MOG is fantastic - I use it every day in the office. Linn has 3 streaming channels of their own music that sounds excellent (jazz, classical and eclectic), but you can't choose what you want to hear, and some of it is a bit weird and not that great. However, if they happen to be playing something you like, the sound is very good.
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I listened to the Pandora premium service for a long time but have switched over almost completely to MOG. It's a well thought out interface that lets you control completely what you listen to but provides several ways to branch out to music you might not know about. The breadth of their catalog is remarkable, as well. Their 320 kbps stream sounds quite good, better than the 256 of Pandora One.
I love MOG and use it every day, but I'd like to add a plug for using the premium Pandora service.($36 a year) If you use the the thumbs up and down regularly, Pandora's musical "DNA" system simply can't be beat. MOG's radio streams are very "dumb" by comparison. I've managed to customize a number of stations on Pandora to the extent that they constantly find music I love but never knew existed. I've worked as professional music programmer, so I ain't easily pleased or surprised. The Pandora algorithm is spooky if you learn how to use it.
Pandora's Genome technology is easily the best. No comparison. I agree with Vhiner; it is spooky how well the technology seems to always not only play the music I like based the on thumbs up/down input, but also in suggesting new music. But alas, not supporting high bitrate is what killed it for me. I tried and liked MOG but my workplace blocks it, so now I'm using Spotify. The extensive library and high bitrate is great but the Radio feature(supposed to emulate Pandora's Genome) really sucks. It always plays the same songs and plays a lot of crap I don't like.
I don't believe that MOG has any significant uphand on Spotify. I did a little research on the web. Anybody know for sure differently?
Here is the response I got from Spotify regarding higher resolution files:
The majority of tracks in Spotify are of a high-quality at 320kbps, apart from a small portion of our catalogue (less than 5%), which is currently only available in 256kpbs.
As for your mobile, 320 kbps is available under the setting of 'Extreme Quality'.
There's more on this here: http://www.spotify.com/help/faq/tech/codec-quality/
If there's anything else you'd like to ask us, just let us know.
Otherwise, have a... http://open.spotify.com/track/6Pi1WqBTTSjtl6BWHQSccH
My quibble with Spotify are the gaps in its back catalog. For example, MOG has the entire Verve archive. Last time I checked Spotify did not.
Ideally, I'd like to have all three services. Right now, though, it's Pandora for music exploration, MOG for focused attention and Redbook and high res when I'm in the mood for deep listening. Will we ever see 44 .1 streaming?
I agree with Vhiner, the services aren't directly competitive, which you prefer depends on how you want to listen at any given moment and to some extent on what kind of music you listen to most.
I subscribe to Mog, Pandora One and eMusic and have used Spotify occasionally. Pandora is great for throwing unexpected but interesting new music at you and the algorithm works pretty well as long as there's a lot of similar music in their catalog. If you favor distinctive and difficult to classify musicians, however, the playlists can drive you crazy.
I love Anouar Brahem, for instance, but an Anouar Brahem channel on Pandora serves up a lot of insipid soft jazz and the more time you spend training it the more often it plays the same few performers over and over.
All those sources mentioned are great resources and, fortunately, they have different strengths. Even if you pay for subscriptions to all of them the volume of music instantly available makes them an incredible bargain.
Currently streaming music from HP desktop and Apple Time Capsule HD/router in a remote room of the house to a Zardoz server (hot rodded Apple Express from France) wired to my system in downstairs listening room. Use Apple Touch as my remote to select cd tracks from my music library on the Time Capsule. Being an older guy, I'm not up on computer technology. I'm assuming these services must be purchased or subscribed to. Are they something that I could stream to my system using my current hardware (have HP desktop in a remote room of the house)? I like all music genres, but lean toward the rock I grew up with in the 60s & 70s. To that point, I enjoy my Sirius rock channels while driving in my car.
Rockyboy...yes they are subscription services that allows one to pull up specific albums and listen to them completely without interruption. The $5 per month does have ads so I recommend splurging for the $10 per month service. It's basically like having access to a giant music database so it's a great way of checking out albums and artists before making purchases or listening to stuff that doesn't justify a purchase.
Rockyboy - I assume from your system description that you're using iTunes to control the music library and stream it to your downstairs listening room.
With Mog and Pandora you would be using a browser or their desktop applications for access to their online music libraries. To stream those wirelessly to an Airport Express you'll need a application like Airfoil to handle the streaming. It works in conjunction with the Mog or Pandora applications and lets you direct the sound to as many Airplay devices as you have. Airfoil is a very nicely done, versatile product.