Ping: Apple's Shiny and New Social Network


appleI was beat, incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Admit it. Madonna makes you dance to her 80's sensation each time as if it was your first time listening. And of course, every time Steve Jobs 'touches' you with a "shiny and new" Apple creation, he makes you feel it's your first time too. Today, the "new" iPod Touch is out and I'm envisioning a long line of crazed fans on Michigan Avenue outside the Apple store right now. Really, what is really new is Ping.

Steve Jobs has revealed iTunes 10, which means I am about 5 updates behind on my iTunes and very soon the Apple fan in my life will make sure I download it. Ok, the newest version of iTunes complete with a new logo, new features and its very own shiny and new social network for music called “Ping” is here. It has been described as the place where Facebook meets Twitter for music. According to Jobs, iTunes 10 adds a new way to share your taste in music with friends with Ping where you can follow your favourite artists, get updates about their new releases. next concerts and more!

"Ping is open now," says Steve Jobs. Rob Pegraro of the Washington Post writes, "The news-feed part of this looks a lot like Facebook; is Jobs critiquing that site when he boasts that Ping's privacy settings are super simple." Further, "Jobs demonstrates Ping, showing he's following both Gaga and a friend with an interest in music, Apple PR executive Katie Cotton. He posts an update that he'll be attending an upcoming concert that his friends will see, brings up a photo Yo-Yo Ma has posted and shows his own profile page on Ping, a Facebook-like list of his musical interests and activity." (Perhaps, Steve should consider listening to Madonna if he already likes Gaga)

As far as we know, Ping works on the iPhone and the iPod touch but not over the Internet at the moment. Amongst other features, Ping allows users to follow others, just like Twitter and you can follow artists or your friends to find out what they’re listening or what they’re creating. According to a post by Ben Parr on Mashable, it has custom song and album charts, a news feed, 17,000+ concert listings, and is available to 160 million iTunes users.

Currently, Apple continues to see a growing user base as more and more people are buying their first Mac internationally . Jobs announced that more than 11.7 billion songs have been downloaded through iTunes by music lovers. In addition, 450 million TV episodes and 100 million movies have been sold through Apple’s music software, along with 35 million books through the iBooks store. For what it's worth, Ping will open a new avenue for people to interact over their Apple products now.

So, if you're feeling a bit blue today, iTunes 10 is available and Steve wants you to Ping. This time, it really will be your first!

Photo Credit: The Pug Father

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