Twitter launches music discovery app

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LOS ANGELES -- Twitter is finally jumping into music discovery. The influential microblogging site has released a new service, Twitter music, that will allow its more than 500 million users to explore the tracks that people are buzzing about in 140 characters or less.

The new app, which is separate from its primary social network, was made available to iPhone users through the iTunes App Store (sorry, Android owners) and online Thursday.

So how does it work? Twitter music helps users find music based on the musicians they follow. The app also recommends bands that users might be interested in, shows what tracks the people you follow are currently tweeting about and allows you to browse through the songs currently trending.

The app also offers users a streamlined view of music from the artists they follow and curates up-and-coming emerging acts based off Twitter chatter.

Users can search other Twitter profiles and see the music that person follows -- it's a great way to see what acts your favorite artist is keeping tabs on. What's not so great? Unless it's hidden, you can't play additional songs from any one artist through the site.

The songs on Twitter music currently come from iTunes, Spotify and Rdio. Music is played as snippets via iTunes with a link to purchase the song. However, subscribers to Rdio or Spotify can link their accounts and play full tracks, which means the bands you explore must have music on one of those services.