[LIFE AND TECH] Are You Listening to @Twitter #Music?<br />

If you’ve gotten tired of Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Last.fm or any of the other myriad music discovery services out there, technology will always have you covered with something new that hopes to be the next big thing. Social network giant Twitter is hoping to conquer the music world with its new #Music app, but it’s definitely going to be an uphill climb in a very crowded field. Here’s what you need to know about the social network’s newest venture.

Trying to capitalize on its more than 200 million users worldwide and keep them on the site longer, Twitter is getting into the music game with the #Music app. The app launched last week for iPhone or the web with an Android version coming soon. It leverages the conversations being had by users to bring you the most talked about tracks. There are four categories of music discovery: 1) ‘Popular’, which shows you what music is trending on Twitter; 2) The ‘Emerging’ category brings you “hidden talent” discovered from various tweets across the network, although how that talent is actually found is unclear; 3) There is a ‘Suggested’ category with music suggestions based on your previous tweets and who you follow; and ‘4) #Now Playing’ shows you which artists people you follow are tweeting about. I won’t name names, but someone I follow recently tweeted about @adinahoward’s “Freak Like Me” – and I’m not judging at all.

The interface has a pretty cool and easy to use tile format, and when you select an artist in any of the categories, you can listen to a 30-second preview of the song and buy it from iTunes if you’d like. If you have a Spotify or Rdio account, you can link it to Twitter #Music to listen to the entire song. In one click you can visit the artist’s Twitter profile where you can follow them or see which musicians they follow as well. And you are encouraged to tweet your musical selections to add to the conversation.

While all of this sounds nice, Twitter #Music does still have a little way to go. With everything that’s already out there, and everything that is coming soon (Facebook and Google have their own music services on deck), will #Music get lost in the shuffle? Personally, I’d like to see the app actually get integrated with Twitter itself. Right now, you have to open it separately on your phone or on the web, an extra step that would be a lot slicker if you could get to it directly through the social network. There isn’t an option to create or share playlists, something that’s going to have to change ASAP if this app wants to compete with what’s already out there. But overall, I think Twitter is off to a pretty good start. Let me know what you think: is Twitter #Music something you’d use?

Follow tech-life expert Stephanie Humphrey on Twitter.