Just over a month after the app's existence was first reported by CNET, Twitter Music has arrived. As promised, it provides a way for you to discover tunes through artists and songs trending on Twitter, check out the artists who follow your favorite bands, and listen to and purchase music directly.
Sounds simple, right? Well, the reality is a bit more complex. First off, the app is a more of a music discovery tool rather than a music player. You won't be able to search for and play specific songs or create radio stations as other services do; rather, this app is more about finding music that people are talking about on Twitter. Is it useful to know what's the most popular song on Twitter? I'm not so sure. People follow artists and other users on Twitter for a lot of different reasons. You may follow an artist because you like her music or you because he's a fascinating social-media personality. Twitter Music won't know the difference.
You can get to the main navigation area of the app with a button at the top, where you'll find selections for Popular, Emerging, Suggested, and NowPlaying. The Popular section shows you what's currently trending; Emerging gives up-and-coming acts; Suggested shows you artists you might like based on your tweets and follows; and NowPlaying shows the songs that people you follow have mentioned recently. The interface is very well laid out for what the app does, with colorful pictures of artists that are fun to browse. But the thing I can't get past is that each of these lists is based on the Twitter world alone. I can get top 40 lists anywhere, so why would I want to get them just from Twitter users? Frankly, I couldn't quite think of a reason.
There is also a search function, but in my testing, it seemed only to be useful for looking up artist profiles. I did a few searches for popular songs, but got limited results.
Selecting an artist in the list brings up more options. From here you can play a 30-second clip of the song powered by iTunes, add the artist to people you follow on Twitter with a button in the upper right, or touch the artist's Twitter name at the bottom to bring up all the other artists who follow that artist.