image taken from an iPhone shows the new Twitter
music app. Twitter announced Thursday April 18,
2013, a new app that uses tweets and other
Twitter activity to detect the most popular
tracks and emerging artists. Twitter #music
allows people to go to artists’ profiles to
see which music they follow, listen to songs by
those artists and tweet songs right from the
ANGELES — Until now, my problem with social music
services has been this: Following friends doesn't
really turn up much music I actually want to hear. We
didn't become friends because we share musical tastes,
and too few of them are using the services I'm trying
new music service solves this problem. It helps that
it's free. With it, I'm able to sneak a peek into the
musical interests of the artists I like. For example,
I discovered that Gotye likes the Divine Fits, a Los
Angeles-based band I'd never heard of until now,
because he follows them on Twitter.
a tap on the colorful photo representing the band, I
can listen to a 30-second preview of the new song of
theirs that is being tweeted about the most. For the
Divine Fits, that's "Like Ice Cream." It was
catchy enough for me to want to hear more.
listening to a preview, I can tap a button to buy the
track on iTunes or listen to the full song through a
$10-a-month subscription from Spotify or Rdio. I can
also find other songs from the artists through those
discovery tool, Twitter's (hash)music service provides
a convenient, visually pleasing way to filter through
the deluge of music that's out there.
I could have replicated this feature by digging
through Gotye's Twitter profile and individually going
into the profiles of people he's following to
determine if they're artists. Then I could search
elsewhere for their songs or music videos. But that's
more work than I'm ready to put into this.
service highlights the artists for you and features
the song preview right there.
service also has a tab for emerging artists that it
somehow digs out from tweets. I'm not sure how they're
selected, but random poking around this page is how I
found the broody music of Skylar Grey.
new music can be tough. It's easy to get hit over the
head by the chart-toppers, who are everywhere. There's
also a "popular" tab in (hash)music for a
rundown of which artists are trending on Twitter.
way more difficult to find music you like if you never
knew a band existed. This provides a way.
now, (hash)music is available as an iPhone app and on
the Web at https://music.twitter.com. Twitter says an
Android version is coming, but it didn't say when.
its usefulness for music discovery, the Twitter (hash)music
app is fun to play with. It is far more engaging than
Twitter's regular app, and swiping around makes the
squares representing artists bounce around. Tapping to
play a song clip generates a spinning icon with album
cover art that harkens back to the heyday of vinyl
this is a marketing tool and I was skeptical to start.
And (hash)music is not perfect for listening. Artists
have only one song apiece on their profiles, so if you
want to hear more you've got to go elsewhere.
even if you buy a song from iTunes after discovering
it here, tapping the play button on the artist's
square again will still play the 30-second preview. I
discovered this after buying Skylar Grey's "Final
Warning" for 69 cents. To hear the full version,
I had to go back to the iPhone's music player.
also didn't track the (hash)NowPlaying tag very well,
despite putting it in all my tweets from the service.
There was a considerable lag in showing these tweets
from people I follow compared with my normal Twitter
full song plays within the service, you have to sign
up for a premium subscription to Spotify or Rdio, each
of which costs $10 a month.
made using (hash)music much better, although I
discovered more artists by listening to just 30
seconds, making a quick decision and moving on —
kind of like speed dating for music. The clips will
play back-to-back, which can make for a jarring
listening experience. But you also can focus your time
on quick music discovery and go elsewhere to learn
the service to my Rdio account helped because the
songs I played through (hash)music showed up on the
Rdio app's history list. That way, I could switch to
Rdio to listen to the whole album.
to (hash)music, I discovered that I like the Divine
Fits and Skylar Grey within, say, a half hour of
fiddling with the service. That makes it worth
downloading, in my view. I'll go back to it when I'm
on the hunt again for music I didn't know was there.