Twitter Launches Music Service That Sort of Works, Ignores Android Completely
Twitter launched it’s recently rumored music service today! Twitter #Music was announced this morning on Good Morning America, and comes in the form of an iOS app and web service. Notably absent is an Android version of Twitter #Music, so I’ll focus on the web service which at the moment seems buggy and not fully formed.
Twitter #Music pulls its songs from Spotify, Rdio, and iTunes. In theory, if you link it to your Spotify or Rdio account you can listen to full tracks, otherwise you just get the iTunes preview. I say “in theory” because when I tried to sign in with my Spotify account, it asked me to give Twitter #Music permission. I agreed, but then nothing happened. I could still only listen to the iTunes previews. I signed up for an Rdio account, and linking that went pretty smoothly.
The default view for Twitter #Music is its “Popular” category, which has Psy topping the chart with “Gentleman”. I’m not much of a top 40 kind of guy, so I went to the “Suggested” page, where the service recommends music it thinks you’ll enjoy based on who you follow, and in turn, who they follow. Here’s what Twitter suggested for me:
Twitter can’t come up with a single song it thinks I will like. That’s surprising since over the last week or so I’ve been telling Twitter how much I like the new Sean Nelson song “Make Good Choices.”
— Glen Tickle (@glentickle) April 9, 2013
— Glen Tickle (@glentickle) April 14, 2013
The recommendations are based on who users follow. I’ll admit I don’t follow many musicians on Twitter, though I do follow Nelson, Mark Mulcahy from Polaris, Donald Glover, and a few others. It also pulls from who the people you’re following are following, but my recommendations list still came up dry.
There’s a page where you can listen to tracks by artists you follow, so I clicked over to it, and these were my choices:
I had a choice between Childish Gambino’s “Heartbeat” and Tommy Johnagin’s “Baby Jokes” and that’s it. Johnagin isn’t a musician. He’s a comedian, and a great one, but not what I expected to see when looking for music.
There’s an “Emerging Artists” section for finding new music, but I looked around a bit and didn’t come across anything I particularly liked. Then I tried the search feature to see if I could pull up “Make Good Choices” manually, but this is what came up:
Okay. Nelson’s album isn’t out yet, so I searched for his old band Harvey Danger, but got the same error page. They were bigger a few decades ago, so I tried more popular musicians. Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, and Ben Folds all turned up the same result.
When they get the service working, it will probably be a fun way to find new music based on things you already like, and music that the people you like like. For now though, it’s pretty much just a way to listen to Psy if you have a Rdio account, which is something you can just do on Rdio.