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Ping – Social Networking for Your Music

Rowena from IL asks:

I downloaded the latest version of iTunes the other day and noticed something called “Ping”. What is it?

Are you ready to bring the entire social networking experience into iTunes? Music is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, and even make new buddies because of common tastes. The developers over at Apple certainly recognized this, because they released Ping, which they call “a social network for music.” Not only does Ping let you share posts of information with friends, but also it connects you with your favorite artists. This way you can be well informed about their latest releases and upcoming concerts. After I gave Ping a spin, boy was I impressed with how easy-to-use it was. Are you interested in trying it out? I thought you might be!

To begin using this new social network, open iTunes and select Ping from the sidebar, followed by Turn on Ping.

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Next, you’ll have to sign into your Apple account using your Apple ID and password. Using this information and your past purchases, Ping can pre-load your profile, and also get a feel for your musical tastes.

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After you click Sign In, you will find your preliminary profile. Feel free to fill in as much information as you’d like, including a photo and favorite genres; then click Next.

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Now comes the fun part! Ping can automatically search your iTunes history to determine your favorite songs and artists, or you can manually choose using their search feature. Remember you can always change and add later, but once you’ve finished, click Continue.

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As with using any social network, privacy is important. Ping is similar to Twitter in that when you form a virtual relationship with someone, it is called “following” him or her. I chose to allow people to follow me, but only with my approval. You can also choose to not allow followers. Just make sure what you choose is right for you.

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Finally, we’ve arrived at the Ping homepage! Here’s where the magic happens!

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First, let me direct your attention to the area in which you can find friends. Ping offers you several options to find followers: search its database, invite via email, or link your account with Twitter. They all work flawlessly, and I suggest you check them out because Ping is much more fun to use with your friends than alone.

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Below you’ll notice some artists that Ping has suggested for you to follow because they are popular or your musical taste indicate you may like them. When you follow an artist, their latest news and postings will appear on your homepage so you can stay informed. Also, other fans tend to discuss on the artist’s posts, so here’s where you can make new friends.

Another neat feature is Ping playlists. You can create a playlist of any songs in the iTunes library (more than 13 million!), then post this playlist for you and your followers to enjoy and discuss. Sweet!

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Last, but certainly not least, Ping integrates with your current iTunes library via its sidebar, allowing you to post and share with ease. In this way, you can immediately share your thoughts on a certain song with all of your followers. The Ping sidebar also gives you a feed of recent activity of the people you are following.

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I hope you enjoyed taking a glimpse into a cutting edge new social network. As always, if you have any more questions, please ask away below.


~Jay Neil Patel