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Ping Could Be Apple's Social Networking Backdoor? 271

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-don't-think-it's-a-secret dept.
rsmiller510 writes "Could Apple's announcement about Ping, a music-based social network be Apple's social networking trojan horse? Facebook might want to be concerned." Of course it is. Update: 09/02 19:26 GMT by T : Jamie points out this post on Daring Fireball, according to which Steve Jobs blames the non-integration on "onerous terms" suggested by Facebook.
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Ping Could Be Apple's Social Networking Backdoor?

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  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @10:52AM (#33450482) Homepage Journal
    It is likely that most of the social networking stuff with apple will be tied to me.com or iTunes. Both of these are fee based services. Facebook, and myspace, succeed because they are free. They can only be bothered by other free services that figure out a way monetize the user without pissing the user off, something that neither of these services have done.

    So Apple will may have a competing service, and many may be happy because their data is more private, but free is more important than private. Look at home many people let google read their emails rather than paying Apple $100 a year.

    Apple looks like it is going to use it's iTunes database to monetize users in an effort to offer otherwise free services to users. However, this is no different from the other free services, so that should provide no competitive advantage to either company, except for the fact that people expect to act better than facebook, even though most people whine when they have to pay to be treated better. Everyone wants a free lunch.

  • by crovira (10242) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @10:54AM (#33450518) Homepage

    strictly about music discovery and band discovery.

    Steve Jobs is amazingly (obsessively? :-) focused on making up for what the record companies gave up on in the nineties, promotion.

    Now that he's in a great position of power in the music industry, look for him to use "ping" to make an end-run around those same record companies which are run by accountants who treat artists and performers worse than livestock.

    In return he gets to listen to great bands. (Remember, Apple in the seventies used to host music events.)

  • Re:Eh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:01AM (#33450694) Homepage

    I dislike info sharing as much as the next /.-er, but I really would love a place to have the bands that I like listed to get reccos and updates.

    Following independent musicians, gaming personalities, etc....that's pretty much why I use Twitter. I never post on it, but following certain people can be simultaneously entertaining and informative.

  • Microsoft Lawsuit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by psergiu (67614) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:06AM (#33450786)

    I think Microsoft will sue Apple because of the name.

    As they sued Mike Rowe Software for it's name being too similar to theirs.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:07AM (#33450818)
    The problem is, who really -wants- to use iTunes on Windows? Out of all the commonly used software on Windows iTunes is the biggest resource hog of them all. Even on a moderately fast computer, iTunes still seems to lag like crazy and if you have a low-end computer good luck getting that to work. iTunes on OS X is a very nice program, but on Windows its a pain in the ass to use. I can get Facebook on my Linux, Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Dumb-phone (via texting), BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, WebOS, Wii, PS3, etc. I can only get Ping through um... a single program only available for Windows and OS X (and probably later iOS)
  • Re:Ping (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cab15625 (710956) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:18AM (#33451000)
    Why was this comment labeled offtopic? "ping" is one of the most basic commands on Unix-like systems. It even works on a Mac. It's the first thing that came to mind when I read the title. It also has uses in online gaming. At the very least I could see some concern for potential trademark confusion (even if you'd have to be some sort of SCO to try an sue Apple over it.) Currently, if you plug "ping" into wikipedia search, it's the Unix command that comes up by default (though that will probably change soon).

    Anyway "ping" already has some well established (and very specific) meaning in the computer world. I'm surprised Apple would choose that specific word for their newest gimmick. Especially since it is already loaded with such uncool, geeky history.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @12:32PM (#33452570)

    ...do you really think I'm going to wake up that memory and resource hog on my Windows partition just to get to a social networking site when I can hit Facebook through Linux or (nearly) any mobile device? I might be a small minority but that's not for me.

    I came to say this as well... The author touches on it, but stops short:

    Still, Ping suffers from being locked inside iTunes, although Apple was smart enough to create an access application and put it in the App Store for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone users.

    In my opinion, Ping suffers from being locked to Apple. It will never have a life outside of making them more money, which means it is genuinely no threat to Facebook. My dad is on Facebook, for example, and will likely never, ever, ever wear a Steve Jobs turtleneck. There are many more like him as well.

    I see no threat here, except to Ping towards irrelevance. And with mp3 and streaming still reigning as kings, Facebook going with, say Amazon or Netflix, rather than Apple, could easily turn the tables and start to threaten iTunes itself.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday September 02, 2010 @12:36PM (#33452650)

    My issue with iTunes are two things:

    On the Mac, iTunes works well. Mash play/pause/FF/rewind, it does so when in the background. However, on Windows, the media keys don't work unless iTunes is present in the foreground. Even the Zune player is good in this regard.

    My second issue is that iTunes is so critical to the operation of iOS devices. If iTunes becomes unusable, you can't restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch if that dies. Other iPods can be used with third party utilities, or even manually dumped in disk mode.

    What I'd like to see Apple do with iTunes on both Mac and Windows is have a method of repairing the program, as well as more thorough diagnostics. Not just checking file placement and Registry/NetInfo entries, but running checks on the installed drivers, checking to see if the daemons/services start up and stay up, looking for known conflicts (say the iPod driver conflicts with another utility), and then a standalone program to temporarily disable all USB drivers, allow an iDevice to be plugged in, and check to see if that works on a low level basis.

    Another thing I'd like to see is a pure image dump, similar to nandroid. This way, the iDevice can be backed up and restored without having to restore the app plists, then resync everything back. Even if this backup was locked to the device with an encryption key for the whole blob, it would be extremely nice to have. iOS devices are doing a more and more things, they really need an advanced backup system, so one can restore the device with an image if something happens. Even better would be a synthetic full method of backups, where incrementals can be taken of the device, and a full image generated from the first full + the incrementals after that. This would allow a nice point in time system.

    Finally, I wish iOS devices would get a filesystem that supported snapshotting. Why? This would allow syncs over the air and allowing the user to keep using the device while it is syncing, assuming the user wasn't using an application whose files were getting a change pushed to them from the remote side of course.

  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @02:35PM (#33454858)
    Not sure if it's intentionally borked on Windows or not. I'm using a Core 2 Duo 2.4 with 4GB RAM under Snow Leopard (recently upgraded from Tiger) and iTunes loads instantly -- quicker than Firefox, OpenOffice, Thunderbird, etc. It's snappy for my uses (9000+ song library with videos stored on a NAS, lots of rule-based playlists, some of which are based on other playlists, etc).

    I understand Apple concentrating talent on making it run faster in OS X but they're pissing off Windows users with a poor experience. That's not smart.
  • by Omestes (471991) <omestes AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 02, 2010 @03:10PM (#33455506) Homepage Journal

    On the Mac, iTunes works well. Mash play/pause/FF/rewind, it does so when in the background. However, on Windows, the media keys don't work unless iTunes is present in the foreground. Even the Zune player is good in this regard.

    Easily fixable [everythingitunes.com] with a quick download.

    I am currently trying the get a Linux based HTPC/Media box set up. The largest PiTA has been trying to get a decent music player. They all either lack things that I consider basic features, can't handle a decent sized media library, are slow/laggy/unstable, or are so arcane that my random non-geek friends will never be able to use it at parties. Songbird was my first choice, but its dead, and for some reason completely unstable (trying to get the .deb version I found to play nicely with last.fm is impossible). If there was a way to get Rhythmbox (which is the only one I would consider remotely stable) to do the party-shuffle/itunes DJ thing I would be happy. Or if there was a way to get Banshee to stop hanging every 10 minutes. Or if Listen made the slightest bit of sense. Or if... you get the point.

    iTunes is very, very bad. But, sadly, it is the best thing out there.

    iTunes 10 is ridiculous... its sitting at 157mb right now, which is around 200% higher than any other process.

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