Five reasons I won't be using Ping

I've taken a brief test drive of Apple's new social network to see what it's about

Despite all the hardware Apple introduced at its press event Wednesday, the most radical news was Ping, a social network for music that's launching as a feature of iTunes 10. I've taken a brief test drive of Ping to see what it's about, but even before updating iTunes, I knew Apple's new social network was not for me. Here are five reasons I won't be using Ping:

Song Samples, Not Songs

Some people have heralded Ping as MySpace's undoing, but MySpace still does one thing extremely well: it lets you listen to a handful of the artist's best or latest songs, in their entirety. Ping does not. Apple says Ping is all about finding new music, but it's also about selling you more iTunes songs. That's a hard sell when you can only listen to 30 seconds of any track.

It Runs in iTunes

At least on my PC, iTunes is an abomination. I will avoid opening it when possible because of how long it takes to load and how chunky it feels to operate, and that's not going to change because of a social network. Also, people whose work computers don't have iTunes installed won't be able to use Ping for the great American pastime of slacking off at work.

It Doesn't Run on the Web

Social networks belong on the Web, simple as that. You click on someone's Twitter account from another Web page, and you're there. You visit an outbound link from someone's status update by popping open a new tab. One step -- pressing a bookmark button or typing a URL -- is all it takes to get to the social network of your choice. All of these actions get a lot sloppier when you add another layer of software, especially the painful iTunes. Also, the lack of Web access shuts out users of Android, BlackBerry and other non-iOS smartphones. That's lame.

I Don't Care What You Like

Even among my best friends, there are only a few people whose musical tastes overlap my own. This presents a dilemma for using Ping: Ostensibly, it's a network for music discovery, so do I shut out the friends whose music I don't like, or follow everyone and try to filter out the awful stuff? This, of course, assumes my friends will even use Ping, which they won't.

More Versatile Social Networks Are Better

Steve Jobs once said that multipurpose devices will always win the day over single-purpose ones, because people don't want to pay for something that only has one function. I think the same is true of social networks. Even though people don't pay money to use Facebook or Twitter, they invest time in cultivating an online presence. Ping is another potential investment, but it's only meant for sharing music. I'd rather stick with social networks that offer much more.

Tags ApplePinginternetiTunes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?