A key feature of Spotify is its Facebook/Twitter integration: with this enabled, you can easily share songs, albums, and playlists with any friends/followers who also happen to be Spotify users. You can also share playlists, etc. directly with other members, though I wasn’t able to try this out since I’m the only one I know of who’s hooked up with Spotify. Unlike MOG, Spotify doesn’t let you search the playlists of other users — access to these is invite-only.
MOG also lets you easily indulge impulses to share songs, etc. directly on Facebook, and the same thing can be done on Twitter. But plenty of other social stuff also occurs within MOG’s cozy walled confines. You can search other member’s playlists, browse their profiles, which include photos and listening history, and also “follow” members, with any new playlists/posts they add turning up in your “feed.” In some ways it’s like Facebook itself, except in this case completely focused on music.
Spotify is off to a good running start with its external hardware support. So far, it can be found on the Sonos product line, Logitech Squeezebox products, and Onkyo’s newest series of A/V receivers (via a firmware update).
MOG also enjoys a fair amount of external hardware support at present. The Sonos product line and Roku’s suite of media receivers can both tap into it, as can LG’s newest Smart TVs and Blu-ray players.
Spotify gives subscribers to its Premium service the option to stream in 320-kbps high-quality mode to their computers. Its mobile app, meanwhile, maxes out at 160 kbps.
MOG’s default quality level for streaming via computer is 320 Kbps. The default level of its mobile app is a paltry 64 kbps, although a 320 kbps high-quality option becomes available when streaming via Wi-Fi (or on 4G network with an Android phone).
Don’t get me wrong — I like Spotify, and I enjoyed using it. I’m sure many other people will, too — especially the free version. But add up those wins in the MOG column and you’ll see that Spotify Premium doesn’t necessarily have anything over the other music services that have staked out a claim in this space. What Spotify does have is an effective hype machine, somehow using its otherness and inaccessibility to seduce the U.S. media into reflexively stating it’s the greatest thing since Wasa bread. Too bad other music services haven’t been able to build that feature into their own apps.
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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