April 18, 2013
Twitter Rolls Out New Music App For Web, iPhone
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Last week the “Twitter is starting a music app” rumors intensified after the We Are Hunted app makers announced they had been purchased by the popular microblogging site. Soon after, celebrities and musicians alike, including Ryan Seacrest, Wiz Khalifa, Blake Shelton and Ne-Yo began tweeting about the app and singing its praises.Today Twitter is letting the general public get their first glimpse of their new app appropriately called “#music,” and so far, it looks to be a beautifully designed and well thought out app. The app is currently available in the iOS App Store for iPhone and on the web, though the web version is hardly responsive as of the time of this writing, likely due to an influx of new users.
According to Twitter's blog, the #music app is all about connecting listeners to their favorite artists, discovering new music and sharing that music with others.
The app is split into four sections: Popular, Emerging, Suggested and #NowPlaying. Each of these categories gives you the option to follow the artists or musicians on Twitter as well as discover which artists they follow. The categories are self explanatory.
Popular compiles what the entire Twitterverse is currently tuned into and lists it in a grid. For instance, Demi Lovato looks to have the most popular track at the moment, and tapping on her tile gives you the option of playing her hit tune “Heart Attack” as well as peruse her Twitter profile. There´s also a quick “Follow” button located on each of the artists tiles, making it easy to fill up your Following list with artists a-plenty.
Emerging likely borrows from We Are Hunted´s algorithms and lists which artists are gathering the most attention as they burn their way through the charts. #music can even suggest artists you might enjoy based on what artists you´ve already Tweeted about as well as which subscription service you´re signed into, but more on that in a moment.
Finally, #NowPlaying gathers the songs your friends are listening to and places them in a grid, making sharing your music even easier. If your friend is using the #music app on the iPhone or the web, they´ll be able to listen to your recent tracks with ease.
Users can also search for artists to find them on Twitter, hear some of their music and share with others.
Twitter's #music brings back a bit of retro flavor, as well. A digital piece of vinyl sits on the bottom left-hand side of the screen and begins to spin when you play a track. Clicking this digitized record pulls up a larger player complete with spinning album artwork and a skeuomorphism slider to adjust the volume. You can even scrub across the record to rewind or fast forward the track, a very cool touch. Unfortunately this scrubbing is not accompanied by a record scratch, which seems like a real missed opportunity.
You can also Tweet which song you´re listening to from this larger player view and skip to the next track in the selected list.
Ah, but others will only be able to listen to the full tracks if they use a subscription-based music service; namely Spotify or Rdio. #music clips are powered by iTunes, and if you aren´t signed into one of these subscription services when you Tweet a song, a link to the album on iTunes is attached.
Once you´re signed into Spotify or Rdio, you´re able to stream full tracks and the songs you Tweet out will be accompanied with the appropriate link.
Twitter's #music is a slick app with the potential to help music lovers discover their next favorite artist and share their favorite tracks with friends. Yet the app almost seems redundant in a sense; users without a Spotify or Rdio account will only get 30-second previews before being whisked away to iTunes to buy the track.
This approach may be fine for the casual listener, but for the die-hard music fan this system gets in the way of a seamless listening experience. On the other hand, a die hard music fan is likely a subscriber to one of the aforementioned subscription services. The #music app is now available for free in the iOS App Store and online at Music.Twitter.com. Give it a spin, but make sure you sign up with Spotify first.
Image Below: Twitter's #music app features for iPhone. Credit: Michael Harper/redOrbit