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MOG streaming music service is closing April 15th, 2014; and I hope Beats Music improves
1/29/2014

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1/29/2014 - MOG streaming music service is closing April 15th, 2014; and I hope Beats Music improves (Music - News)

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MOG streaming music service is closing April 15th, 2014; and I hope Beats Music improves
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
06:31:12 GMT

Music
News

(Edit, April 1, 2014, 12:19 AM: Here's an update: MOG streaming music service's April 15th shutdown is delayed! And other good news)


My favorite streaming music website, MOG*, is being shut down April 15th, 2014 because MOG was bought by Beats Electronics* in 2012 (says Wikipedia), and Beats Music* just opened on Jan. 21, 2014.

And contrary to what I hoped and almost expected - Beats Music so far doesn't even come close to being as good as MOG. There are so many glitches and missing features, which is especially shocking because I thought probably the main point of Beats even buying MOG was probably to base Beats' new systems on MOG's existing, fantastic, stable systems.

But, Beats is currently so glitchy and lacking in MOG features, I'm guessing Beats started over from scratch instead. And perhaps Beats rushed to an extremely premature launch because the Super Bowl* is next Sunday (Feb. 2nd). (There's actually an entire Wikipedia article about Super Bowl advertising.)

(Edit, Jan. 29, 2014, 5:30 PM EST: Also, the Grammy Awards* happened on Jan. 26, 2014.)


Anyway, you might want to try a free trial of MOG while it's still available. I don't yet know of a better streaming music service anywhere, especially at the price of $4.99 per month. (Not that it's 100% perfect, but, what is?)

Currently, my most likely alternative choice is Spotify*, because Spotify's web player is useable enough (though not as nice as MOG's), and their audio quality is apparently 320 kbps for Premium users, same as MOG. (And actually same as Beats too - so at least Beats doesn't have a problem with audio quality.)

Also, Spotify, like MOG, and unlike Beats, has a Roku* app. (Despite my preference for free, libre, open source everything - I still enjoy the Roku, and mostly use it for MOG* and Netflix*.)

By the way, if you're interested in a Beats Music Roku* app, perhaps posting about it or voting for it at Beats Music's support forum would help? http://support.beatsmusic.com/hc/communities/public/questions/200434850-Roku-App


Spotify's Premium option is $9.99 per month, twice as much as MOG's $4.99 per month Basic plan with no mobile access.

But, even though it's not really a perfectly comfortable price for me, it's still pretty good. If I were rich, I'd be happy paying a lot more than that.

(And actually, I would love to donate gigantic amounts of money directly to my favorite musicians, especially any who aren't already rich and really need the money. And also, of course, to tons of other people besides musicians, who also improve the world but often are insufficiently rewarded for it. And of course, to the desperately poor - who should be first in line for help. Darn, I wish I could afford to just give away tons of money directly to people... and I wish rich people would do that sort of thing a lot more often. It would make such a huge difference in the world.

Which brings me around yet again to the topic of microdonations - where a great many tiny donations from tons of people could add up to huge amounts of money, even if absolutely none of the people donating are rich themselves. Maybe that would be a good way to alleviate poverty without having to depend on any help from rich people? But I digress...)


Whatever streaming music service I join, I probably will sign up with a user name totally different than Apollia, and an email address I don't normally use, just to dodge many possible privacy issues.

I don't know if Spotify has any privacy-impacting annoyances or not, but, might as well be cautious.


I do think Beats Music has some chance of eventual success, but only if they play their cards much better than they have so far. Using MOG-based systems, I believe Beats could become the leader in the streaming music industry. (Actually, I think MOG probably could have done that on its own if it had been marketed better.)

But as long as the Beats systems continue to be as glitchy and bereft of the best MOG features as they currently are, I think most people (including me) will continue to prefer other, better services, such as Spotify*. Especially if Beats keeps trying to charge $9.99 per month - twice as much as MOG's Basic plan, $4.99 per month - for a service that is overall inferior to MOG.

And overall inferior to Spotify, and inferior in many ways (though better in some ways) compared to probably just about any other streaming music service you could name. Except, again, I should point out that at least Beats has 320 kbps audio too, same as MOG* and Spotify*, and better than Pandora* (maximum 192 kbps) and probably Rdio* (Rdio's quality level isn't on their FAQ page currently, but people complain about it.)

It's not Beats' audio quality I object to, it's mainly Beats' lack of features which MOG, Spotify, and other services have - really basic stuff like a full-featured, easily-controlled web player which starts playing songs quickly and which can do everything the mobile app can do and more, a play queue, much better capabilities for building playlists, the ability to easily start a radio of random songs by a particular musician or of a particular genre, etc. And plenty of other problems people have been pointing out at the Beats Music support forum.

Fortunately for Beats - thanks to owning MOG*, Beats could so easily get on the right track! And I really hope they do, soon.


Here's my email to Beats Music*, which also contains what I posted to their support forum.

If you want to vote or comment on my post, you can do so here: http://support.beatsmusic.com/hc/communities/public/questions/200073899-Bring-Beats-up-to-the-quality-of-MOG-or-at-least-Spotify-and-here-s-how


My Best Advice for Beats

Hi. I already posted most of this message to the Beats support page, but, I thought it would be good to email it too, since it contains some time-sensitive ideas on improving Beats in time for the Super Bowl.

I don't need a long reply, but, it would definitely be nice to know if Beats will at least someday be made as functional and elegant as MOG.


I'm really upset about your plans to shut MOG down, and it has been spoiling my excitement about Beats.

And if you read the support forum, you'll see I'm far from alone. Even people who sound like they've never used MOG keep mentioning how Beats is glitchy and lacks functionality compared to other streaming services.

But since you own MOG, which works great - having an under-functional service is all a completely avoidable problem for Beats! You could just reuse MOG and add Beats features onto it.


The message I posted to the support forum begins below. Originally posted to:

http://support.beatsmusic.com/hc/communities/public/questions/200073899-Bring-Beats-up-to-the-quality-of-MOG-or-at-least-Spotify-and-here-s-how


BRING BEATS UP TO THE QUALITY OF MOG OR AT LEAST SPOTIFY - AND HERE'S HOW

This message is going to be rather blunt and harsh (sorry about that). But, I hope it's helpful.

I finally tried Beats, for both the mobile and the web.

I never used MOG's mobile app, so I can't compare the Beats mobile app to MOG. (But my guess is, the MOG mobile apps are probably much better, judging by how much better the MOG web interface is than the Beats web interface.)

The Beats mobile app (on an iPhone) is at least better than the Beats web interface, and songs start playing quite quickly in the mobile app.

The Beats mobile app's graphics are nice, but I find the interface rather messy and confusing. I haven't tried the Spotify mobile app lately, but if I recall correctly, the Spotify mobile app was better since it was easier to find things in.

I like the idea of curated playlists, and The Sentence thing is amusing, but those features aren't enough to make Beats seem better than Spotify, or especially MOG.

Beats is currently too lacking in basic, core features that other music streaming services already do much better.


The Beats web interface (version 1.0.6) is horrible compared to MOG's web interface. It's also horrible compared to Spotify's web interface. Spotify's web interface is actually decently useable and fast, even if it's not as slick as MOG's.

The Beats web interface is slow to start songs, it's hard and slow to skip around to different points in the same song, and I can't find a radio feature. I can't find My Library. I can't create playlists.

Unless Beats is made as nice and useable as MOG, or unless the old MOG interfaces are kept available, it is extremely unlikely that I will subscribe to Beats.


For $9.99 a month, Spotify currently seems like a far better product than Beats. (But I still would choose MOG over Spotify for $9.99 per month.)

Not only is Spotify's web interface better than Beats (though not as slick as MOG's), Spotify has a Roku app, unlike Beats. (But MOG, which Beats bought, has a Roku app, so, I don't see why Beats couldn't easily have a Roku app as well.)

And I am very ticked off at Beats for buying out my favorite streaming music service, MOG, and planning to shut it down, with no guarantees that you're going to create an equal or superior product to MOG.


Compared to MOG, Beats seems really incomplete, and it probably shouldn't have even been launched until it was at least as good as MOG.

And since Beats Music actually bought MOG, there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't have started Beats off right with a system capable of everything MOG can do, and more.


I think Beats's current service doesn't have a prayer of winning against Spotify, or of keeping most MOG customers.

Marketing can only carry you so far if you don't have a good product/service.

But fortunately for Beats Music, when you bought MOG, you bought an absolutely fantastic product/service - possibly even the best streaming music service currently in existence. (Unless there's something better out there that I haven't tried yet.)

So, thanks to the brilliant move of buying MOG, Beats Music should be entirely capable of providing a truly fantastic service, instead of an overhyped, overpriced, under-developed mess that was launched far too soon.


I think the only reason MOG wasn't more popular than Spotify was because of lack of marketing.

But I think MOG, being promoted as enthusiastically as Beats, could have easily beaten Spotify - even at $9.99 per month, without the $4.99 MOG Basic plan being offered. (But continuing the $4.99 Basic plan would probably make your victory against Spotify even more certain.)


In your shoes, I would just rebrand the existing MOG systems as Beats, give them a slight graphical makeover, and carefully add the coolest new Beats features onto them - as long as it doesn't slow down or break the existing very slick and elegant MOG interfaces. Perhaps it would even be possible to get that done before Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2nd)?


Over time, I'd also implement a lot of the good ideas suggested here and at the MOG feedback site: http://feedback.mog.com/forums/50607-feature-suggestions


You might or might not have hired excellent programmers, but even fantastic programmers generally can't do their best and most polished work if they're too rushed - such as if you were trying to get Beats launched in time for the Super Bowl.

If you reuse MOG's already very complete, elegant, stable systems, however, there will be far less for your programmers to rush to finish before the Super Bowl.

*************** You already have a product/service that is better than Spotify - MOG! ***************

And my guess is, there's probably not enough time before the Super Bowl to get the existing Beats system up to the standard of MOG, or even up to the standard of Spotify - unless you reuse MOG.


Anyway, I hope this helps, and sorry again for being rather blunt and harsh.

But, I believe that above, I've given you the best advice I can think of to make Beats a success.

Best wishes and good luck with everything, and I hope I won't have to join Spotify in the end.


And here was the quick reply (sent 30 minutes after my email, which I sent at 12:29 PM EST on Jan. 28, 2014):

(Beats Music Support)
Jan 28 09:59

Good day Apollia,

Beats Music want to thank you for your great suggestions for our Music App. I will forward these suggestions to our Development Support Team, and maybe you will some of your suggestions implemented into the Beats Music App soon.

Thanks for your recommendations, and continued support.

Thank you...Beats Music Support


Beats Music Listener Support


Again - if you want to vote or comment on my post to the Beats Music Support forum, you can do so here: http://support.beatsmusic.com/hc/communities/public/questions/200073899-Bring-Beats-up-to-the-quality-of-MOG-or-at-least-Spotify-and-here-s-how

And, if you're interested in a Beats Music Roku* app, here's this other post you can vote or comment on: http://support.beatsmusic.com/hc/communities/public/questions/200434850-Roku-App


As a current MOG* customer, I have a 1 month free trial of Beats Music to look forward to, starting March 15th, according to this support page.

If Beats Music* ever improves enough for me to become a customer, I will gladly post about it!

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