Last week, Apple announced a whole slew of things at their annual music event. Along with new iPods and a new Apple TV, came a revamped iTunes 10. All of the rumors leading up to this event pointed in the direction of iTunes in the cloud and getting more social. Well, at least one of these rumors became true, to a degree. Steve Jobs announced a new feature in iTunes called Ping. Ping is a social networking service inside of iTunes that lets you follow your friends, music artists, and other people of interest. You can “like” certain music and see what others are buying and liking as well. It is basically what Facebook would be if it was only to be about music. This post will show you how to set up Ping in iTunes.
The first thing you are going to want to do is make sure that you download iTunes 10. Feel free to go to this page to get the download.
Once you download the new iTunes 10, look for Ping under the “Store” tab on the left hand side as you can see from the picture above. You will then be asked to fill in your information and create an icon.
The next thing you will be asked to fill out is the privacy settings. Here, you will be able to determine if you want your profile to be shown to others and to what degree. You have the option to allow anyone to follow you. You can also require to approve people to follow you. Then you have the option of not letting anyone follow you. Personally, I chose to require my approval before anyone follows me. The reason being is that with the spammers that are coming on Ping, this is a good idea.
The next thing you will be asked to do is to choose the music that you like in your iTunes selection. This music will be shown on your profile if you want it to. Ping gives you the option of displaying all the music you have rated, reviewed or purchased or you can manually choose the music that you want people to see. You can also decide that you don’t want people to see the music you listen to. The only thing I don’t like about this feature is that Ping only uses the music you buy on iTunes. So if you are like me and you loaded a bunch of CD’s onto your iTunes library, they will not show up in Ping.
The last step to take in this set up is to invite others to follow you or go and follow other people or artists. I was a little discouraged searching for artists to follow as the artists I usually listen to were not on Ping. But at the same time, this was the 2nd day that Ping was open to the public, so I am hoping as Ping gets going more, more artists will be on there. I would see it as a no brainer for artists as this would be a good way to get more people involved in their music. You can also invite friends to join you on Ping. For now you can only do this through email. No Facebook Connect or Twitter at the moment. This is kind of a let down, but here is to hoping that these two features are added in the future. It would also be cool to see them add Flickr so that people can upload pics from concerts they go to.
From here you are now done setting up your Ping. So, is it worth doing? It is kind of hard to tell at the moment. Ping has been somewhat successful in its first week as it has gained about 1 million users. But it will be interesting to see how this service will work over time. At the moment, if you are not truly into music, you may not have much use for the service. I think Ping will become more popular if it can somehow integrate socially with other social networks. I don’t think it stands a chance on its own. But that is my opinion.
What do you all think about Ping? Will it work? Is it worth doing? If you are interested in following me on Ping, feel free to hit me up here.