Apple to retire Ping ahead of October iTunes revamp
iTunes has long been criticised for its cluttered and dated interface. A mish mash of services, all crammed into a single, bloated app. However, as of next month Apple will be rolling out a more streamlined and leaner version of iTunes to replace the current experience. Whilst trimming the fat for the next release, Apple have decided to close down its ‘social network for music’ known as Ping.
Ping’s retirement was announced at yesterday’s iPhone and iPod event in San Francisco, albeit rather quietly. As of September 30th Ping will be no more and the new iTunes will introduce a more context driven user experience, likely integrated with Twitter and Facebook to satisfy its socially savvy users.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook mentioned at this year’s D10 conference that he had no intentions of putting a lot of energy into the Ping service, stating that iTunes users on the whole found it a lacklustre experience. Many believed at the time that this was the death knell for Ping and that its days were almost certainly numbered. They were right.
After just two years Apple’s ‘social network for music’ will join a long list of failed social media experiments by some of the world’s largest tech companies, such as Google’s Buzz, and to a certain extent Wave, MySpace, Friendster and Yahoo! Buzz to name just a few.
So far Google is the only major tech company to see success in this space of late with the introduction of Google+. Although opinion is still divided on the subject of its popularity. As a Google+ user myself, I find the community there to be extremely active despite what the critics say. As with most social networking experiences, you have to invest time into the platform before you see its true value. Unfortunately for Apple this is exactly what didn’t happen with Ping. The likes of Last.fm and Spotify (mainly via Facebook) are the go-to places to share and discuss music these days. Ping is the last place anyone goes.
I for one am happy to see the back of Ping, iTunes has been in dire need of an overhaul for many years. The new contextual user interface touted by Apple could help iTunes reclaim some of its former glory, as Apple refocuses the app on what it needs to do best: Organise your music attractively and intuitively.Tagged in: apple, Friendster, google, iPod, itunes, MySpace, Ping, Tim Cook
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