Part of the reason why Apple has experienced a rebirth this decade is their ability to hold timely, smart press conferences that are nothing short of media circuses. The announcements made and the new technology revealed has continually wowed both tech experts and consumers alike. However, a lack of jaw-dropping announcements and an underwhelming line of new products made yesterday’s music themed press conference seem like a letdown. I believe that Apple missed many opportunities that could have made this year’s conference one to remember.

First of all, Apple did not make any announcements regarding The Beatles. The conference came on the same day that the Fab Four’s entire discography was rereleased in a digitally remastered form. Additionally, The Beatles: Rock Band, one of the most anticipated video games of the year, was being released to the public.

Apple could have easily capitalized on a renewed sense Beatle mania by bringing their entire catalog to iTunes. Although the Beatles record company, Apple Corp., did sue Apple Computer several years ago, an announcement of this caliber could have been a sign that things were well again between the two companies. More importantly, though, this could have been an all star move on Apple’s part. The Beatles have never allowed their albums to be sold for download before, so an exclusive deal to have their music on iTunes could have potentially brought even more customers to their music store. Alas, it seems that the company’s conference being on September 9th was merely a coincidence, and nothing more.

The new line of iPods that were announced also left a lot to be desired. Apple has relied on their same group of iPods -Shuffle, Nano, Classic, and Touch- since 2007, so it seemed like the perfect time for them to announce something new. Instead what was announced was more of the same, with a few extra bells and whistles thrown in.

Perhaps the cornerstone of their iPod focus was the addition of a video camera and radio capability to the iPod Nano. It is about as glorious as it sounds; the device can now capture live action video and has a radio. With the iPhone already capable of both of these things, and given the Nano’s limited space of 16 GB, it seems like Apple could have used their energy to focus on something new.

Besides new prices and even more colors for their Nano and shuffle lines, the other big news was that the iPod Touch now holds up to 64 GB. For those of us with large music libraries, this news is extremely disappointing. I love the Touch’s ability to connect to the internet and its numerous apps. However, until they come out with a model that exceeds 100 GB, I will stick with the iPod Classic, which got a nice bump to 160GB at the conference.

Even the release of a new version of iTunes was not enough to get anyone excited. Sure it’s easier to use and the redesigned store is that much more intuitive, but when the biggest draw is the addition of liner notes to some albums, you know that you do not have a game changer on your hands.

“It’s only Rock N’ Roll, but we like it,” read the invitation to the press conference. I do too, Apple, I really do. Unfortunately, you have underwhelmed me to the point where rocking out is almost impossible, as your lack of notable announcements or new products has nearly put me to sleep. Wake me up in about a year, Apple. We’ll try this again.

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