Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ping is No MySpace Killer

Boy, I love a day when Apple releases (or talks about) new products. So it was with great excitement that I started reading about Ping, Apple's supposed "MySpace killer." A social network that exists right at the site where the music is? How fun.

Mashable's story on the MySpace killer Ping

Eagerly I downloaded the new version and tested it out. Well, yes, Apple, except for one small teeny tinsy little thing here: you forgot the "social" in social network. You also continue to thrust at us old world versions of the music we live today, and this "Ping" is functional for really no one.

There is no chat function. There are no forums. There is, in short, no way for one user to interact with another user, other than to "follow" them. And if you follow them, you'll see, in Twitter feed fashion, what music that person is buying. Great. More along the lines of who cares?

You'll also see which concerts they attended by which artist. Apple seems to have stolen (their format, their content structure) excessively from iLike, which is now partnered with MySpace Music.

But there's no way to ask your friend on this site, "Hey, what'd you think of that concert?" That is, after all, what a "music social network" should be about. Sure, your friend can "review" the album. But there is no connection. It's all distant viewing.

MySpace, at least, has chat and messaging all built in. You can see a band's concert calendar at the ready, and how much tickets are. You can comment when you saw their show in Portand and wanted to immortalize how awesome it was for you. None of that BASIC social networking stuff is here on Ping.

Ping, in fact, is really only a spruced up version of iTunes. The function, thrust at you, is BUYING stuff. Specifically buying their top artists. Upon setup, you have to choose only three genres of music that you like (!?!). Then you get their picks for you ("Artists We Recommend You Follow"). One of my selections was Alternative. Yet the artists they presented me with included Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. And Diddy. The only vaguely Alternative act they presented was U2.

Insert eyeroll here. Don't be worried, MySpace. Don't even bat an eye over this new "killer" in town.

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