MOG FreePlay First Impressions
MOG is a music streaming service that has recently announced a free offering to it's plans. The free plan is called FreePlay and is ad-supported with a very interesting game like feature. Instead of just giving you access to their music with ads, you have to earn your music by interacting with the site and sharing things with friends on social networks. It's not meant to hinder your listening in anyway, but to be fun and reward you for engaging and ultimately making the service better. Signing Up
When you sign up for a free account you are forwarded to the newly revamped web music player where you can search and browse MOG's very large catalog of music. The web player is ad free for the first 60 days so you can get a feel for the service which was nice of them. If you use your Facebook account to create your account, MOG will fill your home page with bands it knows you like from your Facebook profile which is nice because you feel like the service already knows you and your musical tastes. The FreePlay account only gives you access to the web player. If you want to listen to music using the desktop application or on your phone you will have to upgrade to one of their premium plans. The Free Music Meter
Like I said FreePlay makes you earn free music by referring friend and creating and sharing playlists. A meter in the top left shows how much more free music you have left and refilling it is as simple as doing one of those two tasks. MOG will also surprise users with free music as a reward for their engagement and usage of the site. It's more of a fun and engaging feature than it is an annoyance to get you to upgrade to the paid service. As time passes MOG will extend the ways you can refill your free music meter, which will keep the feature fresh and fun. Some Great Features
Being that I'm new to MOG I'm just now discovering some of it's awesome features. Probably the most impressive one is its radio feature. I'm sure you are familiar with the way internet radio stations work on services like Pandora. Well MOG's radio station work the same why except you can pull a slider control that changes the frequency the artist the station is based on plays. So if you are listening to Weezer on the radio feature you can go from playing all Weezer songs to only playing songs by artists similar to Weezer and anywhere in-between. This is a very cool feature and is something every Pandora fan wants to be able to do, but can't because of licensing issues.Gripes
I do have a couple things that bother me about the MOG's offerings. First of all there is no Shuffle button! I know, how can you have a music player without a shuffle button? According to a support discussion they are planning on adding it soon and does have the feature on it's other players. It's probably just because the web player has gone through a recent HTML5 overhaul, so some features might be buggy or missing. Second MOG has a top tracks list but there is no way to add all of them to the queue without dragging them to the there one at a time. This is just kind of annoying because sometimes you just want to listen to the hits and it would take you forever to build that playlist. My last gripe is that you can't pause the player with the space bar. So if you want to pause the playback you have to go to the tab and find the button and click it. Just one of those little things. Facebook Integration?
All in all the service is great and should be interesting to see how it grows and changes their business. It will also be interesting to see what Facebook as in store for use at their F8 conference, where they are expected to announce a music feature. Maybe MOG is their partner or perhaps they are just one of several music partners. MOG FreePlay