So, Itunes 10 came out today and I generally like Itunes for everything related to playing music. Purchasing music I do almost solely on Amazon when I can. There it is usually cheaper and they offer better deals. The new Itunes though is already sort of bugging me, especially with the whole Ping type deal.
There are already several social music websites that are online. Last.fm, Pandora, etc. I don't use any of them though mainly because I listen to my music or nothing at all. With Itunes introducing the social network aspect though, it seems to be forgetting the benefits of those other networks in regards to social networking and music, one being that you can listen to full versions of songs. You can just listen to new stuff. Now if Itunes were to, lets speak horribly hypothetically here, allow you to listen to full songs for free like a radio station, that might be fine. In fact, it may actually inspire people to use their store. Heck, I know several times I've been driving and I've wanted to buy a song that was on the radio then and there. Pandora and Last.fm to my knowledge/poor recollection from seeing other peoples sites do allow this, often through Itunes. You are just throwing away spur of the moment purchases here.
Really the main reason I signed up for Ping is interest in how horrible it is. While it is in the first few days of birth and it only has a small amount of users, I can't see many people incorporating it. What does it do? Let your friends know if you make a review? How often do my friends do that? How often do they even buy through Itunes! Honestly it is like the Netflix social aspect for me, I never use it. Most of the people who I talked to Ping essentially sad "Wait, another social media thing? Ugh." There doesn't seem to be a big following and while there is a promise of premium content from big stars, what about people who don't listen to the big musicians. Heck, if you can't buy the artists music on Itunes you can't even feature them as favorite artists (because Itunes can't sell their shit - that means only two songs by Akira The Don! Blasphemy!)
Pretty much my other comments fall in the design category. The new font is too small and hard to read, the lack of colored icons leaves Itunes looking almost dead, like it molted its shell and this is the leftover. It still seems to run slow as ever being as big of a file as it is, Genius still is somewhat dubious and the new listing choice is fairly ugly if you lack the album art set up in a certain way.
Kind of annoying for me since I can't easily go back now, no real benefits to the user and the Ping thing will probably break within a year wherein it is shut down unless they mix things up.