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Apple helps you discover music with “Ping”

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    So Apple just had another big announcement, but this one wasn’t about cloud-based music streaming, virtual concert tickets, or The Beatles. Instead, Steve Jobs’ massive tech monster unveiled plans for “Ping”, a new social networking platform designed to help you better discover music. Music blogs, say what?

    According to the Associated Press and Mashable, “Ping” will be packaged as part of the brand new iTunes 10 and is likely based on the technology Apple acquired with the purchase of Lala.com last year. It’s basically like Twitter or Facebook, but on musical stereoids:

    Ping allows users to follow others, just like Twitter. You can follow artists or your friends to find out what they’re listening or what they’re creating. It has custom song and album charts, a news feed, 17,000+ concert listings, and is available to 160 million iTunes users. Ping will be available not only for iTunes on the desktop, but for iPhone and iPod touch as well.

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    The news should come as a major blow to MySpace, which has been attempting to re-brand itself around its own music platform. Apple already claims to be the “number one online media store in the world,” having sold over 11.7 billion digital downloads to date.

    iTunes 10 will be available starting today. Also announced was a new version of the iPod Touch — yep, those still exist — which will now feature a front-facing camera. iPod Nano gets an update with an on-screen interface and the iPod Shuffle has been redesigned back the square shape and buttons of Apple’s second-generation Shuffle.

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