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Rumor roundup: Apple's Sept. 9 music-related news conference [Updated]

September 3, 2009 |  5:01 pm


When the largest U.S. music retailer has an imminent news conference, people will speculate.

Here's what we know for sure: Apple's announcements Sept. 9 are music-related. The invitation the company sent to journalists (pictured at the top) shows a familiar silhouette of a woman dancing, iPod in hand, as we've seen in countless TV commercials.

Here's what others think they know: plenty. Chatter accompanies every Apple conference. The company is highly visible and wildly popular in the computer, gadget and music industries. All the watchers think they know what's at the core of an Apple event before it happens.

iPods: Apple hasn't released a new iPod Classic or Nano, with the scroll wheel, in eight or nine months. Analysts think it's time for a refresh -- or in the case of the Classic, maybe it's time to take it behind the shed and put it out of its misery. Many seem to be betting on most of the iPods getting a digital camera.

The Beatles: Being a conference about "rock and roll," as it says in the invitation, it's not far-fetched to believe the biggest rock band ever may be involved. Apple's news conferences are traditionally held on Tuesdays, but this Wednesday announcement happens to fall on the same day as the high-profile release of the Beatles: Rock Band game and the band's remastered CD catalog.

The Fab Four have yet to release any of their music digitally -- the Rock Band game is as digital as they're getting so far. An EMI spokeswoman says ...

... she's "not aware" of anyone from Apple Corps, the Beatles record label, going to San Francisco next week, but she might be trying to throw us off the trail.

Don't get your hopes up, though. This "Beatles on iTunes" rumor has been percolating for years, with recurring speculation of "Yellow Submarine" iPods and iPhones.

Tablet computer: Another long-fabled unveiling is the Mac Tablet, a touch-screen computer smaller than a laptop. But with reports surfacing recently of record-label executives chattering about the device, a release must be drawing near, right?

Probably, but AllThingsD.com is convinced it won't happen Wednesday. But if it's any comfort, the new Mac operating system, Snow Leopard, has a nifty-looking touch-keyboard that would make thumb-searching iTunes for new music a breeze.

Apple TV: Apple's entry into the living room hasn't gotten much attention recently. A device with more storage, TiVo-like capabilities and downloadable applications, such as with the iPhone, may come eventually. We're not really seeing the "rock and roll" angle, though. Others agree that Apple probably won't flip on an Apple TV update next week.

Steve Jobs: A rock star among tech geeks, Steve Jobs returned to the, er, job this summer after a much-publicized medical leave of absence earlier this year. Apple's chief executive hasn't made a public appearance since returning, but Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster and CNBC's Jim Goldman are convinced that Jobs will be at the forefront Wednesday.

Got your own educated guess or a prediction straight out of left field? Leave it in the comments.

Corrected, 6:20 p.m.: A previous version's headline said the Apple press conference will be on Sept. 5. In reality, it will take place on Sept. 9.

-- Mark Milian

Follow my random thoughts on rock music and technology on Twitter @markmilian.

Photo credit: Apple