Apple: Only Rock And Roll — Not a New Computer: Los Angeles Times, September 2009

Apple poster “Only Rock and Roll”

“It’s only rock and roll, but we like it,” Apple says in its invitation to the media for its announcement tomorrow of something new and unspecified. So we probably shouldn’t expect something other than rock and roll, like the tablet computer Apple is said to be working on.

And considering that “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” is a Rolling Stones hit, we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up that Apple is ready to put the Beatles’ catalog on iTunes. Those hopes are already fairly high, considering that the complete Beatles catalog at long last came out today, and The Beatles: Rock Band game comes out tomorrow.

The same Beatles fans who thought the song “Revolution No. 9” offered clues to Paul McCartney’s death see some significance that tomorrow’s event falls on 09/09/09. But Apple (the computer/iPod/iPhone company) never has particularly gotten along with Apple Records (the Beatles’ label), and iTunes has never offered Beatles songs. If tomorrow’s announcement promised a “Magical Mystery Tour,” I might be a little more optimistic. Then again, it would be just like Apple to throw us a red herring.

The “rock star” that the Apple faithful really hope to see is Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has not appeared publicly since he returned to the company this summer after a reported liver transplant. If he’s coming, Apple is — surprise! — not saying.

Online speculation (sometimes referencing sources inside the notoriously closed-mouth company) offers a wide menu of options. Mashable says Apple could be unveiling iPod Touches with cameras for photos and videos, and an iTunes store with Facebook and Twitter integration. TechCrunch predicts the demise of the iPod Classic, as well as moves to expand iTunes offerings to “the cloud,” and the release of the reported “Cocktail” effort to induce people to buy music in full albums again.

The fun starts at 10 a.m. Stay tuned.

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