Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Apple's Ping is a big pile of steaming dung

    A few days ago Apple released a social network. Gee, how bloody creative of them and they used to be so cool. There are enough social networks, too many actually. But I digress.

    Yesterday when I updated iTunes and got the slightly odd new version (what's with the vertical window buttons anyway?) there was no Ping in sight. Very well then, failed already as predicted by my tweet?

    Well today when I opened iTunes again. There it was! Let's go click that bad boy.

    The first screen was pretty nice, some blahblahblah about how this is a social network and can do socially stuff. Create account!

    Ok, first thing that's a bit odd is that my Ping account is the same as my iTunes store account. Luckily I have a slightly hacked one so I can use the US store, otherwise Ping wouldn't even exist for me.

    Fail #1 - only exists for US people like I suddenly woke up in the middle ages.

    Another thing that strook me as odd was setting up an avatar:

    I can swallow the fact there's no Gravatar support but what's this nonsense about my avatar being approved!? What the flying fuck is going on here?

    Then there's this lovely tidbit about being forced to choose a whole of three genres of music that I listen to and being forced to choose between a very poor variety of stuff.

    Fail #2 - nobody likes more than three genres and certainly nobody listens to Metal, Punk, Alternative Rock, Punk-Rock, Cabaret, Swing, Folk and so on. Just the top10 chart on last.fm lists stuff from at least 6 different genres, most of them not on this list.

    Coming to terms with the uselessness of this profile creation screen I finally clicked "Continue" and was greeted with this little ditty:

    Sure, alright, I have to allow them to scrobble what I like. This makes sense. But what the hell!? They ... they aren't scrobbling what I'm actually listening to? Just what I'm ... buying? What the fuck Apple? Don't you realise the last time I bought any music was a few years ago and even that was only after I had been a fan of the artist for a few years and only really considered that CD merchandise?

    That's Fail #3 right there - need to buy/rate/review stuff through the iTunes store for Ping to do anything.

    And then, then I was greeted by the most hilarious thing ever:

    Quite obviously they recommended some weird stuff. Ok, granted, I like Linkin Park. Good guess. But Katy Perry? No, good boobs, bad music. Lady GaGa? LoL! And U2? Not really a fan, some songs are good, but meh. And I have no idea who Yo-Yo Ma and Jack Johnson even are.

    This is a problem that Ping could easily have solved by syncing with my last.fm account that contains the past 4 years of my listening habits.

    Fail #4 - obviously commercially inspired music recommendations are obviously lametastic.

    Ok let's try searching for some of my favourite bands so I can, you know, follow them on Ping and hopefully get something useful out of this pile of steaming cow dung.

    Cherry Poppin' Daddies - nope, not there

    The Dresden Dolls - nope

    Amanda Palmer - nope, just some fat chick, no sign of my beloved Amanda Palmer

    Inkubus Sukkubus - nope

    Voltaire - nein

    Cruxshadows - negative

    Jack Off Jill - nope

    Blink-182 - halleluya they're there, but as a ... user? O.o

    Ok now I found someone and ... where the fuck is my search box? Ah ok, it was a few clicks away.

    The Doors - nothing

    Dropkick Murphys - nope

    Meh I give up, there is nothing worth following on Ping. The artists I do find are labeled as users and everybody knows it's not really them there, it's some automated bot thing to keep us notified of their stuff. But none of the artists I'm actually listening to are there ...

    Fail #5 - Ping is empty. There are no artists or anything of worth following.

    I'm going to give Ping the benefit of the doubt. They're just having a bit of a cold start problem and nobody at Apple was smart enough to put at least placeholders for some of the most popular bands/artists of recent decades on there. Even Marilyn Manson, Iron Maidden and Offspring aren't there ...

    Oh and here are some more fails:

    Fail #6 - Everything is locked in iTunes, you can't send music to people, can't use other players, nothing. It's just plain old locked to the single worts music player in the history of music players

    Fail #7 - can only invite via Email, who cares about twitter and facebook where my social network actually is? Yeah, nobody cares about that

    Fail #8 - no integration with anything. at all. Last.fm would make sense, but at least Twitter and Facebook? Anyone? Yeah I didn't think so. Who uses that crap huh?

    Fail #9 - oh yeah, there's already a ping.fm, which, coincidentally, is a social network for music that integrates with stuff and works pretty well from what I heard

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    Published on September 3rd, 2010 in Apple, ITunes Store, Last.fm, ping, Social network, Uncategorized,

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