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Apple to kill Ping with next version of iTunes?

Evidence is mounting that Apple is about to knock Ping -- its unpopular musical social network -- on the head.

Apple could be about to knock Ping -- its unpopular musical-based social network -- on the head.

AllThingsD reports that "sources close to the company" believe Ping will be given the Old Yeller treatment with the next version of iTunes, which is likely to arrive in the autumn. In Ping's absence, Apple will use Facebook and Twitter to handle the social sharing of tunes.

Speaking at a recent conference, Apple head honcho Tim Cook acknowledged Ping's failure, saying, "We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said, 'this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into.'"

Ping was launched way back in 2010, alongside that square iPod nano you can wear as a watch. The service was designed to let you see what your buddies are listening to, making it easier and more convenient to throw money Apple's way.

Unfortunately, as we correctly deduced mere days after the service's launch, Ping is pants. It's tough to connect with people you know, and the fact that it runs in iTunes -- a program barely more pleasant than trapping your hand in a car door -- certainly didn't help.

Being all social with the likes and retweets and whatnot is an area Apple's never excelled in. With iOS 6 the Californian company is drafting in Facebook to do the work for it, baking Zuckerberg's social network right into the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. iOS 6 will arrive in the autumn, likely just before a new iPhone.

Is Ping headed for the glue factory or could it be rescued? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.