NPR is a fairly staid and risk-averse media organization (especially when it comes to issuing opinions).
So when it does take a stance on something, it's kind of big deal. This
week, the network published its list of "Worst Ideas of 2010"--a
compendium of concepts and ideas that utterly failed this year. Taking
the top spot was Ping, the "social network for music" launched by Apple.
When it was introduced in September, there was a lot of excitement over Ping. "[It] sounds like a pretty great idea," said Slate's technology editor Farhad Manjoo. "Ping=Goodbye, MySpace!" predicted All Things Digital's Kara Swisher. But after its botched integration with Facebook and a series of late-to-the-game software updates, Ping is looking more and more like a flop. NPR's Latoya Peterson explains why:
Let it be known: NPR is none too keen on Ping.
Why Ping is floundering can be summed up in a sentence: Apple doesn't like sharing, thus, it is difficult for them to build a social network. The most popular services--the Facebooks, Twitters and MySpaces of the world--allow users to share links, thoughts, ideas, photos and music to connect with each other. Ping, run through iTunes, was supposed to be an evolution in musical connection. But iTunes, being a self-contained fortress requiring endless software upgrades and with more than a few frustrating quirks, isn't conducive to the type of sharing Web-based networks enjoy across a variety of devices. I can access all three of the aforementioned sites from my Android phone, and I have a variety of apps that allow me to seamlessly integrate these applications into my life. To use Ping, I would have to be tethered to my iMac...
Apple crashed in, deciding that people need what is essentially a glorified purchasing guide as opposed to a space to share music.
It's worth noting, though, that, by and large, the tech community is nodding its head. at News Grange, adds "For something that bills itself as a 'social network for music,' Ping just isn’t social enough." Finally, Stephen Hacket at Macgasm writes, "Following bands is cool, but seeing what your buddy bought on the iTunes Store just… isn't."