With the inception of the Timeline UI, Facebook has become more than your run-of-the-mill social network. It brings applications, it documents your life chronologically, it has your photos geographically — it becomes your personal database with Timeline. The cool bit about Timeline is that one can now literally do most of the things from within Facebook and never log on to a separate webpage. For this article, I will be focusing on the Facebook Timeline’s integration with third party music services.
Naysayers could argue that services like Pandora and Spotify have been around for long and Facebook’s integration with these services is not a big deal. However for users in India, it is a big deal because these so called big guns of music streaming are only available stateside due to licensing deals even with the Facebook integration. However, we have some interesting interesting home-brewed options such as Saavn, Gaana.com and global services like SoundCloud. Also Read - What happens to your Facebook account after you die?
To enable these features all one has to do is to activate Timeline via www.facebook.com/about/timeline and from there like the respective pages of Saavn, Gaana.com or SoundCloud from Facebook itself and choose the ‘Connect with Facebook’ option on the service page. One can also download their respective apps on iOS and Android and login with Facebook credentials to connect. Also Read - WhatsApp Multi-device support confirmed, public beta rollout begins in two months: Mark Zuckerberg
The moment one starts playing a song it gets posted on the music section one’s Timeline. Users can choose to post their playlist as a status just like in ones instant messenger and because each and every song is being posted on the Music Timeline users can actually start playing their regularly played songs from the Timeline without going into the app. In addition to this, users can also see what their friends are listening to on Facebook and can share their favorite tracks.
On the content side of things Saavn and Gaana.com provide a similar localized music catalog. Most of the content is from Bollywood movies though on Gaana.com I managed to stumble upon a myriad of international artists as well such as John Mayer. Interestingly, discovering music via such streaming services is a delightful experience. For instance when I found John Mayer among the artists, I stumbled upon his latest song Shadow Days, something to which I was oblivious to.
While Saavn and Gaana.com were brilliant at finding localized content and finding stuff you were looking for, SoundCloud excelled at purely discovering new music from indie artists. As a guitarist myself I have used SoundCloud for sometime as I would often upload my original compositions and share it with my friends. While this used to be restricted to audiophile friends as I would also upload files in .FLAC formats for the purity of my sonic creations, now with the Facebook Timeline integration, SoundCloud is haven for people looking for good new music unchained from the ‘pop’ requirements of record labels.
With these music applications tied into Facebook Timeline one can not only access a lot of legal music, but can also keep record of what one is listening to, in the process detailing the changes in ones musical changes. If we had Timeline five years ago when I joined Facebook, a clear change from Pop to progressive/psychedelic rock could be mapped out as far as my musical tastes were concered. Among all the things Facebook Timeline brings to the table, perhaps the ability to discover new music is the most priceless aspect of the new open graph UI and with Saavn, Gaana.com and SoundCloud following suit, we can just expect things to get better only.