Well, seems like the new version of iTunes has some social functions now. Though Ping is newly born, some people, like eternal Apple hater Peter Kirn seem to have already written it off. That is a huge mistake. Kirn also has said that the iPad is a failure as well. Heck, he thinks that because Apple has not allowed Flash on the iPhone/iPad….that the iPad isn’t OPEN SOURCE and it’s not a Mac. Seems to really have hurt the iPad sales…..NOT. Ok, so lets put away Kirn’s ramblings and assumptions….he sometimes publishes things worth reading when he isn’t pushing his Open Source dementia upon us.
Ping. I think it is very interesting. A highly focused Social integration about something we all have in common. Much better than Facebook. Geeze, Facebook recommends friends who I have NOTHING in common with…..or friends of friends which it assumes will be friends of mine. I think not. Ping on the other hand, narrows its focus to what types of music you like. Though it only lets you select THREE Genres of music, I expect that at some point it will have some sort of Genius type feature which will scan your library and recommend things from that. Genius in iTunes works fairly well……..not 100% but it comes up with some interesting stuff sometimes. What if Genius and Ping worked together, so Genius started looking at what your Friends are listening to, and perhaps recommending stuff based on that? And vice versa? Ping is now in existence, and I think we will be seeing this shortly. I’d expect by December we will have gone through a couple of iTunes versions, probably up to 10.5. Anyone remember how the App store or the iPhone OS started? Apple tip toes at first……so expect things to get interesting soon.
Ping displays on your profile Albums that you Like, Rate, Review or Purchase. Now, iTunes won’t let you review an Album unless you buy it. However, you can Rate, Like and Post it. Rating an album, even though you didn’t buy it from iTunes, shows up on your Ping profile. Liking an Album does as well, and Posting it lets you put a message about the Album, like “Get the track Doctor Sax off this…..Michael Brecker tears it up!”.
The problem is that there is way to Ping things that are not in iTunes. So that bootleg recording of Brecker Brothers or that hot Japanese Fusion band……if they are NOT in iTunes, then you can’t Ping them. Nor can you ping just individual songs off Albums. Nor do your Ratings of Songs that are in your iTunes Library show up on Ping. Now, I think these will be showing up in Ping real soon. It makes a LOT of sense to do this (if the user wants to).
In all, Ping isn’t Facebook. I think that is a GOOD thing. Facebook is just stupid now……news outlets, companies, everyone is using it. And the result is that you end up not caring about what your “friends” are doing. Or you just end up playing the games there. I think what Apple is trying to do with Ping is, like it has done before, narrow it’s focus on something and make it amazing. I think Apple can and will be doing some interesting/amazing stuff with Ping shortly.
I have to wonder though…..in a long term game plan, what if Apple has been watching Facebook, and sees some things that it thinks it can do better, and puts that into it’s Mobileme? I mean, I think me.com could be an amazing Social site that, if it took the good parts of Facebook, and tied it into iOS, GameCenter and me.com……that would be pretty interesting….
Anyhow, if you are on Ping, follow me