Apple has made a change in the way content is delivered to iTunes via what was called, since the release of iTunes 10, the Ping Sidebar. As of today, it is called the iTunes Sidebar, and includes Genius recommendations, something many users were unhappy about losing.
Depending on what you select in your library, you may see the following:
- iTunes Ping could not find matches for your specific selection. This displays when Ping/Genius doesn’t know your music.
- An album or song name, if it does know your music, giving you the option to Like the music or Post about it.
- Artist information, if the artist has a Ping profile: you can follow the artist or see their latest posts.
- My Recent Activity. Ping-related activity, if you’re signed into Ping.
- Genius Recommendations. If Genius is on, this will show selected tracks or albums from the iTunes Store that you may like.
Since this sidebar is generated by the iTunes Store, in HTML, there didn’t need to be an update to the iTunes program for this to change.
It’s good to see that Apple has heard the many users who found the Ping sidebar useless, but who did appreciate the Genius recommendations in the old sidebar. The combination of the two makes more sense, and it’s likely that we’ll be seeing other changes to Ping and its related features over time as well.