I was never in the "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." crowd when the iPod was introduced in 2001 -- in fact, I even bought the original 5 GB model (admittedly, that was in summer of 2002, after larger models had been introduced and prices had come down). But in this iPhone-y age, I have a hard time getting worked up about the prospect of new iPods, which, apparently are what we're going to get in a special Apple event on Wednesday. iPods! Whee! WHEE!

It's not that I have anything against the humble iPod; it's just that, well, they're kind of old news at this point. They also, in a world where most of us walk around with a cell phone of some sort, are responsible for device clutter, towards which I have a serious antipathy. It's true that my 60 GB iPod holds every song in my iTunes library and every picture in my iPhoto collection, with room to spare for videos; but unless I'm taking a 20-hour flight to Hong Kong and desperately need that much entertainment, the 8 GB in my iPhone will do me fine at the moment, thanks very much.

Anyway, for those of us who hunger for new stuff, the coming iPhone event might be of historical interest in the sense that it could mark the end of the hard drive-based iPod, with the iPhone platform, as represented by the iPod Touch, being the basis of new developments. There might be iPod Touches with cameras -- another kind of interesting but ultimately incremental development -- unless, of course, they still haven't worked out the hardware bugs. There's talk that the long-awaited Beatles-on-iTunes announcement might be forthcoming -- but with the event being named after a Rolling Stones song, that seems unlikely to anyone with any sense of musical history. Integration of iTunes with social networking sites might also be on tap, which could be interesting but which could just be another LOOK AT US WE UNDERSTAND THE FACEBOOK play from a big company that doesn't actually understand the Facebook.

This all makes the final rumor -- that Steve Jobs, back from his extended health leave, will be presiding over the event. It would be great to see him again, and obviously he doesn't schedule his health problems to correspond with Apple's product cycle, but wouldn't his reappearance at such an ultimately minor event be kind of anticlimactic? I'd wait for the tablet, if I were him.

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