The Music Event 2010, live!

Apple’s 2010 Music event is upon us and we’re anticipating some new iPod gear and perhaps some new software from Apple.  Here’s a consensus from around here and what we’ve been hearing:

  • New iPod Touch with cameras and Retina Display.  This seems to be the most obvious and reliable rumor and also makes sense since Steve Jobs said to expect Facetime on additional devices later this year.   Will we see 128GB?  That is unlikely but it would all but kill the Classic.  I don’t think it has been talked about much, but what will the impact on the point and shoot/Flip camera market be when there is a $300 720P/3-5Megapixel iPod with solid optics AND Internet connectivity, apps, email, browser, etc.?  Oh, and you can edit your movies on your iPod touch and upload them to all of your favorite services. (expect Steve Jobs to ask this question on stage?)
    We’d like to see things like GPS, full Bluetooth profiles and iPhone quality, built-in Audio I/O.  We’d also like to see a 3G option but wonder how AT&T/carriers would treat VoIP apps on that device, which would seem to kill the need for an iPhone/voice plan.
  • Smaller touch screen Nanos.  This is the biggest mystery to us.  The consensus out there is that there is a little 2-inch device with a touch screen is going to replace the current Nanos.  It won’t run iOS because typing would be impossible and Wifi (what for?) is unlikely.  However Bluetooth synching and headphones would be a solid addition.  Think of the current Nano with everything but the screen cut off for size with a clip on the back.  Plenty of mockups and cases are floating around.  Some idiots like us will use them like a iWatch.
  • Apple likes to keep a low-priced touch with last year’s technology around for the bargain shoppers.  Some think this might be a low priced, smaller 2.8 inch iPod touch to fill the new gap between the smaller Nanos and burlier Touches.  We’re anticipating just a cheap ($149?) previous generation iPod Touch.  If it is to run iOS 4, it will have to be big enough to type on and have hardware better than the iPhone 3G, which is a dog on 4.0.
  • Shuffle?  Classic? We’d be lying if we said this was even a medium priority from us but if Apple keeps these around, expect a capacity bump on the Classic (240GB?) and/or maybe some lower prices on the Shuffles.

The iTV is looking more and more likely.  While it would fit with the iOS device theme, it doesn’t sound like Apple has the studios’ support lined up quite yet.  Maybe Netflix integration (it already is running on other iOS devices) makes up for that.   Also we’d be lying if we said that 720P was enough for us.  We’re hoping for a 1080P surprise on this in the coming months.  As for remotes for these devices, we’re fully expecting Apple to use its other iOS  devices as interactive remotes for the iTVs, maybe even with video previews.

These events are also about software and iTunes has been acting funny all week.  We’ll at least see a incremental update to support the new hardware but there is a lot of other stuff happening behind the scenes.  Even if an iTV isn’t revealed, Apple is lining up content and those magical $.99 TV shows (or months of TV shows) seem to be ready to start airing.

Gamecenter should be getting ready and recieve some airtime.  I think we’ll start to see features like gaming on the iPods with use of cameras for chat there as well.

We’re looking for iTunes in the Cloud but don’t expect a full rollout. Maybe Apple offers something like they do with iOS Apps re-downloading, where you can listen to music you’ve specifically purchased through iTunes in the Cloud — or at least re-load this music for free from Apple on other iOS/Mac devices).

We don’t anticipate new iPads until Q1/11 but iOS OS 4.0 for iPad should be demoed along with multitasking and other improvements in 4.0..  We don’t see Apple getting into the 7-inch tablet space (sorry Digitimes) but if they did, it would be a hybrid iPod/iPad.  iPod HD?  iPad Mini?

On the Mac side, iLife is due for an update and some have mentioned that there could be an EZ App authoring application included.  We’re skeptical but optimistic.

Anything else you are expecting?  Please drop a note in the comments for consideration or vote up comments you like.

We’ll be covering the show live and looking for an audio/video feed to share (unlikely).  We’ve also enabled a live chat feature (see bottom left of the page) to allow the community to share in the information exchange.

Please join us tomorrow for the festivities!

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