As developers, designers, and makers, we all come to rely on music during our daily activities to keep us focused. Beyond listening to music at work, I will have music going on my daily commute, when I'm jogging, or just in general when I'm around the house.
When I joined the team here at Isotope11, I was still purchasing a good deal of music, and was a bit apprehensive about the all you can eat music services.
.. I went with the masses and signed up for Spotify.
Overall, I have been happy with the selection, but always felt it was a bit lacking in the stability of the OSX app (yes, I'm a happy Macbook Pro with retina owner). I also realized I was missing out on higher quality sources of music (I used to get everything as FLAC or ALAC). Spotify's high quality streaming option was a definite step in the right direction.
Well, after having decided to get some better headphones again, (better than my Yuin PK3 earbuds and better than my LG TONE bluetooth headphones), i realized that i'd be hampered by the source. As mentioned, Spotify DOES offer "high quality streaming", but not all of their catalog is sourced at 320kbit or even 256kbit (they up convert what isn't when you have the high quality streaming turned on).
i was going to try Rdio, but searching for certain tracks that exist on Spotify, they came up missing on Rdio, so i passed (sorry, Brandon, I tried!). Oh, and I couldn't find any definitive information about the quality of their streams.
Then i remembered Mog.
Now, I'll be honest, with Beats Audio buying Mog, it left me a bit concerned. The fact that Trent Reznor has a stake in Mog/Beats, for me, is the redeeming factor. Let's hope his discerning attitude towards music, music services, and technology in general, helps to drive the service in the right direction.
With that out of the way.. WHOA.. Mog sounds fantastic (yes, everything is sourced at 320kbit from the start).
Their catalog is vast, and easily keeps up with everything I had on Spotify (and then some).
They have mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as desktop apps for Windows and OSX (nothing for Linux folk yet). On top of that, they have a full-featured HTML5 web app.
My music tastes range from Christian-centric hip-hop like Lecrae, Propoganda, Derek Minor, Thisl, Tedashii, Json, and Andy Mineo, to Christian-centric hard rock/metal like Demon Hunter, As I Lay Dying, Haste the Day, Underoath, Project 86, Oh, Sleeper, In Fear and Faith, and War of Ages all the way to triphop/downtempo like Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation, Zero7, Portisthead, Morcheeba, Peace Orchestra, The New Law, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Tosca.
Let's just say Mog easily hit all of the albums I'd expect them to have for each of those artists AND MORE (some obscure live albums and imports were also present). Spotify missed the mark on having Thievery Corporation's classic, Mirror Conspiracy, while Mog had it in full and glorious 320kbit (can't wait until we have bandwidth to stream full lossless sources).
Anyway, all of the services obviously have their positives and negatives. For now, I'm pretty convinced I'll drop Spotify and move forward with a long and fruitful aural relationship with Mog.