With the launch of iTunes 10, Apple has launched it’s first social network aimed toward music lovers. They call it “Ping”. Discovering good new music is hard, and anything that helps me find it is welcomed. In fact, it’s something I’ve been looking for for a long time. MySpace never did it for me.
Some initial impressions on Ping:
- Importing friends is nearly impossible (unless you like typing peoples email addresses manually). You can search by name or email only for now. Facebook integration would have been nice, but I guess that won’t happen until Apple and Facebook agree on who’s paying who.
- Artist ‘follow’ suggestions are rubbish. I really couldn’t give a crap about 50 Cent. I have bought a lot of music on iTunes over the years. Apple should already know which artists I want to follow. Also, they have all my Genius playlist info (with star ratings), so they know all the music I like from external sources and CD imports over the years.
- Viewing photos, videos and listening to recommended tracks is well done, although a ‘Preview All’ button would be good when sampling an album in Ping
- Ping doesn’t detect URL’s and make them clickable. This is pretty basic stuff Apple.
- I do like the way you can access Ping on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Now I have a reason to launch iTunes on the device.
Overall, I think Ping could evolve into a great network if they fix some of the issues above. They may also open it up more to allow following of iOS developers and gaming studios, encouraging interactive feedback and reviews of apps. And also, why not include GameCenter integration & Movies in Ping?
I’m sure they will, and in the end, Apple may once again succeed in making me buy more content from them.