31 August 2007

Apple Music Event for September 5th: Full Speculation

I recently included a smaller speculative piece on this topic alogside information on updates to my rig, but I have updated news from my various sources around the internet and as such I can update and expand that speculation.

Things I expect may be announced as of August 31st:

Updated September fourth: Added new rumoured feature for iPod Touch
  • iPod Touch: A Full-Screen, Video-Capable iPod similar to iPhone with some iPod 5 design cues. OS X operating system resembling that of iPhone. 60 (Or possibly 80) and 160 GB for the same prices as iPod 5. May or may not sport WiFi, I expect not. Screen resolution identical to iPhone (320 by 480 in Portrait mode, 480 by 320 in landscape). Due to iPhone similarity, CoverFlow is a no-brainer. Said to feature some form of digital radio.
  • iPod 6: A Video-Capable iPod similar in functionality to iPod 5 but with Nano design cues. Shorter than previous models. Probably 8 and 16 GB of storage. OS X based operating system functionally similar to previous versions, but with more visual design elements such as a larger focus on artwork. Also expected to feature CoverFlow. Same screen resolution as iPod 5, but marginally smaller screen. Priced higher than top-end Nano, lower than iPod Touch 60/80.
  • iPod Nano 3: Similar to previous model. Uses new OS outlined under iPod 6. No video capability. Double capacities - 4/8/16 GB - (Maybe - capacities may be kept the same to differentiate from iPod XXX but this is unlikely), same prices.
  • 2 GB iPod Shuffle: Self-explanatory. Same prices. (Product) Red version as well.
  • iTunes 8: iTunes is on an annual release schedule as far as integers go and Apple will be keen to forget the buggy nightmare of iTunes 7. Likely to integrate devices and content more closesly. May be renamed iTunes '08 in line with iLife naming scheme. Some speculation it may be fully named iTunes Media Centre '08, making it the premierre multiplatform Media Centre application. As such, expect Back Row/Front Row 2 interface for this capability (AppleTV's interface). Also to include ring tone facility for iPhone and possibly more editing options - think of it as iMovie '08 to GarageBand's FinalCut Express.
  • Beatles on iTunes
  • New line of iPod games for iPod Touch and iPhone. May feature some Nintendo properties.
That, I think you'll agree, would constitute the single largest iPod & iTunes announcement since iPod 1 itself. iPod is long overdue an update and if iTunes Video downloads are to take off, more than one player at a greater capacity range is needed.

Further, the media experience on the computer needs to be improved to surpass competitors like Microsoft's Media Centre PC for Vista, hence, integrate Front Row into iTunes and make it a Media Centre application. This would be even more useful if Apple saw fit to support TV Tuners in the software - users could record shows to watch on their iPods, making them more useful.

Meanwhile, The Beatles announcement is a no-brainer. We all know it's coming on Wednesday, that's barely speculation. It's barely news. More interesting is the Games point - the current line of games are medicore at best and if Apple wishes for games on iTunes to matter at all, they simply must expand the line to support iPhone and iPod Touch as well as allow iPod XXX to support the legacy titles.

So anyway, there's my speculation. let's hope I'm right about some of it.

Hopefully all of it.

Jens Out

Update: Expect a comprehensive review of the event on the Fifth which will be updated as soon as a video stream is available.

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