Apple goes social with Ping for iTunes 10

Apple has announced an all new iTunes which incorporates Ping into the mix, making for a whole new "social" experience.

In an attempt to show that the old iteration was not a failure Jobs gave a couple of  download stats for old iTunes, which included 11.7 billion songs, 450 million TV shows and 100 million movies.

In fact Steve Jobs described iTunes as the "number one online media store in the world".

New additions for iTunes 10 include an all new "Hybrid View" and an "elegant and simple" design. However it's the introduction of a new social theme based around discovery and, as Jobs describes it: "Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes", which marks the real step-up.

Ping will aid in this new social iTunes and will not only be available through your PC, but will get seamless integration with your iPhone and iPod touch straight from the iTunes Store.

You'll be able to follow artists and friends to discover the music they listen to and find out concerts nearby, as well as viewing a custom chart auto-generated just for you.

Privacy is taken care of through a variety of opt-out/opt-in option where you can be as "private or as public as you want".

Anyone who thinks Apple has arrived a little late to the social networking space should take into account that Ping is starting with a user base of 160 million iTunes users across 23 countries.

And in view of the social-music angle, this news perhaps won't scare Twitter and Facebook, but MySpace - which has developed itself into a social platform for bands and music lovers - could well be looking over its shoulder.

The new iTunes 10 software is available to download from Wednesday 1 September.



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