HTC + MOG = Awesome Smartphone MP3 Player

Rumor has it that HTC is about to acquire music service MOG, if they haven’t already. Neither company will confirm this, but as TechCrunch points out, this wouldn’t be an unusual move for HTC, especially given their acquisition of Beats Audio and how much prominence audio is getting on their new phones.

HTC is on a roll with the acquisitions and partnerships recently. First with offering all that free storage on Dropbox and then announcing today that LogMeIn Rescue will come pre-installed on all future handsets. Don’t get your knickers in a twist over CRAPPS. LMI Rescue will help HTC support help customers by remotely accessing troubled handsets.

While that’s more useful than exciting, the MOG thing does have potential. Instead of paying per song, you pay for access to their library of over 14 million songs. Similar to Spotify, users can stream as well as download tracks for offline listening. Plus there are a ton of social and discovery features for music lovers.

Will HTC Buy MOG

Currently, you can get this on any Android phone via the MOG app. HTC may take it a step further even than branding it under the Beats Audio umbrella by making the service free to HTC handset owners.

Cricket Mobile is doing pretty well with their Muve Music service: unlimited songs alongside unlimited minutes, texts, and data. HTC isn’t a carrier, but the popularity of that service could be an inspiration.

Consumers like simplicity. Having choice is wonderful, but when it comes right down to it people want to have everything at their fingertips and ready to go. Maybe they’ll choose Spotify or another, similar service, instead, but they’re just as likely to stick with what their phone provides out of the box as long as it’s good.

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HTC’s first foray into creating a phone that would replace people’s MP3 players and iPods, the Rezound, didn’t really impress as a music player for several reasons. The new HTC One line is a step in the right direction, but if the company is really going to commit to this path they should probably start thinking about why people still use their MP3 players beyond just audio quality. Honestly, if people cared that much about audio quality they wouldn’t be using iPods.

(Related: In-Depth Hands-On: HTC One X and Sense 4.0 (Video))

Standalone MP3 players offer long battery life – days, not hours – hardware control buttons you don’t have to look at to use, and a robust music manager.

Since people are used to charging their phones at night HTC can get away with just making sure the device can last until bedtime even if users listen to hours and hours of music. Creating a better music app than exists right now is probably not too much work as long as you employ the right developers. The hardware button thing seems to be the sticking point.

I don’t know why everyone is so against buttons these days. They’re useful, they don’t have to be ugly, and you can press them without looking. Google can hush.

If buttons are just too terrible to contemplate, then a lockscreen widget with player controls is a must. That this is not available on every music player that exists on Android is one of mobile technology’s stupidest trends and I need people to stop it. That goes for you, too, HTC.

But honestly: buttons.

It’s entirely possible that HTC can create a comprehensive and desirable ecosystem for their handsets and tablets. Coupled with the good hardware and nice design they’re already known for, HTC could once again blow everyone else out of the Android waters.

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