Did Ping just get interesting? iTunes music now in bed with Twitter

Twitter just announced that starting today, Twitter is “making it even easier for people to share music discoveries with their friends by putting Ping activity, song previews and links to purchase and download music from the iTunes Store right in their Tweets on Twitter.com.”

I’ve tried to like Ping, I really have. So far, I’m not impressed. I can share my music and update people when I purchase or “like” a new song but beyond that I don’t find this social network to be very… well… social!

Amplify’d from thenextweb.com

Ping of course is Apple’s iTunes music social network that has not yet taken off, but this announcement could make a big difference in its adoption.

Apparently you can now easily link your Twitter account on Ping and after which, whenever you Post, Like, Review or share a purchase, not only will it tweet out but it will actually come with a playable song preview and link to purchase info.

So according to the Twitter Blog, when you click on a link that is sent by Ping, you’ll “see the song or album in Twitter’s details pane, with the ability to listen to song previews from iTunes.” All of which is pretty darn cool.

How well Ping is doing overall is a bit unclear, though it did have over a million signups in under 48 hours when it launched. Apple also included a sidebar a few weeks after launch for suggesting friends, but this is going to go leaps and bounds further to making the service more social. Of course, the largest social network out there – Facebook – is still missing, and it is extremely curious to us to see Twitter coming before Facebook, especially as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are thought to be close. Could it be that Facebook isn’t interesting in a music social network because it is thinking of doing one itself? Could be.

The question is, will this make Ping more interesting or will it just be a lot of Ping spam clogging up the Twitter stream? If that does end up being the case, will there be some backlash against both Twitter and Apple (it would be harder for Twitter, we suspect), or is this integration going to be the thing that really jump starts Ping? Also, as iTunes is such a major money maker, is Twitter getting a cut from referrals? We’re guessing that they are, as links go right to the purchase/download screen on iTunes – we’ll email Twitter for comment on that, though we suspect they won’t answer.

Read more at thenextweb.com

Apple-Facebook Friction Erupts Over Ping

As if Steve Jobs fights with Adobe Flash aren’t enough, now he’s in the ring doing the tango with Facebook. This time regarding Ping, his music social networking site.

I joined Ping last week after I sat in on the much anticipated live, world-wide Apple press conference. I am not happy with it because I find it to be… well… not very social. I have NO ONE checking me our or my music. At this point you can color me red hot. I LOVE music and I LOVE sharing my tastes with others so you know I’m just a little salty about this. Meanwhile, I see some Ping members with over 30,000 followers already and they aren’t even musicians, I mean really… it’s been less than a week and 30K followers already… how can this be… where are my people? But I digress…

I joined Ping because I wanted to commune with my fellow music lovers. I signed up and then waited for the thousands of people Jobs said would be flocking to my side out of the 160 million iTunes users. You know what I got? Not one single person following me. Wait, that’s not true… ONE person is following but he hasn’t engaged with me and we don’t share the same share the same tastes in music so there you go.

Could it be that Apple really needs the Facebook interface? Will I have better luck out of a pool of 500 million users rather than a mere 160 mill? Or, will Goggle and Facebook continue to join forces in an strange sort of combined power play to push Apple and Ping out of the way for good. Will Johnny get Adobe Flash on his iTouch? Will Sally be able to share her songs from Ping on her Facebook page? Will Danielle get any followers on Ping? These and other important questions will be addressed next week on “As the Social Network Turns”.

Amplify’d from bits.blogs.nytimes.com

If it is true that the enemy of your enemy is your friend, then Apple and Facebook ought to be friends. Their common enemy, of course, is Google.

But Apple’s entry into social networking with the iTunes music social network Ping on Wednesday, has made them frenemies (or friend-enemies). And like with all frenemies, issues need to be worked out.

After introducing Ping on Wednesday, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, was asked why Apple built its own social network, rather than, say, build services on top of Facebook, as other music sites have done. Mr. Jobs, who was strolling around a demo room where reporters could try Apple’s new products, said that Apple considered that and held discussions with Facebook, but that the social networking company’s terms were “onerous.”

Still, Apple used some of Facebook open programming interfaces to allow users to find their Facebook friends on Ping. But that stopped working on Thursday.

Why? Facebook blocked Apple from that because Ping had the potential to send so much traffic Facebook’s way and cause “site stability” and “infrastructure” problems, according to people familiar with the situation, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because they did not want the friction between the companies to escalate. Facebook insists that businesses that send a lot of traffic to its servers first work with the company to make sure those problems can be handled smoothly, these people said.

In a statement, Facebook said: “We’re working with Apple to resolve this issue. We’ve worked together successfully in the past, and we look forward to doing so in the future.” Facebook did not specify what the “issue” was.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ITunes has 160 million users, according to Apple. But since only a small fraction of those users have enrolled in Ping, it is not clear how Apple could have exceeded Facebook’s limits for traffic. In its Developer Principles, Facebook says that developers who exceed 100 million calls every day must contact the company because they may be subject to additional contract terms.

It is also not clear why Facebook did not call Apple to resolve the issue before it pulled the plug on Ping connections.

In the meantime, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has been testing Apple’s social network, opening his own account on Ping. So has another Mark Zuckerberg, whose profile says “It’s true, I invented Facebook.” One of them is fake. From the looks of it, the one that doesn’t have a picture and doesn’t boast of having invented Facebook is the real one, as that user is connected to at least one other Facebook executive, Bret Taylor. Mr. “I invented Facebook” appears to have no connections to other Facebook execs.

Read more at bits.blogs.nytimes.com

Apple iTunes 10 and Ping: Problems… and then some…

OK Steve Jobs, you can’t have this world-wide press event, open it to the public, get us all jazzed about the new Apple offerings then have the new apps crash on us, have your new music social networking site… well… not be very social… and then have new features cause more harm than good.

I’m ready, let the Apple bashing begin (I still have your back Jobs.. but let’s work out some of these issues in the testing phase before it’s rolled out to the world… I’m just saying…)

Amplify’d from reviews.cnet.com

With any program being updated, there will be a few quirks at first while the new features get used in various people’s setups and configurations. The same goes for iTunes 10, where people are finding a few oddities that seem to be feature changes or bugs that need to be ironed out.

iPhone 4 apps causing crashes
Some people have been experiencing crashes in iTunes 10 when connecting theiriPhone 4 devices and selecting applications to transfer. If this happens, try resetting the iPhone and also try removing iTunes’ preferences (called com.apple.iTunes.plist and stored in the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder). You can also try launching iTunes in Safe Mode by holding the Option-Command keys when launching iTunes.

Album lists no longer resize
Album artwork resizing in list views is no longer possible. The only way to have resizable artwork is to use the sidebar’s album viewer window and then optionally click the artwork to open it in a dedicated window.

Removing “Ping”
Though social networking is a popular Internet development that companies are eager to take advantage of, it is not for all of us and many people prefer to avoid it. You have the option to ignore Ping in the sidebar, and you can also remove it by disabling the iTunes Store (provided you do not purchase items through the Store).

To do this, go to the iTunes preferences and in the “Parental” section select “Disable iTunes Store.”

AirPlay not working
A few people have reported the iTunes AirPlay feature is not working as it did in older versions of iTunes. For some their AirPort Express devices are selectable but no sound seems to be coming out of the unit.

If this happens, try setting the master volume in iTunes to its highest level, and do the same for your various wireless AirPort devices in iTunes. This can be done in the “Multiple Speakers” window (available from the “Window” menu). If your AirPort Express devices do not show up in iTunes, try unplugging them and shutting down your computer for a few minutes, then plug them in and start everything back up. Sometimes a quick reset like this is the easiest way to force-detect items and have them show up again.

“Nathan Volker” being followed in Ping
A few people have found the name “Nathan Volker” to be in their Ping profiles, and have wondered what is going on. Apparently this person created an account with the name “Steve Jobs” and then changed the name, resulting in some odd behavior. The account has been removed by Apple and should not affect anything. You should be able to stop following this account in Ping if you see it appear.

Read more at reviews.cnet.com

SAY WHAT?!?!? A hack attack on iTunes accounts? DANG!

Apple says iTunes Store hack damage minimal

Amplify’d from www.msnbc.msn.com

Apple now admits 400 iTunes accounts were hacked and used by a Vietnamese developer, Thuat Nguyen, to push his iPhone apps to best seller status over the weekend. But here is the zinger: Apple is saying it was no big deal. Four hundred accounts equals 0.0003 percent of the over 150 million iTunes account holders, Apple points out.

The downplaying of the hack comes as little consolation to many who believed Apple’s walled garden would offer protection from rogue developers and hackers. After all, Apple runs a very tight ship when it comes to the App Store. (See related: “Apple’s iPhone App Fraud: Where Were the App Police?“)

Reports emerged on Sunday that Nguyen gamed the App Store ratings in the Books category, by purchasing his own apps using hacked iTunes accounts. At one point, the developer’s apps occupied 42 of the top 50 apps sold in the Books section, and users reported purchases of up to $500 with their accounts.

Nguyen’s apps had been removed from the App Store late as of Sunday, because he “violat(ed) the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns,” Apple said. The company also claims that its iTunes servers were not compromised in any way.

When short, insecure passwords for iTunes accounts are used, users leave themselves open to hackers guessing their credentials. Compromised accounts are also nothing new: on the forums of the MacRumors site, there are dozens of replies in threads dating back from 2008 reporting such problems.

Read more at www.msnbc.msn.com