Now that it's official that Apple will be holding a special "Let's Rock" media event in San Francisco on Tuesday let's take a look under the curtain to see what announcements may be in store from Cupertino.
It's pretty apparent that new iPods are in the offing, mostly because the invitation clearly shows and iPod display (not to mention the campy "Let's Rock" theme) and because new iPods have been announced at the last
two three years' September events.
At the September 2007 event Apple announced:
- iPod touch
- iPod nano 3G
- iPod classic 80, 160GB
- iPhone price drop $599 to $399
- iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
- Apple and Starbucks Music partnership
At the September 2006 event Apple announced:
- iTunes 7 w/Movie purchases
- iPod 5G (30 & 80GB)
- iPad nano 2G (aluminum)
- iPod shuffle 2G (micro)
- Apple and NFL Highlights on iTunes
- Preview of "iTV" coming in January
At the September 2005 event Apple announced:
- iPod nano 2 and 4GB (replacing the iPod mini)
- iTunes 5
- Motorola ROKR E1 - iTunes Phone
- a bunch of other iTunes-related announcements
Digg's Kevin Rose's has made a number of predictions... ...about the event including a brand new iPod nano that's skinnier and longer with a widescreen display mounted in a portrait orientation. Rose claims that the nano will also have a more rounded, oval profile unlike previous iPods which have flat front and rear faces. According to Rose the iPod touch will be getting some minor cosmetic changes and will get the new 2.1 software that will roll out to the iPhone shortly thereafter. Rose predicts iPod price cuts to distance them from the new lower-priced iPhone.
The most interesting rumors surround iTunes 8. Rose claims that it will be a "big update" with new features including a new music recommendation feature. MacRumors floated a tip that the new recommendation engine could manifest itself as a "Genius playlist" that "would be able to generate a playlist based on the qualities of a selected song, giving a Pandora-like experience with your own music library." Rose adds that iTunes 8 will have new "trippy" visualizations with one described as "planet like objects wrapping around each other with stars/light streams".
Today Rose adds more fuel to the iTunes 8 fire:
iTunes 8 includes Genius, which makes playlists from songs in your library that go great together. Genius also includes Genius sidebar, which recommends music from the iTunes Store that you don't already have.
With iTunes 8, browse your artists and albums visually with the new Grid view; download your favorite TV shows in HD quality from the iTunes Store; sync your media with iPod nano (4th generation), iPod classic (2nd generation), and iPod touch (2nd generation); and enjoy a stunning new music visualizer.
With the NFL Season kicking off here in the U.S. tomorrow, I think that Apple will announce a new NFL application for iPhone and iPod touch that will be a must-have item for all the fantasy football players out there. Just like MLB's At-Bat iPhone application (iTunes link) the NFL version will feature live scoring, video replays and the ability to follow specific players or teams. I'd buy that.