iTunes Ping Loses Face and Closes the Book on You Know Who!

iTunes launched the latest extension to their music offering in the form of a social networking function, but on first pass it appears to be as dull as a urinal flush valve.

Having spent some time playing with this new social media music Toy, it was quickly thrown out of the pram and relegated to the social media toy box after about about thirty minutes.

In my opinion, Apple has arrived late on to the social media music scene, as Spotify did with their recent rush release of it’s new Social offering.  I have been using mflow for over five months now and it offers a lot more than Ping, and within a well designed and thought out download app.  If you want the freedom to really talk about music and discover new songs then try mflow – it’s the real deal!

You see, I have quite a few facebook friends and how am I supposed to interact with Facebook mates and drop comments, status messages and graffitti on other peoples walls in true hip hop style. Apple intended to launch with Facebook connect, but apparent last minute demands by Facebook proved ‘too onerous’ for Apple, Steve Jobs revealed. So when can we expect facebook and Apple to add each other to their friends list again?

Apples latest addition was supposed to be synchronising with users Facebook accounts according to the initial apple video tutorial, just prior to release.

This was noticed by a few including Jonny Evans of ComputerWorld, an expert in Apple matters.

So I decided to take the plunge. The sign up process was easy and straight forward although I felt short changed as I could only choose up to 3 of my favourite music genres. What is it about Apple?  They love rules don’t they!  Isn’t the whole point of communicating with other people about letting your personality come across. For your information Mr Steve Jobs, I have an eclectic taste in music from Billy Joel, James Morrison, Ray Charles, Mose Allison and a proclivity for 90’s dance music as well as the good ole 80’s era and some classical.

music genres

Once all the way in to the Ping interface, you can search for artists, people, comment on albums and music and you can invite your friends by email.  It’s a plain and simple no frills interface, and allows users to be able to share details of the songs they have purchased, and discover what their friends are listening to.

People have given mixed reviews on Ping so far. Om Malik, a well known technology industry commentator, said that the music-discovery tool “represented the future of social commerce”, while Jonny Evans, Apple expert at  said that Ping was “no Facebook killer”.

From a user point of view, initial feedback has been indifferent in that Ping’s recommendations do not match their musical tastes, while others have criticised the current restrictions in integration with other platforms.

What else is happening in the music search arena?  How will it effect SEO?

Google have announced a music search facility called One Box that is due to be launched in the US later this year. It will bring the power of search to the music industry.  You will be able to type in the lyrics of a song and the search results will give you sites where you can buy the music. But Google appears it will be partnering with specific music sites like imeme.

This is currently a US only service, but no doubt will soon be available across Europe pretty soon.

There’s no doubt that social media is now an integral part in the music industry, for artists, music sites and labels.

Ignoring this fact could mean you are missing out – it’s  time to get colourful with your social media campaigns.


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