The celebrity-hawked Twitter Music app is finally here. And what’s good enough for Ryan Seacrest is good enough for us. Kind of.
Opening the app prompts you to sign in using either Rdio or your premium Spotify account — in other words: shove off, moochers. Any non-subscribers will have to satisfy themselves with iTunes previews. But once you make it past the barrier, four screens of mostly useful but potentially misguided music discovery await.
The first two tabs conveniently condense and filter Twitter’s trending data into lovely grids of Popular and Emerging artists, all of which can take you straight to their Twitter profile or radio channel in a single click. The third offers tailored recommendations based on your followed artists. All of which makes sense, in theory.
But our Twitter feeds generally aren’t based on our musical preferences so much as our enchantment with the biggest and most bizarre train wrecks we can find — regardless of whether we actually like what they’re putting out. For instance, Twitter seemed to think I’d enjoy the musical stylings of a one Brooke Candy (I implore you not to click on that if you’re at work/around children/want to feel clean ever again) based on… I’m really not sure. Kanye West, maybe?
The last screen shows you what your friends are playing, or rather, what your friends have been willing to publicly tweet about what their playing. I was able to see that Gizmodo’s very own News Editor Peter Ha had been listening to this three days go — that’s also the only thing I could see. At least for now, people aren’t generally inclined to tweet out every song they listen to to the world, and Twitter Music is new enough that you won’t find many friends there.
The artist profiles profiles are handy though; you can even follow them at your leisure, all within the app. The #NowPlaying record icon in the corner is, in fact, extremely useful, letting you play and pause without having to jump tabs, and you can even tweet your current song out the world in the same fell swoop.
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashfein) April 18, 2013
Overall, however, functionality is limited. You can search for specific artists but not songs. So if you’re someone who wants more control over what you’re hearing, the app is probably best used as a means of finding new music — and nothing else.