Photo: MOG

Many of us are captive in our cars for hours each day, which is why the dashboard has become the new battleground for streaming music. Pandora has made a solid first strike, carpet-bombing carmakers so that the internet radio service is already embedded within a dozen automotive brands.
Spotify and Rdio rival MOG has only hooked up with BMW and sister brand Mini, but soon the service will be offered on several 2012 Ford vehicles with the Sync system, which already includes Pandora as part of its AppLink platform. But MOG is armed with a few features Pandora has yet to add to its arsenal, such as the ability to play buffered downloads. But this extra firepower will cost the car owner.
MOG says the feature will give Ford owners with a compatible Sync system in-car access to a catalog of more than 15 million songs. Owners need to have the MOG mobile app on their iPhone, connect to Sync via a USB cable and select MOG as an option using Sync’s AppLink feature. For now, other smartphone owners are left out of the fun, although MOG and Ford confirmed with Wired that they’re working on an Android version. “But we don’t know the timing,” says Julius Marchwicki, product manager for Sync AppLink, adding that Android and BlackBerry applications communicate with the platform over Bluetooth.
In our experience, some Sync features don’t play well with iPhones, but overall we’ve been impressed with the system’s voice recognition. As with Pandora via AppLink, several MOG features can be controlled by simply speaking a command, including accessing favorites and downloads, shuffling selections, adding songs to favorites and saying “top songs” to hear the most popular tracks on MOG.
These features can also be accessed using the radio tuning knob, and a favorite can be added to any of the vehicle’s radio preset buttons. The tuning knob also fine tunes a “play similar” feature. “Let’s say you’re listening to a favorite and Stevie Wonder comes on,” says Drew Denbow, head of business development for MOG. “You can say, ‘Play Artist Radio’ and it pivots into a stream of Steve Wonder songs.” Using the tuning knob, the stream can then be adjusted to play 90 percent Steve Wonder and 10 percent similar artists, eventually dialing it all the way to include 100 percent similar artists.
Like most Pandora automotive applications, drivers can’t create new stations – or in this case, favorites – on the fly because of the potential for distraction. They have to be creates on a computer or mobile device before hitting the road.
One difference between Pandora and MOG with Sync AppLink is that the latter lets you play tunes that you’ve downloaded earlier, even when a data connection isn’t available. “If you don’t want to burn up your data plan, you can just download it beforehand and play if off the device,” Denbow adds. Another is that MOG allows streaming at 320 kilobits per second for better sound quality. But the biggest distinction between to the two AppLink services is Pandora is free, a least for streams without commercials. While you can simply stream MOG’s commercial-supported programming using Sync’s Bluetooth audio connection, you won’t get the Sync AppLink features.
For that you’ll have to sign up to pay $9.99 a month. And buy a 2012 model Ford vehicle such as the Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang, Expedition, E-Series van or F-150 and Super Duty pickup.
Photo: MOG


via Noobsters Forums