The Story about Ping (and iTunes 10)

To me, Ping is a duck who gets left behind one afternoon and spends a whole children’s book trying to get back to his family and their boat on the Yangtze River.

Like my fowl little friend Ping, Apple’s iTunes app has been left behind for a while. Still sporting a CD in its icon, iTunes gets a facelift and new features this week, including the Ping social network, 99¢ TV show rentals, AirPlay wireless music playback, and improved syncing.

iTunes Ping is the most interesting part of this upgrade. The Ping social network lets us all become online groupies without ever having to sneak backstage or hide out on the tour bus.

Just click the Follow button, and you can see status updates, photos and videos they’ve posted, and find details on new releases and concerts. Ping will definitely help musicians connect with their fans in new ways. Still no word on whether Apple will extend the tool to podcasters (like yours truly).

You can create your own profile in Ping to share let everyone know about the music your listening to, the videos you’re watching, and the live events you attend. Ping will create customized top ten lists, based on what you listen to and what the people you follow listen to and download.

Want to limit who can see details about your status and what you listen too? You can create a circle of friends (like a group) and keep things just among your closest buddies.

Ping is built into iTunes 10, which you can download for free from the Apple site. According to Steve Jobs, right this minute, you could connect to over 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries with Ping. Don’t be like my little duck friend though. Download it now so you won’t be left behind!