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MOG Gets Some Love

N.Y. Times blogger tries paid service available in some BMWs and Minis

Subscription music service MOG gets a nice writeup by New York Times blogger Sam Grobart, who holds it up as an example of where in-car audio is going.

After griping about aspects of commercial radio (“just awful”), public radio fundraising (a “minefield of boredom and haranguing”), the listener’s own music (“you know all of it already”) and satellite (“I think I’ve heard most everything satellite radio is going to play for me”), Grobart gets to the point, a trial of MOG, a subscription online music streaming service along the lines of Spotify and Rhapsody.

“If you pay MOG $10 a month, you can get its mobile app. As of today, the iPhone version of that app now works in concert with BMW and Minis to deliver the full MOG experience on the road.” This is on 2011 BMWs and Minis with appropriate options. The service is part of BMW’s adapter system that “translates” apps into a visual language and makes them work with a car’s dashboard controls.

Unlike Pandora, he said, MOG lets you pull up any song in its library anytime. Like Pandora, MOG lets the user create “radio stations” based on preferred content, he wrote. You also can store your own playlists and choose “featured” ones.

Grobart sees broader implications. “What automakers are realizing is that they don’t need to provide everything themselves — they just need to create a platform for other apps. Ford is doing this with its Applink program, and you would have to imagine that other carmakers are ramping up their own plans. Music, navigation, communication — we already have all of these things in a smartphone.”

But he adds that using such services to their full extent may require more attention than most drivers safely can afford. “The way carmakers are thinking about technology and outsourcing it is the right way to go. I just don’t know if I may need a co-pilot to enjoy this bright new future.”

Trying Out the World’s First In-Car Music-Streaming System