Some competition is expected from Apple’s new social networking site, “Ping,” launched recently as a feature of iTunes, version 10. Because iTunes has been around for several years, Ping automatically has 160 million users.  It is both Twitter-like and Facebook-like. You can have “followers,” a la Twitter, who don’t share in all your activities on the site, as well as friends who send you messages.

Ping is just about music, however. You can find out what your friends are listening to and what concerts they plan to attend, as well as read their music reviews.  You can preview what they like and click to buy one of their selections, usually for 99 cents. Looks like mainly a way for Apple to sell more music.

To try Ping, download iTunes 10, the latest version, from iTunes.com. After it’s installed, click on the Ping icon on the left side of your screen.  It will ask you to choose three styles of music or audio. We chose “comedy,” “classical” and “soundtracks.” Nevertheless, Ping recommended we follow Lady Gaga and the Dave Matthews band, which didn’t fit our categories at all. Instead, we chose Yo Yo Ma and a few people we’ve never heard of because they had similar tastes.  We liked a new recording of “Classical Gas.”

The Ping network uses first names only, which is a bummer if your friends don’t use photo of themselves: How do you know one Fred from another?

Comments are closed.