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Ping Could Be Apple's Social Networking Backdoor?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-don't-think-it's-a-secret dept.

Music 271

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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271 comments

speaking of backdoors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450178)

if you own an apple product, you got fucked in the ass.

Re:speaking of backdoors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450512)

The problem being that the iTards have been having it done to them for so long, they've come to like it that way...

(not so) Ironic Captcha for an Apple thread: "worships"

Re:speaking of backdoors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450590)

Isn't that the very reason why Apple's customers buy the products?

Re:speaking of backdoors (-1, Flamebait)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451006)

God, all you applebashers are such retards! Apparently you think a companies' chief exec, marketing, and PR defines the customers. Which of course would mean that all microsofties find churritos and ill-fitting shoes hilarious and frequently have chair-throwing tantrums and do a lot of weird chants and sweaty dancing.

Re:speaking of backdoors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451284)

The macfag doth protest too much, methinks. Aren't you supposed to be giving your boyfriend a bj right now?

Ping (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450188)

ping www.apple.com
PING e3191.c.akamaiedge.net (184.84.45.15): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 184.84.45.15: icmp_seq=0 ttl=53 time=31.528 ms

Re:Ping (2, Interesting)

cab15625 (710956) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ping (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451068)

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.

Like wise I am surprised that Apple and its fans would choose the anal orifice for their sexual gratification. Especially since it is already loaded with such uncool, stinky exit-only history. At the very least I could see some concern for potential confusion between Apple and San Francisco, even if you'd have to be some sort of pro-gay-marriage type to try and sue Apple over it.

backdoor to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450190)

...the first post!

First they laughed at me. (1, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450192)

I wrote not too long ago that Ping is Facebook's killer, much like the iPod (Touch) was a backdoor to the game market.

http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1773738&cid=33438624 [slashdot.org]

And they laughed at me.

Please mod me insightful this time.

Re:First they laughed at me. (3, Funny)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450296)

That's not quite accurate -- you said that Ping would kill Facebook. Without really knowing jack about it.

I still think that's funny and/or you're trolling, although I also think an article about Apple coming in through the backdoor is inherently funny and invites numerous lube jokes.

Re:First they laughed at me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450298)

Why would you think Ping is going to be used by non-Apple users?

Also, I think Ping sounds very similar to Bing... Bing? That Microsoft search portal...

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450418)

Ned: Phil?
Phil: Ned?
[Punches Ned in the face]

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450614)

How is this "Groundhog day" reference relevant? I'm not saying it isn't, but could you explain, I'm feeling a bit under the weather and the brain doesn't perhaps make the connections it should.

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450422)

Look at what they did with Nintendo DS. They sneaked up on it through music. People are very emotionally attached to their music, so associating something else with their music would be a good strategy. The start with this social network for music, building a core group of people. Then these people will form a critical mass such that they can bring in non-music things.

Apple has it's strategy right because they are making money from their social network (through music) and can thus outlive the non-profit social networks in existence.

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450644)

Apple has it's strategy right because they are making money from their social network (through music) and can thus outlive the non-profit social networks in existence.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Facebook's made over a billion dollars already this year.

Is that as much as Apple will make this year, no, but in no one's fevered, insane imaginings is it a non-profit social network.

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450766)

Apple has it's strategy right because they are making money from their social network (through music) and can thus outlive the non-profit social networks in existence.

Right and wrong. Apple does have the right strategy, but it isn't for why you think. While yes, they will certainly make money from people buying music off others recommendations, the more important thing here is that they don't need to gain any users for this to be successful. This is an upgrade to a current service, despite being something totally new. The user base is there, and the service promises attractive results for the user, so it will likely see widespread adoption, if not widespread active use.

Re:First they laughed at me. (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:First they laughed at me. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450386)

Don't burn any step yet.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Gandhi

However, Slashdot lacks a "fight" moderation choice, so you got modded "Troll" instead.

Re:First they laughed at me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450604)

Apparently somebody has a lot of mod points today and they're very crabby. Jim V? Is that you?

Don't worry, some of us understand what you're talking about and don't think you're a troll.

Re:First they laughed at me. (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450836)

please, the worst mistake to make in a market is assuming the next big product is going to kill it off.

It'd be more accurate that saying ping is apple's attempt to compete with facebook, because the details of how ping will actually work matter a lot more than just "We made our own social platform".

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450948)

please, the worst mistake to make in a market is assuming the next big product is going to kill it off.

It'd be more accurate that saying ping is apple's attempt to compete with facebook, because the details of how ping will actually work matter a lot more than just "We made our own social platform".

I agree with you with one correction; The worse mistake in marketing in recent times has been assuming that "Apple isn't relevant to anyone except their fanbois"

Re:First they laughed at me. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451154)

Apple has had some success in recent times, yes. But how many people actually -like- the Apple way and don't just use it because its the only thing they know thats out there? How many people actually -like- having to sync their music with iTunes, not having an easy way to back it up on a different machine without deleting your entire music library, etc. Until Android really took off this year, it was hard to get a phone that did everything that the iPhone did and even until recently it was hard to get a decent Android phone on AT&T, one of the largest cell providers.

Plus, Apple has really had its share of failures recently too. The "buttonless" iPod shuffle, Apple TV, etc.

The idea that everything that Apple touches is golden is false, historically Apple has been a company that leads and leads then when competition appears, they get so far behind that it is laughable, then they come out with a great new product and the cycle starts again.

Eh... (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450204)

I'm just waiting to hear borked adoption rate numbers...it is integrated into iTunes 10, after all. Internet Explorer & Windows, anyone?

Re:Eh... (2, Informative)

Shadis (934448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450428)

Yeah but you actually have to turn Ping on in ITunes to use it. It is not automatically active, so unless you set it up, you won't be 'counted'

Re:Eh... (1, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450556)

In the same way that Apple NEVER tries to force other software on iTunes users, like, say, Safari or Quicktime? You don't have to install it. But you can't get the next version of iTunes that has *shiny new feature* without installing it. It's optional for this version only, it'll be mandatory next time.

Re:Eh... (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450772)

I had the same thought.

Another example: that service for syncing an iPhone with your computer. iTunes won't start without that installed and running.

Re:Eh... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450926)

I had the same thought.

Another example: that service for syncing an iPhone with your computer. iTunes won't start without that installed and running.

Not quite true. The only way I can get iTunes to communicate with my iPod Touch 3gs is to run it once, get an error message saying "an unknown error has occurred," close it, stop the service, restart iTunes, and click past the warning dialog telling me the useless service isn't running. Every time!

Re:Eh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450776)

Itunes 9 added "Genius Mixes"... still haven't been forced to turn them on.

Itunes 9 also added the iTunes "Genius Sidebar"... still haven't been forced to turn that on.

I've never installed Safari with iTunes, and have never been forced to.

Itunes store was added in version 4... still don't have to buy anything through there to load stuff on your ipod.

Your slippery slope don't look too slippery, friend.

Re:Eh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450562)

Sounds like at least someone has learned through the idiotic privacy practices of Facebook.

Re:Eh... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450758)

Sounds like at least someone has learned through the idiotic privacy practices of Facebook.

Sounds like at least someone has applied the slashdot idiotic pattern of bashing without even looking at it. The entire thing is inactive, you have no ping account even if you have an iTunes store account. You have to activate ping and create an account for it to start invading your privacy in any way.

Re:Eh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451218)

Which is exactly my point. Whereas with Facebook it's opt-out, with Ping it's opt-in. Explain to me how remarking about how a company is being smart about user's privacy is the same thing as bashing them.

Re:Eh... (1)

jpmoney (323533) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450634)

They need to work on having some actual selection in who to follow. I'm not too far removed from music that normal people listen to and I couldn't find a single person to follow. Sorry, I don't want to follow U2 or Lady Gaga, but I would expect some tacit groups for classics like Metallica. I'm sure its all about contracts with record companies, but its DOA right now.

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.

Re:Eh... (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450694)

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.

Re:Eh... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450716)

I'm just waiting to hear borked adoption rate numbers...it is integrated into iTunes 10, after all. Internet Explorer & Windows, anyone?

I "subscribed" last night. You still have to go through a sign-up process. Unlike certain company out there that automatically turned every email user into an "active" member of their social network.

So, unless Apple starts noting they have exactly as many Ping users as iTunes 10 users, they will be telling the truth about how many of iTunes 10 users did subscribe.

I don't care much for the total social networking thing, but am disappointed not every artist in their catalog gets a simple Ping page. I would had liked to subscribe to some artists that don't have Ping pages yet, if only to be notified of when new songs get uploaded to iTunes.

Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450210)

Because when I look for a portal to Ping [apple.com] it seems they want me to download and install iTunes. Unless they intend to eventually make it accessible through a browser, I could see this being a bit of a problem for more than a few people. Great, you've got my credit card number if I bought something through iTMS but 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.

Looks to be just more bloat on an already bloated piece of software. The least they could do is modularize iTunes so that if I click a box on install I can make it so that the application is just a way to put music onto an iPod. I am sick and tired of the video and TV stuff forcing me to put Quicktime on my machine!

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450432)

If you're using Linux, they probably don't care about you. As for being "forced" to install QuickTime, why is Python a dependency for vim-common? Same basic principle, except it appears that the majority of Apple's image rendering is somehow tied to QuickTime libraries. Tried to view a .tiff file the other day and it it opened in QuickTime. Whatever.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

al3k (1638719) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450794)

Depends on the distro and package maintainer but python is typically a dependency because it has support for python scripted plugins. The Arch package maintainer actually got rid of this dependency, which I noticed when one of my plugins stopped working after an update.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450866)

I'll just remember to pass WITH_PYTHON=NO next time I need to build the port on a new FreeBSD system. Few times I've needed to install it on a Linux machine, I didn't notice because CentOS/Fedora require Python by default for Yum.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450528)

Looks to be just more bloat on an already bloated piece of software. The least they could do is modularize iTunes so that if I click a box on install I can make it so that the application is just a way to put music onto an iPod. I am sick and tired of the video and TV stuff forcing me to put Quicktime on my machine!

Yep, leave it to Apple to make the simple ping command all bloated and require QuickTime, etc.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450532)

Great, you've got my credit card number if I bought something through iTMS but 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.

You're obviously not a True Believer in The Black Turtlenecked One of the Great Apple, and therefore Ping does not want you.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (4, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450632)

I think Apple's major mistake is tying EVERYTHING to iTunes. Honestly, iTunes integration tends to be one of the things they do worst. I have a core i7 with 8GB RAM on a win7 machine and iTunes STILL lags, is unresponsive, and even display details get cropped (and can't be fixed). Syncing for iDevices is so bad that I only sync my iPhone (great device other than the iTunes element, imo) every 2-3 months or so, because I hate the sync process so much.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450922)

Exactly. Apple thinks that they must halfway recreate OS X on Windows to get iTunes to run.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1, Troll)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450932)

A few months back my wife and kid were in Scotland on holidays. I was flying out to join them a few days later. While in Scotland my wife dropped me an email saying that she's trying to read email overseas but doesn't seem to have any emails in her webmail interface. So I open up her Outlook 2000 / Win XP pop 3 client and see that her emails are downloading locally to our home computer, even when Outlook isn't running....

What the...? I think, and I noodle around a bit and discover that even when I close outlook, the outlook process continues to run, which is why the emails are downloading locally instead of living in the cloud.

Why? Turns put it's due to FRIKKING iTunes. iIunes has added some kind of plugin to outlook that keeps the process running. What the frik? Why? Why does iTunes need to hook into outlook? It's just for copying files to and from an iPod!!!! Why does it need a FRIKKING Outlook hook that messes people up?! I FRIKKING HATE iTunes.

I then decide to noodle around some more and see what else this bloatware parasite application has done, so I open up my services. And surprise, surprise, there's that sucker BONJOUR running as a service helping me "discover printers"." F*ck off, my printer's right there - I can see it. Discover my ass, Bonjour. I kill that sucker...

Then what do I find? Yet ANOTHER FRIKKING service running that allows iPhones to talk to Apple TV. What the hell? I don't have an iPhone and I sure as hell don't have an Apple TV. I have a FRIKKING WINDOWS media extender that works great!

I hate that parasitic bloatware piece of crap iTunes.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451138)

You post as if the opinion of someone who still uses POP matters at all.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451176)

Yes, the problem is totally iTunes's fault. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that you're running decade-old software that has a KNOWN BUG (fixed in the 2007 version) or anything. For a followup, maybe you can try being butthurt about the fact that IE 4 doesn't render modern web sites correctly, which is obviously *their* fault.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (2, Insightful)

riegel (980896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451228)

Mostly agreed, except on the bonjour point. You really ought to learn about what it is and what it does.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (1)

Shadis (934448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451078)

Well I think it seems to be certainly hit or miss. I have, personally, never had a problem with ITunes. I have it running on my three year old laptop, which I use to Sync my IPod and IPhone with and it works just fine. I think if anything the problem they probably face with ITunes is that they are used to programming for 'one platform'(Mac). And in the PC world that just does not always cut it. The diversity of hardware is quite large in the realm O' PCs.

Re:Is It Only Through iTMS Application? (5, Insightful)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450878)

Because when I look for a portal to Ping [apple.com] it seems they want me to download and install iTunes. Unless they intend to eventually make it accessible through a browser, I could see this being a bit of a problem for more than a few people. Great, you've got my credit card number if I bought something through iTMS but 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. Looks to be just more bloat on an already bloated piece of software. The least they could do is modularize iTunes so that if I click a box on install I can make it so that the application is just a way to put music onto an iPod. I am sick and tired of the video and TV stuff forcing me to put Quicktime on my machine!

You miss the point of this, well the entire article did. Ping is not there primarily to become a Facebook competitor or alternative. It's there to help highlight music sales. It's there to tell you what music your friends like, and what music your favorite artists like. Artists may treat it as a social page only to advertise their products, just as they do now in Facebook.

As far as Apple's goals are concerned, they don't care you using the tool if you are not going to be buying music. Note it does not only require you to have iTunes installed, it also requires you to have an iTunes Store account (even if it has no credit card attached.) It's all about selling.

In a way i sort of wish they extended it's functionality for app developers and book authors too.

social shopping yes - social network no (4, Insightful)

theonlyholle (720311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450316)

The problem is that all it is is a social shopping network. And of course it's a "social shopping at the iTunes store" network, so it's very, very limited. I personally think that Apple narrowed the scope of their network too much (you can't even post a link to a live video on YouTube of a song you just bought - or rather, you can but it will show up as text only with no way to click or copy&paste it) and most users will be bored by it very quickly and just ignore it. Even if Apple expands it later, a reputation once ruined is hard to improve...

Re:social shopping yes - social network no (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450406)

you can't even post a link to a live video on YouTube of a song you just bought

If you bought it, it's likely that you needed to. Sending a link to copyrighted material is probably not what Apple wants.

Re:social shopping yes - social network no (1)

theonlyholle (720311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450480)

who says that the artist or record company didn't put the live video up himself? Legally? And if my friends saw the video, maybe they would notice they like the music and *would* by the track...

Re:social shopping yes - social network no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450534)

Do you think many artists/companies actually do that? Sure, it /could/ happen. Just like Steve Jobs could release iOS 4.1 with flash support.

The KILLER OF EVERYTHING...or not. (2, Insightful)

broKenfoLd (755627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450424)

I thought we had learned our lessons in declaring X the Y Killer. Sure, its happened every now and then(see Myspace/Facebook, HDDVD/Bluray), but as everyone here knows (and many lament about), Microsoft is still alive and well despite a resurgence by Apple, iPhones are still selling despite the allegedly-killer swarm of Android devices, websites still get hits despite content being routed more and more into apps, etc.

Re:The KILLER OF EVERYTHING...or not. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451210)

I can't say it would kill Facebook, but I could see it hurting whats left of MySpace. Who goes there for anything other than music these days? Still, I wouldn't be too worried. Apple wants you to buy those songs, not listen to them.

Re:The KILLER OF EVERYTHING...or not. (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451268)

Hmm, do I want to stay with the highly restrictive, proprietary software on my mostly open hardware? Or do I go with the highly restrictive, proprietary software AND hardware platform (with an inflated price point, albeit decent software and support)? Tough choice, there, I'll go with the open hardware.

Ping? iTunes? (0, Troll)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450476)

I feel sorry for people that use iTunes. It was already bloated enough, now it's going to have all kinds of social network functionality layered on top of it.

the 275 million people who do (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450706)

have iTunes installed don't give a fuck about you or your pity.

These people have probably bought Office for Christ's sake. They obviously don't care about bloatware of wasted CPU cycles.

Now can we stop sticking our noses up Steve Job's butt and get back to real news?

Re:Ping? iTunes? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450712)

I agree. I was hoping they'd announce a total rewrite of iTunes, or maybe an iPlay, that was lightweight and cloud based and instead they announce that they are layering in more useless crap.. bummer. iTunes is the worst part of the iDevice experience.

Re:Ping? iTunes? (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451024)

iTunes works great on my Mac. It's fast, never crashes and basically just works.

I've not used iTunes on Windows, so perhaps you meant to say:

"I feel sorry for people that use iTunes on Windows".

no worry for facebook (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450482)

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.

Ping & Decide! (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450498)

Ping probably would have been a better name for Microsoft's search engine site than a social networking site, I'm surprised they didn't think of that.

Its already a name for a common util (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450930)

which has been around since the 70s and allows you to check if a remote host is alive. Why apple couldn't have picked a different name god knows.

Re:Ping & Decide! (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451152)

If Microsoft had called something that isn't ping Ping, it would have been blasphemy. A ton of people would be ranting about it.

Apple gets a pass on that because... I'm not exactly sure why.

Re:Ping & Decide! (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451156)

No. A Ping is by nature real-time and direct. A search engine is pretty much the opposite, serving cached data.

Not that Bing is much better; anyone older than generation Y will associate Bing with Bing Crosby. They might have been slightly closer to the truth if they had named it Bogart...

Last.fm anyone? (4, Insightful)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450500)

Why would I want to use this over Last.fm [www.last.fm] which doesn't lock me into an application, is accessible from my webbrowser and has plugins for about every media player around?

It arguably doesn't provide competition to Facebook aiming at a different audience altogether, but to me, judging from the article, it seems to be swimming in much the same waters as Apple's Ping.

Re:Last.fm anyone? (2, Insightful)

theonlyholle (720311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450568)

for the same reason that people use Internet Explorer - because it comes bundled and you don't have to deal with downloading extra software, setting up an account etc. Not because it's better, more secure or offers anything new - ease of use seems to be a lot more important than all of that.

I don't give a crap... (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450504)

Unfortunately for Apple, there are enough users like me that are interested in the technology (e.g. iPad) who don't want to be told how to use that technology (e.g. iPad). Facebook's major advantage is that it doesn't require a specific type of hardware (e.g. iPad) with only minimal requirements for software (e.g. free browser) to take advantage of their services--or require a certain level of disposable income to take advantage of. Hell, I know people who don't have a PC who go to the library to login to Facebook... Can't do that with Ping...

Sure, this will be popular with iPxxxxxxx users, but it will help create a digital divide with those who can't afford (or don't want) such devices...

I suspect that ping is going to be (5, Interesting)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450518)

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.)

And this is why people should hope it succeeds (3, Informative)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451096)

Disclaimer: I'm using iTunes 10 right now. Make of that what you will.

There's a lot to hate about Ping, mostly that it's what I like to call a "Potempkin Shopping Village of the Damned." It's there for little more than to allow people to show off their musical tastes and share with their friends. The fact that once you've shared a favorite song with your friends they can listen to a snippet and buy it on the spot <sarcasm class="eyeroll pshaw">is purely coincidental, I'm sure.</sarcasm> It's using the concept of "social networking" in a way that's so utterly cynical it's shocking, and we've got some primo cynics around here.

So yeah, evil evil evil. Insert as many "fanbois" as you think are necessary after that. (If you stick in two or more "gay"s, though, you're projecting.)

But then, as crovira points out, there's that bit where Mr. Jobs mentioned "discovery." That's the tilt. It's also where Ping could redeem itself if the users are judicious in its application. Yes, Lady Gaga and U2 and Yo Yo Ma and Katy Perry and Linkin Park and U2 (apparently, Apple really likes U2) are featured on the front page in their own box. Think of that as the sponsored advetising. The really important box is on every user's profile page, in the top right corner. This is where each user gets to recommend ten songs that exemplify their own musical tastes. Click one of those, a pop-up comes up allowing you to sample the tunes on that album, go to that album's page, buy it, review it, etc. In that space, artists like Voltaire, Abney Park, and Lemon Demon can go toe-to-toe with the likes of Roger Waters and Madonna, and could even win.

Not enough artists yet... (1)

RafaelAngel (249818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450550)

I went on there this morning and they only have a very small number of artists(Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, U2, Katy Perry, Yo-Yo Ma, Jack Johnson, Shakira, Coldplay, Mark Ronson, Taylor Swift, Dave Matthews Band, and Diddy.) I don't think this will make a dent into Facebook, but if there are a ton of artists who migrate to this then I see that this will certainly hurt myspace music.

Re:Not enough artists yet... (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451136)

Noted this in another point above but yea, that disappointed me. I was expecting them to opt-in all artists and at minimum automatically post new releases.

As it stands Apple may require the artist, manager or studios to handle the artist page completely. If they get lazy or give up on the artist, we stop getting updates.

I use facebook a lot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33450678)

And maybe I'd get in on this if iTunes wasn't a horrendous piece of software that I no longer allow on any of my machines.

CmdrTaco at it again (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450682)

Ron Miller: Could Apple's announcement about Ping [...] be Apple's social networking trojan horse?
CmdrTaco: Of course it is.

Ah, the great and definitive insights of CmdrTaco ;)

CmdrTaco: No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

By the way, it's not. Ping maybe, but Apple's annoucement about Ping, definitely not.

Only in iTunes Store (3, Insightful)

forand (530402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450700)

Ping is only available in the iTunes Store proper, so you cannot 'like' a song, artist or album unless you are browsing the store. I don't have loads of time in the day to browse the store to build up likes for all the things I currently own, so whatever they get is only going to be based on newly purchased items. That may be good for their marketing team but it is lame as a social space.

Re:Only in iTunes Store (2, Insightful)

czmax (939486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450864)

Not to worry ... I'm sure iTunes will automatically 'like' songs based on what you listen to on your home machine. You needn't lift a finger to be an active member of ping. Oddly they could be creating a fully automated social networking site - no direct user involvement needed.

160 million users on day one? (3, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450748)

iTunes might have 160 million users, but that doesn't mean they are ever going to use Ping. According to this logic, Google kicked facebook's ass with Buzz. There's a facebook app on all the iProducts. Every computer that can run iTunes has a browser that can access facebook. I open iTunes to rip a CD or listen to music, not connect with the rest of the world. I use my web browser for that. There's no compelling reason to switch. They'll get a bunch to sign up for Ping to see the "exclusive photos" and never use any other part of it.

"Jack Johnson had displayed from his latest tour and an exclusive video Lady Gaga made for her fans. This kind of direct access to artists is more powerful than Facebook Fan pages" ....unless the artist just posts the pictures and video to facebook. Comparing it to a facebook page run by a fan is just stupid. Bands are free to post whatever they want on facebook under their own page. Apple isn't offering anything new here, "exclusive content" is the AOL path to success.

Many people went to facebook because their friends are on facebook. There is not going to be a mass exodus from facebook to Ping, there isn't any reason to switch.

Microsoft Lawsuit (2, Interesting)

psergiu (67614) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

I wonder.... (5, Insightful)

h2okies (1203490) | more than 3 years ago | (#33450790)

c:\>ping www.apple.com

Pinging www.apple.com [96.16.93.15] with 32 bytes
Request timed out. No Linux client
Request timed out. No mobile client
Request timed out. No universal browser access
Request timed out. Forced use of 80MB client software

Ping statistics for 96.16.93.15:
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% fail)

yeah thats what i thought...

Was iFacebook already taken? (1)

stenus (1892326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451260)

Ping??? Really??? How will they sue all the companies already trademarking that name?

protocol mismatch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451274)

To the person who labeled this post with !tcpping, a ping is sent over ICMP, not TCP. Just saying.

ping pongs? (0, Troll)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33451298)

apple
a-pull
a-poll
a-p-holl
a-p-hole

pee in you a-hole.

steve jobs

steven jobs
stephan jobs
stephand jobs
steph hand jobs
stiff hand jobs pees in your a-hole.

stiff hand jabs pee in your a-hole.

i-phone
i-phoney

I, phoney stiff hand, jabs pee in your a-hole.

i-fad
i-prod

can you flash-a mac?

Mac OsX

Mac Osex
Mac 0 Sex

Mac = zero sex.

Failure? Think twice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33451370)

And yet again Slashdoters show a complete lack of understanding the general market. To all those saying that this will fail because it is tied to iTunes and Facebook has nothing to worry about, just note that iTunes *already* has 120 million accounts, which is about 1/5 that of Facebook. Now these can all be connected together - overnight. Not bad, even if only a portion of them subscribes to Ping. Moreover, almost all of these accounts have a valid credit card number associated with them and a proven ability to pay for goods, whereas most Facebook accounts have nothing like this.

It doesn't mean the success is guaranteed, but it's a very real long-term threat to Facebook.

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