Available today, Twitter #music is a new service that aims to help music discovery based on Twitter. Using tweets and engagement, the app will uncover music of interest, coupled with the artists profiles along with artists they follow. Music is played back through a iTunes, Spotify or Rdio and Twitter promises to bring more sources online.
Twitter #music contains four windows of music, presented in an album cover format. These can be selected by swiping left to right or using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. The first window is ‘Popular’, providing a window into music that is trending on Twitter. Psy, Robin Thicke and other popular artists that may or may not be of interest to you. There is no way to re-order the windows, so on each launch of the app, you’ll be greeted by popular artists.
The second pane will show you ‘Emerging’ artists, or what they are calling “hidden talent fround in the Tweets”. These artists have no relation to who you follow and it’s not clear how these are being uncovered and there doesn’t appear to be any relationship with musical interest to those being uncovered. In my limited time with the app, it appears to be a random list of indie artists.
Where things can get interesting, and this depends upon your follow list, would be Suggested. You’ll find ‘artists you might like’ and this group is generated based upon artists that you currently follow on Twitter. This of course assumes that you use Twitter to follow musical artists. Personally, my follow list are fellow tech bloggers and enthusiasts. I do follow a few musical artists and Twitter #music did a fair job of providing suggestions. There’s nothing earth shattering here in terms of discovery that wouldn’t be better served by using the Genius feature in iTunes. Your mileage may vary.
When you find an artist or song worth checking out, tapping on the artist brings up a play button and an option to find them on Twitter. The playback is handled by iTunes, Spotify or Rdio. If you have a subscription to either Rdio or Spotify, you’ll be able to play back the song in its entirety. With iTunes playback, you get a preview and an option to click into the iTunes Store for purchase. Here’s the thing, it only plays one song. There are no options to listen to other songs from the artist within Twitter music. Ultimately, that gets handed off to a supporting service or store like iTunes.
The playback window is gorgeous, with the album spinning as if it were an old school record. Tapping on the record will create a larger pop-up, where you can tweet the song to your followers. This will show up in your regular timeline and in the fourth window called the #NowPlaying list. It will show you a list of songs tweeted by people you are following. The usefulness of this list will vary based on who you follow and whether you share common musical interests.
Ultimately, Twitter #music as a discovery service relies heavily on who you follow. You can certainly change its effectiveness by adding artists of interest, but that will have a definitive impact on your timeline and how you use Twitter. It’s also not a given that artists you like share the same music sensibilities.
- Beautiful interface
- Provides good suggestions based upon artists you follow
- Seamless integration with your Twitter accounts
- Limited playback without a subscription
- Unable to re-order windows
- Discovery usefulness is directly related to who you follow and your interest or lack of interest in popular music
Twitter #music is available as a free download from the App Store. Let us know if you’ve found it helpful in finding new music and only follow @meinck if you love eighties metal #music tweets.