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Twitter Launches Music App To The Public – Our Early Impressions

Written by Mike Hohnen on April 19, 2013

After making it exclusive to VIPs early this week, Twitter has now unveiled its long-awaited music app to the common folk.

Only live now for a matter of hours, Twitter Music seems to be hitting all the right notes with new users, though as functionally and aesthetically pleasing as it may be, the app seems to be somewhat lacking in the area it talked up the most – breaking undiscovered talent.

The interface is a total breeze to use. Everything is laid out for you nice and clearly, with big, colourful tiles presented in an orderly fashion. All the jams have been categorised into 5 easy-to-process sections – Popular, Emerging, Suggested, #NowPlaying and Me. In terms of selecting tunes quickly while you’re in front of your computer screen, it’s a pretty useful tool.

You can preview songs using iTunes integration, but to hear the tracks in full, you’ll have to hook your account up with your Spotify or Rdio accounts. So far, there’s no sign of integration with YouTube or Soundcloud but it’s still early days and surely, surely they’re not going to try and make it without using the two most frequented music streaming services around.

Throughout the roll-out of the new venture, Twitter was careful to put emphasis on the ‘Emerging’ aspects of the service. This is an exciting prospect for those eager to catch the next big thing before anyone else, but with featured bands such as The Gaslight Anthem, Anberlin and Appleseed Cast, who are currently beginning the new album cycle for the 8th time since 1997, it seems Twitter has adopted a different meaning for the word ’emerging’ than many are familiar with. #BitOfALetDown

That said, it gives solid ups to bands such as Regular John, Ball Park Music and Rufus who also feature in the category. Twitter’s expedition into unknown musical territory was to be guided by their recent acquisition of Australian taste-spotting app We Are Hunted but the methods seem to be providing mixed results so far.

PSY, P!nk, M83, and Maroon 5 – the ‘Popular’ section seems pretty spot on, though fairly yawn-inducing. No surprises here.

As for ‘Suggested’, this section may be vital to those who are currently sussing out totally new genres of music. This will probably prove most useful to those who have a well curated list of follows on Twitter. If you’re like me and have burned through a lot of music before you started your Twitter account, results are going to be mixed. I ended up with a screen full of bands I already know about but have little desire to follow any longer.

‘#NowPlaying’ is aimed at forming some sort of community around the service, showing you what people you follow are currently listening to. Out of the hundreds of people I follow, only 3 of them seem to be repping the hashtag, giving me a playlist of Empire Of The Sun, Bruno Mars and Azealia Banks. Tepid for now but hopefully things pick up as the user base increases.

I think this has great potential, but the functionality seems fairly limited at this stage, especially with regards to the musical discovery side of things so hyped in the last few weeks. It’s still early days, obviously, and hopefully we’re going to see more improvements as the weeks go by. Try it for yourself over at http://music.twitter.com – the app is sure to vary from user to user so let us know your first impressions!

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