Streaming music service MOG launched its new beta player this week, a more expansive improvement on its old player. The interface has grown larger, with more useable features like a MOG Facebook integration and a player that works across all mobile devices, including the iPad. This is also the first substantial upgrade to the MOG service since they launched their mobile app last Summer.
The biggest part of the new MOG player is probably the Facebook integration, which could be part the rumored upcoming Facebook music service. The player makes recommendations based on likes in your circle of Facebook friends. They're calling this feature "Just For You."
They've also integrated artist pages and more information about each artist into the player itself, something that existed outside of the old MOG player. Users would have to go to the regular MOG site to look up info on artists. The new release list is also integrated into the player now, making it easier to look up this week's new releases.
All-in-all, it looks like MOG crowd-sourced ideas for this based on what the users wanted: “The new beta player was mostly based on feedback from subscribers. Our focus is to deliver the best listening and user experience, so we’re giving them what they ask for,” said MOG CEO and founder David Hyman.
On the tech side, the new MOG player is HTML5-based, opposed the old Flash-based player. This is probably a move to incorporate more iPad and iPhone users, since Apple remains stubbornly opposed to using Flash on Apple mobile devices. Now iPad users will be able to access the new MOG player in the Safari browser, without having to go outside the loop with a mobile app. It's also moved from a battery-burning white screen to a low-light gray color, which saves on battery juice with a lower-inensity screen burn. The Spacelab web site uses this approach in its design as well.
The player is fast and reponsive, although at this point that might just be because it's new and a lot of users probably haven't tried it out yet. The true test will be when this overtakes the old MOG app and everybody's using it. The Facebook Connect integration could lift the social media bar in providing better real-time music recomendations. A MOG representative said that this is the beginning of a number of new features that they'll be rolling out, so it looks there's more to come.
Overall, this should provide a smoother flow for MOG users, regardless of the platform they're on. Facebook freaks can rely on their friends for recommendations and the fact MOG has finally resolved the issue of splitting users between two separate windows -- one for the player and one for the rest of the site -- will make it a better user experience.
They also recently launched MOGGLES, an experimental new feature that lets users take a picture of an album cover to instantly add that album to their MOG music library. The MOG app then uses image recognition technology to add that album to your MOG music library.
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Check out more about steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.