Apple's Ping, the music-based social network that has struggled to find any sort of dedicated fanbase, is set to be killed off with the next iTunes update and the public release of iOS 6, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to the publication:
Ping, which still exists today in iTunes 10.6.3 and the iOS 6 beta - where it doesn't work, will be gone with the software's next major release, likely scheduled for this fall. And at that point Apple's social networking offerings will shift to Twitter and new partner Facebook entirely.
We don't know too many people who'll miss it. Ping has been a far too barren wasteland for far too long. If its something you enjoy, though, then start saying your goodbyes.
Read More | WSJ
Over the weekend, Apple released iTunes 10.0.1, which mainly adds a sidebar to the music library for interaction with their Ping social network. The change makes it easier to “like” and “post” music that’s in your iTunes library to Ping, without having to actually go into the Ping area of the store. It’s obvious that the change is a way for Apple to spur more usage in Ping, which we are guessing has seen interest and usage drop since it was released at their last fall music event.
The problem with Ping is that Apple refuses to allow you to use it with any music that they don’t sell. Big Beatles fan? No way to show that in Ping, because Apple won’t let you post or like any Beatles tracks, since they don’t sell them. It’s almost asinine. Imagine if Facebook didn’t allow you to talk about anyone who didn’t have a Facebook account. Today I tried to “like” a track in my library that I was listening to, and I was greeted with the error message that you see above.
Until Apple makes Ping more of a social network, and less of a music selling tool, consider us uninterested.
Earlier at today’s fall music event, Steve Jobs announced that iTunes 10 would be available today. Well, it took them a while—close to ten hours in fact—but it’s finally available for download. As we mentioned earlier, iTunes 10 features the Ping social network, cheaper TV show rentals, improved iPhone/iPad/iPod syncing, and AirPlay support. You can download it now.
Read More | iTunes