interface. You can trial MOG for 14 days for free. I would suggest giving it a trial. Even if you decide you don't care to pay $10 for premium on Spotify (if you don't care about bitrate or playing on a smartphone), you should still compare for the $5 price-point. I was enthralled with Spotify when it came out, but MOG is pretty solid.


I like how MOG has an "Editor's Picks" browsing category. The current web interface has browsing by genre and browsing for new releases. They're working on implementing the same browsing into their new Chrome player (which is really slick btw). If they release a downloadable desktop client, then MOG wins out for me completely. The delay between tracks is slightly worse in MOG, but I'm guessing a downloadable player would probably implement some kind of caching system to reduce such problems. MOG undeniably has a better system for browsing music. An equalizer has also been mentioned as a possible feature for the downloadable client. I suppose Spotify's client has an offline mode feature...but the advantage of that is limited if you have a solid, consistent internet connection. Both offer downloads for cellphones, and downloads for MOG are actually in 320 kbps (however, with the background noise likely in places where you would listen to music off of your phone, the improved bitrate may not really be appreciated).


Spotify does have a lot in the way of extra features though. Spotify Social connects with Facebook and makes it really easy to share stuff with your friends. More people use Spotify, so social features are inherently better on Spotify. Spotibot can generate playlists for Spotify based on recommendations that Last.FM makes. Websites like Pitchify.com track new releases and reviews and provide links to open the album in Spotify (but this isn't terribly useful for people in the US when a lot of the albums aren't available here). Spotify search plugins in Chrome allow you to highlight artist names in your browser, click a button, and automatically search Spotify's catalog (sweet feature to have while browsing releases on Wikipedia or Metacritic). ShareMyPlaylists.com has loads of playlists for Spotify.


So...yeah...try both and see which you like better.


UPDATE: I did a blind test on mp3ornot.com...apparently I can tell the difference between 320k and 128k...or at least there was only a 12.5% chance that I would've succeeded 3 times in a row. (3 times in a row on mp3ornot.com, then again on some other page, so 4 times in a row...~6% chance) I highly doubt that I would've been able to tell the difference on my Logitech X-240 speakers that I use on my desktop, but the difference is decently apparent on my Meelectronics AI-M6s. Of course, that's 128k CBR vs 320k CBR, not Ogg Vorbis -q5 vs q9, which are both VBR.

Edited by quadomatic - 7/22/11 at 12:27am
post #4 of 68

I recently signed up for MOG and have been enjoying it.  What I like are the album and artists selections, 320kbps, and the radio.  The interface, for me, leaves some to be desired, but it's a good streaming service at a very good price.

post #5 of 68

I've been considering the whole Spotify versus Mog debate for the last few weeks. I was a Mog subscriber for about two years, up until two weeks ago when Spotify launched in the US. I'd heard quite a few good things about Spotify from European users so I made the leap and went straight for the Spotify Premium subscription. Overall, I've been pretty satisfied. I prefer Spotify's software and interface to Mog's by quite a bit, I like the mobile app more (I had quite a bit of trouble with long buffer times or tracks not playing at all with Mog's Android app), Spotify's social features are nice, and Spotify's classical and jazz library is deeper (your mileage may vary based on your musical tastes).


That being said, the audio quality is of definite concern. I noticed pretty quickly that some tracks seem to have quality issues. Turns out, only somewhere between 30% and 50% of Spotify's library appears to be available as 320 kbps Ogg Vorbis. In contrast, Mog has their entire library available in 320 kbps mp3. To be honest, I can't hear the difference between 160 and 320 on some tracks but there are definitely some that I can. Spotify says they are rectifying this issue and will have their entire library available at 320 kbps but have apparently been saying that since 2009.


So, as far as I'm concerned, there's definitely a trade off. For me, Spotify has a deeper library, better software, and better social integration but Mog provides higher audio quality for some tracks. As it stands, I'm still trying to decide if I want to stick with Spotify Premium or switch back to Mog.

post #6 of 68

I've decided to go with Mog because I can get 320 kbps at $4.95 a month where I'd have to sign up for the premium $9.95 a month to get the same from Spotify. I guess I'm old, but I could care less about the social stuff Spotify offers, but I will say that I sort of prefer Spotify's interface. Spotify is getting a lot of attention and it is sort of shiny and new, but the sound quality trumps all for me.

post #7 of 68

I have both right now and am trying to decide which I prefer. It's a bit difficult due to the fact that they each have strengths I wish the other offered. Right now I'm leaning towards Mog, though. I was iffy about the web interface at first, but I've really come to love being able to change tabs within the browser, rather than having to switch programs. That may seem like a small issue, but it's a big deal for me (not to mention the linux spotify app is extremely buggy). Also, Mog gets a slight edge with the better browsing options. Mog apparently has more songs in 320 (supposedly all of them) than Spotify. That being said, I somehow seem to get a "cleaner" sound from Spotify. What I mean by that is that I tend to hear something like digital artifacts or interference relatively often when listening to Mog (little clicks). I'm guessing this might have something to do with being a web app, but I have no clue (could also be mp3 vs ogg). The Mog radio feature is also pretty cool for when you don't have a set playlist in mind.


My opinions on the mobile apps are somewhat reversed, though. I tend to get A LOT more errors on Mog's mobile app. Lots of freezing, stalling, long load times, authentication errors, force closes, etc. Spotify, on the other hand, just works and I rarely, if ever, have any problems with it. I'll click a song and it starts playing pretty much immediately. Mog sits there and shows me the loading circle FOREVER before starting anything (if it does). The draw of Mog for mobile, though, is that it gives you the option to stream high quality on wifi or 4g. When it works, that is... I guess I would probably prefer Mog across the board if it would just WORK.


Oh, I almost forgot to mention that there's a very audible loading sound on Mog mobile when tracks are buffering. It's really annoying during quiet passages (such as the beginnings of a lot of songs when most of the loading actually happens...)  

Edited by logicalform - 8/1/11 at 3:31pm
post #8 of 68

I wish I had the choice frown.gif

post #9 of 68
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post

I wish I had the choice frown.gif

Well, being in the Netherlands, you have other "choices" that many Americans wish they had...  wink.gif


post #10 of 68

Logicalform, I had a similar experience with MOG having long load/buffer times, and I quickly gave up. Spotify 'just works'. MOG may be better in theory or ideal form, but Spotify rules in our corporeal world.

post #11 of 68
Originally Posted by ChiComm4 View Post

Logicalform, I had a similar experience with MOG having long load/buffer times, and I quickly gave up. Spotify 'just works'. MOG may be better in theory or ideal form, but Spotify rules in our corporeal world.

Yeah. I'm just hoping Mog can get its act together because I really like it otherwise. 

post #12 of 68

I've also had the same problems with Mog's Android app. Frustrations with the mobile app were my main impetus for trying other services.


It's also worth noting that Spotify appears to have been converting their library to -q9 Ogg Vorbis much more aggressively in the last several weeks; a great many tracks that I had previously been finding in lower quality are now -q9.

post #13 of 68


Originally Posted by logicalform View Post

Well, being in the Netherlands, you have other "choices" that many Americans wish they had...  wink.gif


Say's the guy that can get netflix and everything(except sennheiser) cheaper than us :)


Anyways, i prefer spotify because its just so much faster, though I really am missing some of the songs and the fact that not everything is in 320 is bad 

post #14 of 68

I prefer MusicShark because its the only service which works in this country. No Spotify, no pandora, no MOG, no Netflix... It's ridiculous that our government is going to extreme lengths to prevent us from pirating material and not giving us a legal alternative.


But yeah. MusicShark seems to work well for me, although obviously it doesn't replace physical media. The quality isn't quite up to scratch

post #15 of 68

I'm from Canada so I was using the only legal service available here - RDIO. However, MOG did allow me to enter their trial all of a sudden this week. I decided to compare sound quality. While I thought I can hear the difference initially, between MOG and RDIO it was not very easy as both had quite a few artifacts in several tracks from Michael Jackson and Jean Michel Jarre. So I did a three way test - unfortunately not truly scientitfic: MOG, RDIO and my own encodes with LAME (-V2) and AAC True VBR (~200kbps). In all cases I came to a solid conclusion that my own rips sound much cleaner. This puts into doubt the whole 320Kbps claim. I can definitely tell the difference between RDIO quality and my own rips and to a lesser extent MOG, but MOG is not as transparent as I would have expected from 320kbps MP3.

I performed listening test with Sennheiser HD-497 and Denon AH-D2000 via output of my MacBook Pro (no amp yet, still researching what to get).

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