Meet the Future of your Car Stereo

Does the idea of a traditional FM radio sound “old” to you? Well, how about streaming online audio in your car instead? By now, everyone’s heard of satellite radio in their automobiles, but internet radio is a different story – and one that’s not as far-fetched as you might think.

Meet MOG. It’s a service you can currently get for your computer that allows you to listen to all of your favorite music for a monthly fee. Instead of having to worry about files and downloads, your music comes to you from the cloud! (That’s shorthand for “a bunch of remote internet servers.”)

In addition to the Web, MOG could soon be coming to your car. According to BMW, they plan on including MOG as a streaming service inside their Mini cars. What will the audio system of the future look like? How about a little something like this:

MOG for your car will surely be a bit different from the web version. Most experts are saying that it will be more like a Pandora-type service that constantly streams from a channel of your own choosing. You’ll likely be able to reject songs that you don’t like, and vote up the songs you do, so the service will learn and adapt to your tastes and preferences.

What will be ideal is if MOG in the car is able to hook up with MOG on the web. Imagine if you were able to choose the artists and albums you enjoy on your computer, then have them beamed to your car through the power of the internet!

As long as the folks behind MOG can make the service simple to use, they may be on to something. One of the biggest reasons we still use the old-timey radio in our cars is because it’s dead simple to use.

A disaster scenario would be where MOG is bewilderingly difficult to use. BMW has been guilty of this crime before: it began installing a system called iDrive in its luxury vehicles in the early 2000s. The concept was that the driver controlled everything in the car using a click dial. This meant that temperature, settings, and of course the audio system used a little wheel device for everything. Some found this idea maddening!

Could BMW have learned from their iDrive experience with MOG? Probably. Let’s hope that their streaming radio system is smart, simple and enjoyable. Distracted drivers are already driving up the cost of car insurance as it is.

Here’s hoping MOG has got the right mojo. If not, we’ll be stuck listening to those lame FM commercials for decades to come.


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