Apple Fans Get Ready for Touchscreen iPod

Get ready for a touch-screen iPod — and maybe some Beatles tunes to play on it.

That's the blogosphere's consensus in anticipation of an Apple press conference scheduled for Wednesday.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company sent out press invitations only last week, but that alone caused the company's stock prices to shoot up 20 percent.

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The new iPod is expected to basically look like an iPhone, without the phone. It will likely have a 3.5-inch diagonal color touchscreen and the Cover Flow software already featured on Macintosh personal computers and iPhones.

There's no word on how much data storage the device will have. A regular 1.8-inch hard drive would be cheap and roomy, but the portable-music-player market is moving toward the expensive and limited flash memory that iPhones and iPod Nanos sport.

The price of the device is anyone's guess.

The Washington Post has documents it said it got from an unnamed Apple supplier that confirm the existence of the touchscreen iPod.

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The Post says its documents also show that the new iPod will have wireless capabilities, though it did not indicate whether it would have the iPhone's Web browser and e-mail software.

Other sources speculated the Internet access would be limited to Web-based music broadcasters.

Also on tap is some sort of new iPod Nano — the Post says it'll be an 'iPhone Nano,' others that it'll just be an upgraded Nano with video capabilities.

Radio disk jockeys reported rumors that surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would be present at the press conference, scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday at San Francisco's Moscone West exhibition space.

That would dovetail with leaked photos posted on the Apple-centric blog that featured Beatles cover art as part of the new iPod's Cover Flow.

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Apple Corps, the Beatles' publishing company, has sued Apple three times since 1978 over the use of the Apple name and logo.

Two of the cases were settled out of court. Last year, a British court ruled in the third in favor of the computer company.

McCartney's, Starr's and John Lennon's solo catalogs have since appeared on the iTunes store.