The new music discovery service from Twitter seems like such an obvious way to cull and find music on the widespread social media site that I'm surprised it took until April 2013 to come out.
Twitter #Music, which was announced last Thursday, combines your Twitter activity with any interest in music that you or your friends have, whether it involves following artists or viewing tweets about particular songs.
You can listen to the music of the artists you are already following, figure out what music your Twitter friends are listening to or like and see lists of songs based on popularity, emerging artists (“hidden talent found in the tweets,” as the app states), suggested musicians and #NowPlaying music from those you're connected to. Once you find a song you like, you can then go directly from the app to that artist's own Twitter feed.
The free service from Twitter connects with paid streaming services Rdio or Spotify and the iTunes store, so you can buy music you don't have.
After digging around for a bit to try to get a handle on what Twitter #Music was — an app? a streaming service? a link to tweets? — I realized it was a combination of all three of those services. I had the entire service figured out within a few minutes of downloading it from the iTunes store, although it will take some additional exploring to see if I like it as well as or better than just simple streaming through a service like Spotify or Rdio. The best way to learn how to use Twitter's new music service is to try it, since it's free.
Because it isn't easy to find Twitter #Music with a search of the iTunes store, open this link on your device to get started: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twitter-music/id625541612?mt=8. There's also a web version at music.twitter.com.
Right away, I liked the design of the app — the CD/record turntable image that rotates when a song is playing, with the album label in the middle of it, is a nice retro touch. It was easy to bounce between screens for Emerging, Suggested, Popular and #NowPlaying artists, but a little bit harder to find my own personal profile and change between using iTunes (to hear song samples) and Rdio (to hear the full song).