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Apple calls press to 'video iPod launch'

Movie-themed invite goes out

Claims are coming in that Apple will unveil the long-awaited video iPod next week.

Apple Event InviteThe Mac maker is certainly hosting a special event on Wednesday, 12 October, and it bears all the hallmarks of a product announcement.

We'd note that Apple missed a trick here: ten more days, and it would have made the announcement on the fourth anniversary of the original iPod launch, which took place, if we remember correctly, on 22 October 2001.

Perhaps, then, next week's unveiling isn't iPod related? We'd guess it's certainly about movies and/or video, as suggested by the invitation's positively theatrical red velvet curtain background.

Apple fansite AppleInsider cites unnamed "reliable" sources who claim a video iPod will be announced next week. Apparently, it's a 60GB job with a Nano-sized clickwheel to make way for a bigger colour display. If previous speculation is correct, it will be based on Toshiba's latest generation of 1.8in hard disk drives, which use perpendicular recording technology to increase the drive's storage capacity without growing its size.

Apple has to date publicly dismissed the idea of a video iPod, but then CEO Steve Jobs always used to put down Flash-based music machines - right up until he launched one of his own.

The video iPod will be accompanied by the inevitable iTunes update - already loaded, a peek at the software's resource files reveals, with video download icons - and an updated AirPort Express WLAN adaptor which incorporates video out as well as the audio port found on today's model.

The film and video theme wouldn't be entirely inappropriate for the launch of faster Power Macs, pitched as they are at content creators, so we wouldn't rule out the introduction of new Mac hardware either. And don't forget the rumours a little while back about HD edition Macs, designed to capitalise on interest in HD video - and, indeed, widescreen iBooks. ®

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