Twitter Music review
Twitter Music is slick and pretty, if not all that useful
Review Date: 19 Apr 2013
Reviewed By: Shona Ghosh
Price when reviewed: Free
Twitter unveiled its music app this week, imaginatively dubbed Twitter Music, for iOS and web.
This is the second multimedia extension rolled out by Twitter this year, following the launch of the short video clip service,Vine.
The app’s designed to help you discover new music by corralling information from your Twitter feed and streaming accounts, but a few missing features mean it's unlikely to bleed away as much of your time as Twitter itself.
Trending music charts
Both the site and iOS app show a graphical tiled chart of the top 140 songs, calculated by whatever music is trending on Twitter.
You can browse different charts, from the more mainstream stuff to "emerging" indie music. You can also generate a "suggested" chart on the basis of any artists you follow on Twitter. Signing into
Twitter also lets you see what friends might be listening to, though that's mostly an exercise in snobbery.
Listening with Spotify, Rdio and iTunes
Although Twitter’s spun the app as open to everyone, it’s pretty limp unless you have a Spotify or Rdio account; otherwise you’re stuck with endless 30-second loops from iTunes. You can’t sync the app with your iTunes account either to play songs that are already in your library, so it's really only there to encourage you to buy tracks. And despite earlier rumours to the contrary, you can’t play music videos through Twitter Music.
While the design is intuitive and slick, the integration with streaming services is spotty. We had trouble logging in with Spotify (though that now seems to be fixed), and sometimes tracks stopped playing for no apparent reason.
Twitter wants you to crow about using its music service, so there’s a neat little feature to let you compose a tweet from inside the app and tag anything you’re listening to. Unlike Vine, you can’t share to Facebook or any other social service though.
Finding new music
One of the best aspects of Twitter is finding hidden networks of interesting people – like seeing who your favourite pundits/celebrities/musicians follow and how they interact. Twitter Music tries to replicate that and help you find new artists.
For example, clicking on Hot Chip brings up their Twitter account and any other artists they follow (though not any interaction they’ve had, sadly).
But given how hard Twitter’s pushing this as a discovery service, it feels like it's skimped on features here. Why not flesh this out to show related artists, like Last.fm does? Why not give musicians a bio?
Author: Shona Ghosh
I think it's pretty obvious that you can easily find popular music with this app, but I think it requires the music industry to adapt to it and start generating content relevant to other genres.
I struggled to find orchestras that were using Twitter in any meaningful way, and music companies are a bit slow off their feet also, and it is very much a case of knowing who to look for.
And then it depends how you use Twitter. Personally I use it for current affairs and I think I'd want to set up a second account for following musicians and bands/orchestra's. It's a bit like the software equivalent of BYOD if you ask me.
By c6ten on 26 Apr 2013
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