Apple's iTunes-based social network, Ping, is having trouble gaining traction with its most important constituency: artists. Ping has 2,000 artist profiles, compared with 8 million artists on MySpace, thanks to Ping's refusal to engage with record labels directly and a byzantine approval process for new profile pages. "Between the lack of Facebook connectivity, low artist count and lack of user interest, in short, Ping seems dead in the water," writes Austin Carr.

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