Apple’s much-ignored social network Ping (no, that’s not a typo; Apple does have a social network) is all set to see the last of its days on September 30. Launched in 2010 as part of iTunes 10, Apple launched Ping in an attempt to leverage its iTunes user base and create a social network focused around music and stuff available on iTunes.

The social network can still be accessed in the current version of iTunes, but the new version, which was announced yesterday and will come out later this year, will no longer have Ping. According to reports in the media, the announcement of Ping’s retirement came quietly during Apple’s iPhone and iPod event yesterday.

Ping aimed to ape social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and integrate with iTunes. It enabled iTunes users to add each other as friends, share music, stay updated on their friends’ likes and taste in music, and like or comment on stuff in iTunes. Users could also follow their favourite artists and be alerted about new releases, updates and tour schedules. Apple added Twitter integration some months after its launch and users could tweet which songs they were listening to.

Apple finally gets the message. Ends Ping.

Apple finally gets the message. Ends Ping.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is quoted in the media as saying: “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into'.”

Apple is finally going to overhaul the bloated iTunes with a new version of the application next month. The new iTunes for Mac and PC promises many new features, including social network integration similar to what Ping offered. It will also have Facebook integration, something which Apple never enabled Ping with.

The new iTunes will have a completely redesigned player, seamless integration with iCloud, and a new look for the online music, apps, TV and movie store. The new interface will be dramatically cleaner and simpler, and keeps your favourite iTunes content at the forefront. With iCloud integration, your music, movie and TV purchases made on any of your iOS devices or computers is displayed in your iTunes library on your Mac or PC. The redesigned iTunes Store, App Store and iBookstore have been rethought to make buying your favourite content on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC simpler than ever.

The redesigned iTunes promises a full-window interface on your Mac or PC, always keeping your favourite content in front of you. The new library view makes it easier to view your music, TV shows and movies, allowing you to click on the category of content you want to browse— and that’s all you will see. The expandable album view allows you to see track listings for an individual album, while letting you continue to browse your music library.

The new search feature searches across your entire iTunes library, including music, movies and TV shows. The re-imagined MiniPlayer makes it easy to control your music with a small tool bar; you can skip to the next song or search for something new to play—all without having to open your library. Up Next is a new way to see what songs are coming up and queue songs or albums you want to hear next.

With iCloud, all of your iTunes purchases are in the cloud and can be accessed from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV. The new iTunes features seamless integration with iCloud, which automatically puts all of your purchases into your library on your Mac or PC, regardless of which device you used to make the purchase. iCloud also remembers where you are in your favourite movies or TV shows no matter which device you’re viewing on.

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