MOG, the blogging network for music lovers, has just launched a new version of its website that features several killer features, most notably integration with Rhapsody’s music service that allows you to stream full songs and albums through MOG itself.
MOG is basically a place for people to publish thoughts about music, as well as a place to share the names of the songs they play on their computers (using a downloadable program called MOG-O-MATIC that runs in the background and automatically detects songs no matter which music player is used). This raison d’être has not changed but, rather, has been enhanced by Rhapsody integration, which basically makes MOG into a discovery-oriented interface for streaming music.
With many (if not most) song references on the site, you can now click a play button that instantly loads the song into a web-based Rhapsody player running in another window. So, when you’re browsing the MOG network, reading about new music and actually want to hear that music, chances are that you can listen to it straight from MOG.
As could be expected, this is only as cool as it sounds if you’re a Rhapsody subscriber, which costs $12 per month. However, non-subscribers will still be treated to the free streaming of 25 songs per month if they download a small application. But if you say “hell no” to a download, use up your handful of freebies, or live outside of the United States, you’ll have to remain satisfied with 30-second-long samples.
MOG has done several things to take advantage of Rhapsody integration. The site now sports a clever search tool that lets you search MOG’s blog network and Rhapsody’s collection at the same time. Enter, say, “pearl jam” and a dropdown will quickly display artist, album, and track matches. You can click to view the pages for those matches (which will lead you to blog posts in addition to other information about Pearl Jam), add those matches to your playlists, or play them through Rhapsody.
If you dig the musical tastes of a particular mogger, you can also click a button on their profile page called “Play This Page” that will literally play all the music on that person’s page. Similarly, you can choose to play all their recently played songs or all the songs from related blogs (er, mogs).
Newcomers who haven’t yet found other moggers with similar tastes can take advantage of something called “The Magic Button” in the recommendations section. The feature, which isn’t new, will find other moggers who may share your tastes by analyzing the songs you have played on your computer (or, now, through Rhapsody on the site). Once you find these moggers, you can play their pages (a new feature) effectively using the magic button as a personalized radio station of sorts.
There are a handful of other, more minor improvements made with this release. The default theme is no longer boogey nights brown and orange but rather a more sober white and tan. The MOG-O-MATICS application has been fine tuned for better performance and reliability. And posts are now sorted reverse chronologically and truncated when too long.
Check out an interview of CEO David Hyman by Michael Arrington below: