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Twitter Launches #Music Service, Still Too Early To Be Useful

Posted by on April 18, 2013 at 9:26 am
What can I say, I'm hard to please.

What can I say? I’m hard to please.

Finding new music is a pain in the butt, especially with my particular tastes. Pandora works fine to the extent that you have skips available or it’s not playing all those same tracks again. There are even multiple Spotify apps that try to help, but it’s just not enough. Today, Twitter unveiled their own music service, designed to tackle specifically that. How well does it work? Uh…

Don’t overestimate what this “service” is. Twitter is weeding through its vast library of billions of tweets and through some Big Data analysis, plucking out trending artists and recommendations. The service is broken down into four areas. The Popular tab is just that, all your Chris Browns and Rihannas and the rest of the zeitgeist’s cultural sludge. Emerging picks out, through some clever analysis, some below-the-radar artists for a more specified tastes. Suggested, as you see above, wants to pick out related music based on, I guess, which artists I follow on Twitter. You also have a #NowPlaying feed for when your friends hashtag in their own listens.

Now, I said not to overestimate what this service is. You’re only given thirty-second iTunes-powered samples, but if you plug in your Spotify or Rdio accounts, you get access to full songs – if they’re available. Of course, if Twitter is making recommendations based on who I follow, then it’s a fundamentally broken system. Twitter says I only follow one artist, Aesop Rock, which generates zero recommendations. But maybe I don’t want to follow all these artists just so that Twitter can start making music for me. Maybe I don’t want to get artist tour date spam or that singer is actually a really big jerk who won’t stop talking about their bizarre politics. I don’t want that crap clogging my immaculate feed.

I suppose if you’re already in that Twitter bucket, it makes sense that this would be something you want, but it looks like another missed opportunity to me.

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