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Band of the Day (12.09.09)- DEAD MAN'S BONES_1260389792056I’ll confess: I can be slow to change. I have used iTunes Radio and Pandora for years and have never had reason to complain. I was still afraid to sign up for MOG’s free one-hour trial about a week after it launched. With 33 minutes left in the trial, I am getting emotional. I regret not trying it sooner, but I’m relieved that they came up with the winning formula.

MOG’s slickest trick is in helping users tailor the set list to their desires. If I want to listen to an obscure underground mid-western hip hop artist, I can type in “Mac Lethal” and hit play. Bam. “Love Potion 5: Deluxe Edition” starts playing — the whole album.

If I want to listen mostly to Mac Lethal but include a few other artists, I have that option as well. It’s as simple as adjusting a slider bar. To the right, Mac Lethal exclusively. To the left, Mac Lethal is there, but MOG mostly plays other artists who are similar to him. If I suddenly want to buy the album, I’m a click away from Amazon. Want to represent on Facebook? One click. Twitter? You betcha!

Try that with the competition. iTunes Radio doesn’t even come close to this level of user control and sharing. Pandora won’t let you play music on demand, Rhapsody charges twice as much per month.

MOG also has a music news-oriented web site you can surf while you listen. Bruce Springsteen supports gay marriage? Cool — I’ll listen to him. While I’m surfing, I’ll check out recent “rock” blog postings and see what’s new. Incidentally, I’ve discovered a new band called “Dead Man’s Bones”, the MOG rock band of the day.

MOG is offering much that the competition can’t. There’s a full service streaming music application, which is awesome. On demand, high bit rate music without stalls or advertisement. You adjust the number of similar artists vs. searched-for artist tracks. The site is pretty surfable, not quite at the level of Wikipedia for time consumption but not bad either.

The one drawback as compared to Pandora is that you can’t synthesize a station out of several artists, or it isn’t immediately obvious if you can. I miss my White Stripes + Black Keys station.

That being said, this is the first music service convincing me to pay for its offering. At 5 bucks a month, I’m not complaining.

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