Casual Internet users, we apologize. If you had difficulty accessing your favorite websites or email at approximately 1pm EST this afternoon, it was surely on account of the swarms of music geeks, Apple fans and tech aficionados (Feedbackers are required to be all three!), all huddled in front of their computer screens, anxiously awaiting the semi-annual revelations from our turtleneck-and-jeans wearing oracle of smart, stylish gadgetry, The Steve. Among the many involuntary ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ over streamlined iPods, updated software packages and a revamped AppleTV, was an added feature to iTunes 10 that makes so much sense, we may instantly wonder how we ever lived without it. Get a load of Ping…
Steve Jobs described it as ‘Facebook and Twitter, meet iTunes’.
The capabilities of Ping include:
- Social music discovery: you can share music you’re listening to and see music your friends are listening to
- Follow and be followed: you can follow, and be followed by, friends and artists
- Share your thoughts and opinions
- Custom song and album charts: See top 10 lists customized by what your followers are listening to
- Over 17,000 concert listings: You can see upcoming concerts, and share concerts you are attending
- Easy integration with the iPhone/iPod Touch
- Available immediately
Our first thought? “Sorry, MySpace. It was nice knowing you…” Our second thought: Could anyone but Apple do this? Doubtful. When you have over 160 million active accounts already using iTunes, it’s easy to see how this could catch on. And before you cite Facebook’s half-billion users, consider that iTunes number doesn’t include the millions who download the software just as a music player/organizer/podcast feeder and never buy anything.
From the following screenshots, you can get a look at Ping, and see that it integrates seamlessly with the iPhone/iPod Touch.
The first screen shows an artist’s page, own-able by the performers themselves, which you can easily imagine would be a boon to the fan relations of all acts, big and especially small:
Next, the individual profile page, where you can share your musical taste with your friends and followers, even showing them what shows you’ll be going to. This represents a tremendous opportunity, again for artists, but also for fan meetups and peer networking:
Finally, the ubiquitous “feed” page, where you see the most recent updates from the people you follow, what they’re listening to and what they’re buying:
Still think “how did we live without this?” is a bit hyperbolic? Let us know your thoughts while we furiously refresh the iTunes download page.