After a week of teasing, Twitter Music is finally here. Only, it's not exactly a music service in the same vein as Spotify or Rdio. Instead, it's more of a discovery billboard that tells you what everyone else on Twitter is listening to. Let's take a look, shall we?
Here's what you see when you visit the main page, http://music.twitter.com:
The visual list presents the most popular songs being played on Twitter. In the version featured above, reigning king of YouTube Psy takes the number one seed with his "Gangnam Style" follow-up "Gentleman." At No. 2 is some bubblegum pop from Disney Channel vet Demi Lovato that I just clicked on and now hate myself for kind of liking.
Your fulcrum to Twitter Music is the navigation menu in the upper left-hand corner:
It's pretty straight-forward: "Emerging" presents you with a wall of non-Top 40 indie stuff you otherwise wouldn't find on the Popular page. "Suggested" algorithmically analyzes the artists you follow on Twitter and belches out similar suggestions. And #NowPlaying is where you find songs being tweeted out by the users you follow. (Their little Twitter icon is in the upper left of each box, lest you forget who's listening to what). Here's what my bare-looking #NowPlaying page looks like:
Twitter Music is splashy and visual, so if your weird co-worker, for example, shares that she's been listening to a new Taylor Swift track all morning, you can click Taylor's picture to listen to the same song. Frictionless sharing! Or something.
But what does playing music actually look like? Here, I clicked on Taylor Swift from the Popular page.
A little music player pops up in the lower-left corner and plays the track you've clicked on. If you're not signed into Spotify or Rdio (I'm not), you'll only get a short iTunes preview. To sign into one of those music services, click "Play Full Tracks" in the upper-right corner. (It's a little buggy right now; I had trouble signing in with Spotify.)
One last thing. Clicking the little tweet icon near the music player prepares a broadcast for whatever song you're currently playing. That way you can make the case to all your followers that "22" is a legitimately great pop song. If you're so inclined.
Personally, I think the interface is a little messy, but it's definitely an interesting way to find new music to listen to. Give it a try, and let us know what you think.