So I finally got around to downloading iTunes 10 and playing around with Ping.
In summary, Ping is not very social and it is not really about music. It is about music purchases and celebrities.
If you want to see a social network about music, check out last.fm. It knows what I am listening to right now no matter where I am listening (not in iTunes hopefully). It knows what music I like and it doesn't ask me to tell them what that is. It knows who likes the same kind of music I do.
Ping shows what a command and control culture thinks a social network is. I am sure millions of people will use Ping. And I am equally sure that it will not advance the state of the music business one bit.
I read Om Malik's early take on Ping. I was shocked that I would have to download software to create a social network and said so in the comments. Of course that is what Apple would do in its iTunes centric view of the world. But tying Ping to iTunes is wrong. And tying Ping to music purchases is wrong. And tying Ping to top artists is wrong.
I didn't find any of my music friends on Ping. Just a bunch of tech pundits and VCs who had to check this thing out. So I'm headed back to the places I hang out with my music friends online; Tumblr, last.fm, hype machine, Soundcloud, extension.fm, etc.
I hope you'll join me. And while I am on the subject of music, you might enjoy listening to my internet radio channel this weekend. It is called fredwilson.fm and it was built on tumblr, streampad, and soundcloud. Not one bit of Apple technology in it.