Twitter's Music Service Is Here and It's Not Really a Music Service

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After a soft roll out with celebrities over Coachella weekend, Twitter Music is here for everyone else, after a big debut on Good Morning America on Thursday. The app is already available in the app store, the web service will officially open for business "in the next few hours," according to this Twitter blog post.  So far, that doesn't seem to be working for Atlantic Wire writers, but you can head here to see if it works for you. Update: After a little technical hiccup, the site works now. So far there is no Android availability.  

At this point, you might be wondering: What makes this app different than all the others out there? Well, it's not a streaming music service. Unlike Rdio or Spotify, it doesn't have any contracts with record companies. Rather, it works with those existing services—Rdio, Spotify and iTunes, specifically—to help people better discover music. "It helps you find music that's popular on Twitter and music based on the bands you follow," explains ABC's Joanna Stern. That "discovery" happens  through four tabs: #NowPlaying, Suggested, Popular and Emerging:

Under #nowplaying you can see music that artists or people you follow on Twitter have tweeted out. The Suggested tab shows artists you might like based on the bands you follow and who they follow. Popular shows you music that's trending across Twitter and, finally, Emerging shows "hidden talent found in tweets"—it's not quite clear what exactly that means. A lot of the discovery depends on who you follow, but it seems like a decent way to find new things.

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All of this hooks up to your existing Rdio, Spotify, or iTunes account—you just log in with your credentials for that service and don't ever have to leave Twitter to listen to the music. Unless you're an iTunes fan, in which case you can only preview the song and have to head back over the iTunes to listen to the full thing. (Because of course Apple would never let Twitter take over its service.) In any case, it's kind of nice to see Internet services working together, especially considering Spotify has such a close relationship with Facebook already. Twitter has said that it will "continue to explore and add other music service providers," suggesting that the togetherness will continue, which would be great for everyone. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.