9/3/10
9:59 am

MacMost Now 446: Apple’s Ping Social Network

Apple introduced its first modern social network with Ping in iTunes 10. Ping allows you to follow your friends and see what music they have purchased and comment on music and other iTunes items.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at Ping. So Ping is the new social network from Apple.They exist completely in iTunes 10 and it's all about music. Let's take a look at what you can do with Ping. So you can access Ping several different ways. One is by clicking on the Ping item in the left sidebar. Another is going to the iTunes store and clicking on the Ping tab here at the top. When you first do it you'll be asked if you want to activate Ping, turn it on,and then you'll be asked to fill out a profile. We'll look at that in a second. Then there's several different pages you go look at inside Ping. One is my profile here which lists information about me as I filled it out, cleaned my bio, the music I listed as liking and follow, or comments that I left or albums that I've liked, things like that. The main screen for Ping seems to be the recent updates screen and here's recent activity and everybody that you're following including purchases they've made and also you see charts on the right which are made up of songs and albums that people that you are following have bought. There's also the people screen which has two tabs, people that you follow, and people who are following you. There's also the featured screen which right now just lists a different bunch of featured artists ,um, and if you go to those artists you can actually see things like tour dates and other information about them and also some other people that Apple thinks you should be following, I assume that this list will be updated overtime. So here's some tips for using Ping. One of these things that you see right away are these artists who we recommend you follow, uh, its easy to get to these another ways besides having them take up the primary screens so you can click these little x buttons here to completely remove the sections. Now one of the tricky things is how to edit your profile, your profile comes up when you sign on to Ping but after you've done that, getting back to your profile can be a little tough. What you need to do is go to your account information and you do that by clicking on your account name at the upper right hand corner of iTunes which is right behind me right now, uh, and then one of the options there is to uh, go to your account settings. Once your in your account settings you can look through that and you can see, uh, Ping and it can turn it on or off, so that's how to turn it off if you want to quit Ping and you can edit your profile clicking on the button there, and it brings up all your profile information and you can change your photo, change information about you including the about me box which is really the only place where you can kind of express yourself here. You can also edit the generas that you like, you can only pick three so you can switch between those. And you can also edit the music you like, you can have it automatically display music you like, don't display it at all on your profile, or manually pick it. If you manually pick then basically you can rearrange these, and you have ten slots to fill and you can do quick searches for groups that you like and then drag and drop the results into there. You also can change your privacy settings. Here's another tip. This is something a lot of people been having trouble with, uh, if you want to send a link to somebody,uh, so they can follow you on Ping, don't use that e-mail all your friends, tell them about Ping link that we showed before because that just sends them an e-mail about Ping, it doesn't say anything about your profile, so you set a link to your profile, the way you do that is that you go to your profile in Ping, control click on your name and you can copy link and this gives you a special link that if you send it to someone in e-mail or faceboook message or tweet it,uh, it will launch iTunes and take them directly to your profile and given chance to click the follow button. So another thing you do with Ping is outside of Ping when you're in the iTunes store and say your looking at a piece of music and you want to comment on it. A couple ways you can do that is that you can click on the like button here, another is that you click on the post button, clicking on the post button will allow you to a message that will be shared with the people that are following you. And of you course you can also comment on posts that other people make when they like albums or purchase music or do just about anything on Ping. So missing from Ping is the ability to comment or like music that's not in iTunes. For instance if you like the Beatles there's no way to express that. So it's really more a social network for iTunes users then it is a social network for music fans. Also, you can't just post a message, a message has to be associated with something like liking a specific item in iTunes or making a purchase or commenting on something somebody else did. There's really no way to throw a message out there for your social network to see. This is Apple's first jump into modern social media I expect to see a lot of new features and things added overtime. Until then, this seems to work really best if you've got a group of friends that all purchase music from iTunes and you want to create a small circle of friends and share your purchases and share your likes and dislikes inside of iTunes. I'd be interested to hear what you think about Ping. Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 3 Responses to “MacMost Now 446: Apple’s Ping Social Network”

    G Tyler
    9/3/10 @ 1:11 pm

    Not sure why they limited this to just music. I would much rather talk about TV shows and movies with my friends.

    Maybe they are just trying to sneak up on Facebook. How cool would Facebook be if Apple designed it? Hmmmm

    I also see that the spammers have attacked Ping too. They make it sound like anybody can get a free Apple iPod just by filling out a survey.

    DefenseEngineer
    9/4/10 @ 7:54 am

    Ping is an interesting idea. However, with the current iTunes store, it is not useful to me. If iTunes sold lossless audio, then I would feel differently and would likely start purchasing music through iTunes. For now, I’ll stick to CDs for my home stereo and converting those CDs to higher bit rate MP3s for my iPhone and car stereo.

    I also do agree with G Tyler above me on the TV shows and movies idea. Those are the only things I do rent/buy through iTunes.

    Vicki
    10/29/10 @ 10:27 am

    Wow. This video never appeared on my You Tube subscriptions. It’s been doing that for a while. I don’t know how to fix it, so I’m going to watch the videos from here.

Comments Closed.