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).
And as much as I like music, I realized I'm only following two artists on Twitter: one of my favorites, NeedToBreathe, and Oklahoma City's own Graham Colton. However, instead of following new artists on Twitter, I would rather add my favorite musicians and bands to a list and connect that list to Twitter #Music. That way, I won't have to all see my favorite artists' tweets clutter my Twitter feed, but I could still enjoy their music using this new app.
(In addition to installing Twitter #Music Thursday, I also signed up for and launched a free trial of Rdio, since I am no longer a Spotify subscriber. I like both services, but it's a matter of deciding how important it is to you to spend $10 extra a month to listen to music on your mobile device.)
There are so many ways to find great music these days, and Twitter has nicely added another one to the mix.
You've probably heard of Shazam, the mobile app available on different mobile devices that listens to a song and tells you what it is. My favorite similar app for that has been SoundHound, which gives you lyrics as well and a link to buy the song on the iTunes store.
I've also enjoyed exploring Noisetrade.com, through which emerging or indie artists offer free downloads in exchange for a donation.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with other favorite music apps, and I may use your suggestions in a future Get App-y column. For more information, go online to music.twitter.com. Get App-y's blog is available at blog.NewsOK.com/get-appy.