Ping will be tied into Apple’s next update for iTunes software and will allow users to follow musicians and friends and receive information, such as what music they are listening to or what concerts they attending, in a stream similar to Facebook or Twitter.
The service, available immediately, can also be accessed via the iPhone and iPod Touch ranges.
The network’s privacy settings let people choose whether they want to allow anyone to follow them or only those they approve.
Speculation as to whether Apple was planning to launch a music-based social network or streaming service had been rife since the company bought, and then closed down, music-streaming service Lala in May.
The news will come as a blow to rival social music services, such as MySpace, which had planned a fresh assault on the social music market later this year with a major relaunch.
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk