Turning inner space into outer space

April 29, 2013

Can't get no satisfaction from Twitter #music

Never heard of Laura Mvula before, but I’m tempted to buy one of her songs. I found it in the Emerging section of the #music app, and I have to say this soul singer has a beautiful and expressive voice.

So does this mean I recommend this new app from Twitter? Not really.

Let’s go through the four main sections. First of all is Popular — in other words, the top 140. Yes, the number of songs is limited just like the number of characters in a tweet. Cute. Unfortunately, it’s filled with autotuned schlock. If this is the kind of music you’re into, you don’t need an app to tell you what’s hot. It’s everywhere.

The Emerging section holds out more hope, because it gets away from the Top 140. It’s advertised as “hidden talent found in the tweets,” but there is no information on how these songs are chosen. Most of the selections are not worth listening to, but, still, that’s where I found Mvula — so it’s not all bad.

Moving on, we come to the Suggested section. Mine started out empty, possibly because I’m not following any of the artists on Twitter and have no intention of doing so. But just as an experiment, I tried following Rihanna, refreshed the section and was presented with nine suggestions ranging from Bruno Mars to Katy Perry, with Britney Spears and Lady Gaga in between. Yuck. Urgent unfollow.

OK, that wasn’t a fair test because I would never follow Rihanna in a million years. So I tried following someone whose music I do genuinely like — Alex Cuba. Argh, it’s still the same junk being suggested. But at least, curiously enough, he (or at least his minions) followed me back.

The fourth section, called #NowPlaying, is based on tweets from people I follow. Apparently, the people I follow aren’t tweeting about their music because this section is empty. Could it be that these people are too sensible to bother their followers with fawning tweets about the song they happen to be listening to? Maybe.

Or maybe, to paraphrase, the Beach Boys: I guess I just wasn’t made for this app.