Originally Posted by netdog
Nonsense aside, what do people actually think of Ping? I haven't gotten around to looking at it yet, as I suspect is true for many of the 160 million iTunes users.
It will succeed or fail depending on how good it is, and how useful. First place to look regarding that is at the service itself, and probably not at the Zune.
Any opinions on Ping out there from people who have actually checked it out?
I don't like it yet. I was hoping it would be more like "I Like" on Facebook.
The biggest problem is the absolute dearth of artists. It seems much to difficult for artists to create a Ping profile, and none of my favorite artists are on the service, and I doubt whether most of my favorite artists ever will be. Why the hell doesn't Apple just automatically add a Ping profile for every artist that has an artist page? They could turn off public comments. And then if a representative of the artist wants to officially join and moderate the page, then they can work through all the arrangements at that time. The way it is now, we're only ever going to see label darlings, which means mostly shit music a la Lady Gaga (ok she's not that shit, but not my cup of tea) and Taylor Swift (clearly shit).
Another serious problem is the requirement to use your real name. I mean WTF? I like to communicate with people. But I also like my privacy. Here, you can either maintain your privacy by turning everything off and never comment, or communicate by turning public access on and making comments and writing reviews. There's no way to do both.
Like the lack of Facebook connect (another minus, as I am an avid Facebook user as are all of my friends) I don't think this is how Steve envisioned it. I doubt he has a friend whose real name is "THOR". I think cutting out anonymity was a last minute cop-out devised to deter spam.
Lastly, you cannot choose to "like" music that's not sold at the iTunes store (though contrary to some people's comments you CAN add music that you didn't BUY on iTunes). You cannot "like" a genre that's not on Apple's official list ("Trance", "Folk" for instance). You cannot set up a playlist or connect an iTunes Essentials list to your Ping page. Even the few artists with Ping pages don't have a button to connect to their Ping page from their main artist page.
It all seems so weak, unfinished, and frustrating. I'll stick to Facebook, thanks. On Facebook, Fleet Foxes provides constant updates including photos and video regarding their upcoming album, and they link to Youtube videos (with the full length audio track) of excellent recommendations that suit my tastes perfectly. I can follow whatever artists I want, and if an obscure artist doesn't have a page, I can set up a community page myself, as a fan. There's nothing that Ping has that Facebook doesn't have except the commercialization of it all. And Ping provides about 5% of the functionality of Facebook, with regards to music tastes.
Maybe next year, Ping will be a decent feature. Right now, it's honestly next to useless.