updated 12:34 pm EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
Uses followed artists, tweets to suggest music, shows popular tracks
Twitter has launched its rumored music service today, revealing both a web app and one for iOS. Twitter #music uses posts on Twitter, artists followed and mentioned by users, to generate a playable list of tracks that are either highly talked about on the microblogging service, artists it believes are emerging, and tracks that individual users may enjoy listening to.
A short preview of tracks can be played through both versions of the app, sourced through iTunes, with subscribers of Rdio and Spotify able to listen to full tracks directly from their accounts. The track player gives options to buy the track through iTunes, as well as to compose a tweet about the song. Selecting an artist brings up more Twitter-based information about the person or group, with the chart updating to show other artists followed by them.
One chart uses the hashtag #NowPlaying to generate a list of tracks being listened to by people the user follows on Twitter, under the reasoning that there may be a sharing of musical tastes. Other sections, such as the Popular and Emerging charts, are generated without taking into account an individual user's tastes, instead covering the service as a whole.
Though the app is available to download through iTunes and is available to use in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, an Android version of the app is notably absent. The Twitter blog does state that an Android app is on the cards, as well as expanding the service to other countries.
The #music service is not the first attempt by a tech company to make music social. Apple previously ran its Ping service through iTunes itself, but it did not manage to survive past two years. Last.fm, a service that tracks music playback and suggests other users with similar tastes as well as a music discovery feature, is still in operation.