Spotify’s mobile app shares the same simple look as the computer version. Browsing options include new releases, top tracks, and a news feed that incorporates Facebook posts from both you and any of your friends who also happen to be Spotify users. There’s a search function, and you can add tracks to playlists on the fly. But the big plus here is the app’s offline mode, which lets you move streamed tracks from Spotify’s library (up to a 3,333 maximum) to your portable for situations where a Wi-Fi or cellular connection isn’t available.
Like Spotify, MOG’s mobile app has a clean interface that’s easy to work with. You can browse playlists, check out new releases and editor’s picks, and it has a play queue showing a (potentially extensive) list of recently played albums/songs. (This feature is great in that it lets you backtrack later to hear any songs that caught your attention when listening in Radio mode.) Another feature MOG’s app shares with Spotify’s is the ability to download songs for offline playback, except here’s there’s no limit — you can download as many tracks as your device’s built-in memory can handle.
When it comes to obscure stuff, Spotify’s library is pretty impressive. It didn’t matter whether I was searching for U.K. noisemakers Skullflower, American post-punk weirdos Chrome, or hippie-era folksters The Incredible String Band (also from the U.K.) Spotify had me covered. Checking for less-obscure indie artists, I looked up two faves: The Chills and Tom Verlaine. Spotify had ‘em both, but its Verlaine selection proved more limited than MOG’s. The real shocker here, though, turned out to be Spotify’s limited classic rock offerings. Other than the post-Roger Waters live album Pulse (allmusic guide rating: two stars), my Pink Floyd search turned up no offerings. Bob Dylan? Forget it: Spotify only had one compilation in its catalog, and a crap one at that.
Like Spotify, MOG delivered on my requests for obscure stuff (Chrome, Skullflower, and The Incredible String Band were all strongly represented). Searches for indie/alternative artists (The Chills, Tom Verlaine, etc.) also showed MOG to be well stocked. But the key area where MOG had an edge on Spotify was its classic rock selection: when I typed “Pink Floyd” in the search window, the band’s complete works popped up, and the same thing held for Bob Dylan.
Al Griffin is the technical editor of Sound+Vision. When not testing TVs and other stuff, he can sometimes be found at his local multiplex.
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