What New iPod Features Will Apple Present Next Week?

It’s iPod time again. As Apple has done for many years now, the company has announced a “media event” for September 1, undoubtedly to announce new iPods, but also, perhaps, other iOS devices or features. My Macworld colleague Chris Breen ponders this, as do many others in the Mac punditry. I thought I would add a few pixels to the discussion.

First, it’s important to note that Apple has announced this media event just as my new Take Control of iTunes book has been wrapped up and moved into production. (Which will, most likely, delay the book a few days, as I’ll need to add new content for the new features if iTunes is updated.) So I’m particularly interested in any newness in iTunes itself, as well as for the iPod line.

Back in June, I tossed out a few ideas for iTunes improvements: that the program could add new file formats, add a streaming feature, and, above all, offer wireless syncing to devices that have wifi. Others have talked about a possible iPod nano with a touch screen (I don’t see the point), or a refresh to the AppleTV.

My guess is that we’re going to see several things: an increase to the capacity of the iPod touch, with a 128 GB model. This will lead to the retirement of the iPod classic, which is marginal at best. With more capacity on the touch, those with large libraries will be able to move over to the improved interface of the touch device, and will have all the apps at their fingertips.

There will certainly be a new nano, as this is Apple’s prime unit seller in the iPod product line, but I won’t speculate on what it will offer. (Though if Apple adds wireless syncing to iTunes, I could imagine the nano getting wifi, just for syncing.)

I hope Apple ditches its horrid shuffle-with-no-buttons. I have one, and have only used it a couple of times when I was writing about it; I far prefer the previous model with buttons.

As for iTunes itself, other than possible wireless syncing, will we see a streaming service, related to Apple’s purchase of Lala some time ago? The rumors aren’t there, and for something that big (which involves agreements with the major record labels), info does leak.

In any case, stay tuned for more information about my Take Control of iTunes ebook, which will be out very soon.