New iTunes – with Ping a music-based Social Network. I'm sceptical.

They’re ditching the CD in the logo (downloads exceeded cd sales last time) and they’re introducing a social network based around music.

The big new feature in iTunes 10.0 is called Ping and it’s for “social music discovery”. Follow artists, follow your friends, or set up a private circle of friends. You can see what music they’re listening to, what they’re recommending, what gigs they are going for, what they commented on other people’s songs.

It produces customised top ten chart just for you based on what your friends like and what they’re listening to.

“It’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter” Steve Jobs said.

I would say it was treading on Spotify’s toes – with their brilliant social feature, but wait – it’s free. iTunes aint. The catch for me is that when your friend posts you a song they want you to listen to… you can only hear a preview…

I was happy they reached out to Lady Gaga for this. She did a video just for iTunes.

It’s available now on computers and – this is new – on iPhone and on iPod Touch.

Still I’m very much not sold on a social network based around paid for products. That’s my two cents.

Anna Leach