Application Programming Interface, thy name be “awesome!”
Excuse the geek-out, if you’re not up on your API ABC’s, but how else are we to react to the fact that Facebook just added a Listen button to its artist pages that lets you play songs from that artist just about instantly, by hooking in to each service’s API?
Unlike the MySpace (which is now a Facebook app) pages of yore, bands don’t need to upload anything in order for the music to play. Instead, Facebook lets you listen on any of the supported unlimited music services that are connected to your account.
Facebook defaults to the service you use the most, as noted by Techcrunch, but you can still choose which one you want. Each one behaves a bit differently (as noted in part by our pal @jherskowitz of Tomahawk fame):
Rdio only plays 30-second samples unless you have a premium account. It appears to create a playlist of the most popular tracks by that artist.
Spotify, which recently launched a universal web-based Play button of its own, takes you to the artist page for that artist, where you can listen to as many full-length tracks as you want, starting with Top Hits and then leading to the full albums in order of most-recently-released.
Slacker Radio connects you to the artist’s radio station on its streaming radio service.
More Facebook Connect services likely work with this as well. We have confirmed that Grooveshark and Rhapsody do not. A Rhapsody spokeswoman expressed surprise not to see the link there, because Rhapsody is integrated into Facebook music.
Facebook artist pages aren’t just fun and games; they’re a real place where fans look for bands, and in most cases, find them. Now, those pages hook into three popular unlimited on-demand music services.
Last September, we mentioned that music needs connective tissue. Now, it has it, to a helpful extent.
Music fans: Please stop complaining, even though it’s tax day. This is just one reason we’ve never had it so good.