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How To Create An Independent Musician Profile On iTunes Ping at Waist Deep in the Media Swamp

In Canada on October 4, 2010 at 09:59

How To Create An Independent Musician Profile On iTunes Ping

with 6 comments

After all I went through previously, a few days ago I got official approval from Apple for a profile for Jimmy Z, the independent musician I help with marketing & social media. The email had the subject – Your Artist Profile on Ping is waiting for you.

Summary – The process is simple. The only glitch I found so far has to do with text handling of the bio area. There are no hints on how to customize and add shows. I have written to Apple for further guidance. Jury is still out on usefulness, especially since there is no access from iPhones and no way to group videos together.

The steps and more…

Official approval for a Ping profile from Apple

Official approval for a Ping profile from Apple

I feel like I should print it out, frame it, and post it on the wall – but that feeling quickly passed.

Their first suggestion was to create a separate Apple ID for the profile, so it would not be confused with my own. In a follow-up email I asked how could other people share administration of the profile and they said

“Presently, the only way to have multiple people access the account is to share this Apple ID and password, which is why you will want to make it dedicated to the artist.”

I created a new Apple ID and clicked the link in the approval email:

Ping Profile Sign In

Ping Profile Sign In

A confirmation screen followed:

Ping Profile Confirmation

Ping Profile Confirmation

No surprise – a Terms & Conditions Agreement was next:

Ping Artist Terms & Conditions

Ping Artist Terms & Conditions

This is one of the few online agreements I actually read. Nothing onerous or surprising in it. I liked the fact you could email it to yourself.

The Create Artist Profile screen appeared:

Create Profile Screen

Create Profile Screen

I selected Group from the You Are pop-up:

Ping 'You Are' Pop-up

Ping ‘You Are’ Pop-up

When I clicked the Add Photo button, the iChat image chooser appeared. I browsed and chose Jimmy’s standard head shot:

iChat choose image dialog

iChat choose image dialog

The About section is limited to 2000 characters, only it was not obvious to me until I had cut and pasted in Jimmy’s standard bio:

About box error message

Error Message

I was working on my Powerbook and did not notice that the bottom of the About section had the limit indicated:

About section character limit

About – 2000 character limit

I finally got the bio to the correct length, but discovered a glitch – it does not handle carriage returns consistently. More on that later.

Continuing to the My Favorite Music section, I chose one of Jimmy’s influences, the harmonica great – Little Walter (I need to get a longer list from him to complete it), and selected the genre categories:

My Favorite Music

My Favorite Music

Done!

Initial Profile Completed

Initial Profile Completed

Shortly after, I received the following message:

Successful Creation Email

Successful Profile Creation Email

Before beginning to post, I wanted to check how things looked to others. I wanted to first see how the bio appeared – it did not handle carriage returns well. Though I edited a few times a few ways, it did not change:

Bio in Edit Mode

Bio as it appears if you click ‘More”

Bio as it appears to a fan

Since there are no guidelines,  trial and error will have to suffice to attempt to fix this.

Next, I wanted to try the three kinds of posts offered – Photo, Video & Music.

For Photo, I wrote a message about an upcoming gig and added the ZTribe Jaguar symbol – all straight forward (I’d normally add more text, but I simply wanted to see what happened). The results did not appear immediately as the photo needed to be processed. An email was sent when it was completed (5 minutes or so):

Hi Jimmy Z and the ZTribe, You recently uploaded a photo and it has finished processing. To view your upload, go to: http://ax.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtistProfile?social…, iTunes Ping

Text & photo added

For Video, I write a bit of text an uploaded a Flash video of Jimmy playing Missionary Man with the Eurythmics live in 1986, just to see if a Flash video would show up  – being aware of Apple’s anti-Flash position. I clicked Video and immediately it asked me to select the video and then uploaded it:

Uploaded video

Like with the photo, it had to process it and sent an email when completed (10 minutes or so). When you play it, it opens a separate area:

Flash video playback

Flash video playback

Of course, the whole purpose of having a social network in iTunes is ultimately to sell more product. When I chose Music I found I could insert music or a music video:

Music or Music Video

Presuming the music or music video is on iTunes to being with, I searched for the original music video of the Eurythmics Missionary Man. It came up with 2 selections (both appeared identical):

Music Video from iTunes

Since the video is on iTunes, once I clicked Post, it appeared immediately. Note that my screen capture was prevented from showing a video still.

Playing an iTunes Music Video

I wanted to see how the Pros did their profiles, so I looked at Jack Johnson’s – what a difference:

Jack Johnson’s Profile

I have written to Apple about how I can customize the background color and add Jimmy’s shows.

Note:  It took at least 4 hours before the profile was active and be able to be found via searches.

Conclusion – It was all easy once I got the account approved. I still do not know how Ping will survive as it is currently worse than MySpace Lite would be, especially with no iPhone support.

I’ll be posting a number of videos to the account and moving ahead to try and get Jimmy’s current fans to come on board.

More to come, I’m sure… But with no interactivity, I do not have any idea how useful Ping will be.

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Written by Frank Colin

September 19th, 2010 at 10:55 am

6 Responses to ‘How To Create An Independent Musician Profile On iTunes Ping’

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to ‘How To Create An Independent Musician Profile On iTunes Ping’.

  1. […] I have now completed the profile and detailed the step-by-step process. […]

  2. How did you initiate the whole process? Did you have to email apple to get approval and have a profile set up FOR YOU? or is there a way to simply create a ping profile?

    Yosh-E

    22 Sep 10 at 4:44 pm

  3. In a previous post, I explained that it took a while for me to find out what to do. Apple is in control of creating these Artist profiles. If you or your artist has content on iTunes, you can write Apple to request Apple begin the process at itunesping@apple.com – you can read the complete post at http://gulture.com/wordpress/?p=792

    Frank Colin

    22 Sep 10 at 4:53 pm

  4. […] related posts  – Post #1 & Post # 2 […]

  5. […] is a continuation of a previous post and other previous posts about my saga with iTunes […]

  6. […] How To Create An Independent Musician Profile On iTunes Ping […]

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