After speculation on its release date, and constant tweets from musicians praising how great the new app is, Twitter #Music has finally launched. Similar to the Australian startup it bought, We Are Hunted, #Music is a music recommendation service and chart, with the lists of music based around tweets and your engagement with the artist.
Twitter #Music has obviously taken some design cues from We Are Hunted – such as the grid, and the full-page search engine. However, instead of being guided towards the emerging artists, the first chart you see is the most popular. There is still an emerging artists list – you can find that under the menu – in addition to a ‘Suggested’ list, based on the artists you follow on Twitter.
Currently, the three music services attached to Twitter #Music are Spotify, Rdio and iTunes. If you plan to use this as a We Are Hunted replacement, then you’ll be disappointed given that you won’t be able to listen to full tracks. Though you can connect your free Spotify account to Twitter #Music and listen to the artist – if they are on Spotify. Or if Spotify isn’t for you, Rdio is also offering 14-day free trials without the need for a credit card. Or if you’re not exactly swayed by either service, you can get a 90-second preview of one track from iTunes.
Genre charts have also been dumped during the transition from We Are Hunted to Twitter #Music. So, if you don’t like pop – or, One Direction/Bieber crap – then you can’t really avoid them.
However, the main problem with Twitter #Music is that it is focused on the artist connections not on the music. This essentially means that your suggestions can be broad – say, you listen to Ellie Goulding and get in your suggestions list Carly Rae Jepsen, Cody Simpson, Reece Martin and Miranda Cosgrove – because these artists sound so similar to that particular artist.
That was sarcasm by the way. Those artists normally wouldn’t get suggested by other recommendation services like Last.fm or Pandora.
Personally, I won’t be making much use of this. Last.fm and Pandora do a pretty good job of recommending me some artists – new, indie and pop music – to listen to based around a particular artist or genre. There is no doubt that it will improve, but for now, it’s a work in progress.
The new app is available for the web and as a mobile app for iOS. The service will be limited to the US, UK, Ireland, Australia (yay!) and New Zealand; though Twitter plans to bring the service to more countries and to Android soon.