MOG isn't for me, but Josh Ritter might be

MOG is prominent among the alternatives to Lala, which just shut down. I’m about halfway through the free 3-day trial of MOG All Access.

I don’t think that MOG is the service for me, for reasons including the following.

  • The album I first tried to listen to, Josh Ritter’s So Runs The World Away, isn’t available on MOG (with the exception of the very short opening track/overture).
  • Another album I wanted to listen to doesn’t even have a page at MOG. The album in question is Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Song And Chanteys. It didn’t exactly dominate the charts, but it’s not the most obscure of albums either, given some of the people who play on it, and its movie tie-in.
  • MOG seems more inclined to buffering interruptions than was Lala.
  • There isn’t an easy way to embed playlists at blogs and other sites (although there are FaceTwit buttons).
  • MOG doesn’t have an affiliate program (which reminds me, my links to music are affiliate links to Amazon).

In sum: MOG’s missing music, compared with Lala. The other objections are minor. I admit that all my objections are based on a short period of pseudo-research. I also admit that MOG is tremendous value for $5/month (currently). But I suspect that I can do even better, and so will keep on exploring music web services.

As for Josh Ritter, he has long been an artist who makes music I kind of like, but don’t really really like like. His new album might change that, which is why I want to give it a few more listens. I heard a recent NPR studio appearance while driving, and like the web version even more, featuring as it does a rather cool video.

I’ll look for Josh at the next music service I check out, which will probably be Rhapsody.

I Quit the Wrong Service

As of today, I have a Facebook account, but not a Lala account. That seems like the wrong way round, given that yesterday was Quit Facebook Day, and that I liked Lala.

But Lala did indeed close as yesterday turned into today,so it really is time to look at alternatives to Lala. I’ll probably start with MOG, since its free trial does not require a credit card; on the other hand, that trial only lasts three days.

Music Books: Top Ones, According to MOG

MOG blogs about top music books. I’m surprised that my favorite got listed, let alone as high at number 5.

MOG’s number 1 was predicable, but not, I think wrong. High Fidelity might seem let down by the movie, and let down even more by some of Hornby’s other work, but it is a great novel about people of a certain inclination. Try to (re)read it for itself.

Alternatives to Lala

Lala will shut down at the end of this month. Since I do much of my music-listening through Lala, that’ll leave a gap. So what are the alternatives?

Frederic at ReadWriteWeb discusses five alternatives, and mentions a few more, and yet more are mentioned in comments. I mentioned Frederic’s post in my own post of yesterday, but forgot to link to it.

Posts I didn’t mention or link to, because I hadn’t seen them at the time, include: Peter Kafka on why you shouldn’t hold your breath a streaming service from Apple; Pitchfork, which makes extensive use of Lala amongst its reviews, and is exploring other media options.

Talking of exploring other options, I’d like a table, or some sort of graphic, to compare alternative music services. Here is such a table. Note that MOG is one of the music services in the table, as well as one of Frederic’s five. MOG is also the source of the table, as you may have guessed from how well MOG seems to compare with the other services.

  MOG Pandora iTunes Rhap-sody MySpace Music Groove-shark
Instantly play any song Y N Y Y N Y Y
Non-stop artist radio Y Y N N Y N N
Community-based recommendations Y N N N Y N N
CD-quality audio streams Y N N N N N N
Mobile app Soon Y Y Y Y N N
Comprehensive music library Y N Y Y N Y N
Legally licensed music Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Free access Y Y N Y Y Y Y

The Free access line is rather misleading. If I were to switch to MOG, I’d pay $5/month. Given that services differ with respect to what you pay for, how you pay for it, how much you pay for it, etc., it’s hard to provide a good comparison of the services in terms of cost.

Are there better comparison tables or tools out there for those of us pondering life after Lala?