Let’s Rock event updates that should have been

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Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today@PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

Reaction to Tuesday’s Apple “Let’s Rock” press event have been, well-underwhelming. Thanks to nano redesign leaks and educated guesses about iPod touch tweaks, Steve Jobs’ keynote was anything but a surprise.

The dearth of interesting shiny new Apple toys leaves me wondering what could have been. That said, here are five things I wanted to hear announced yesterday from Apple—but didn’t.

1. Wireless iPods that sync directly to iTunes

It’s long overdue that Apple should wire its iPods (besides touch) with broadband chips. I was hoping, and so were others, that Tuesday would have been the day Jobs announced a line of nanos or iPod classics that could sync new music, podcasts, and TV shows—sans a wired connection to your computer.

Imagine the ease of downloading to-go songs and podcasts on your iPod classic, or wireless syncing with your PC or Mac from across the room.

2. Anything to do with the iPod Classic

Apple has been neglecting the iPod classic for too long and Tuesday was no exception. I understand keeping this model simple for nostalgia (don’t want to make a “New Coke” mistake), but the iPod cassic is starting to look like Apple’s forgotten child. Not only have the storage options been narrowed (I write as I bitterly clutch my $250 30GB iPod) to 120GB, but literally nothing changed. How about adding some color to the iPod Classic like you did with the nano’s fancy new rainbow colors? Or, at a minimum an updated UI would be nice.

Why the hate, Apple? And what does the future hold for this seminal MP3 player? Will it remain the same forever?

3. Radio tuner

A radio tuner added to the iPod might seem behind the times, but over the course of the iPod’s seven-year life, not one model has included one. Granted, you can buy them, but that’s not as convenient. The Zune’s new feature of downloading (via its wireless connection) songs straight from the airwaves is a neat addition that may liven a seemingly dead medium. That Apple ignored these updates and kept to the status quo was disappointing.

Sometimes a little NPR news in the afternoon makes for better listening than that “Groovy Tunes” playlist you created and have heard 100 times before.

4. iTunes subscription service

Many thought an announcement of an Apple music subscription service was a gimme Tuesday, but Apple unveiled the Genius iTunes feature instead. To me the Genius, an intelligent playlist technology, just isn’t as cool or practical without a subscription service. Genius reminds me of online music streaming and suggestion services such as Lastfm or Pandora without any redeeming qualities. Sure, it’s neat to build unique playlists based on taste and artist similarity - and to fool it, too—but I’m still not discovering any new music, am I?

The Genius sidebar is little more than a crass marketing scheme designed to get you to buy songs from iTunes 8. Given Apple’s experience with DRM, they could have made a subscription-based iTunes incredibly successful.

5. The Beatles

It seems only fitting that an event centered on music would come with a musical surprise, and no, I’m not talking a live performance by Jack Johnson—I’m talking about the Beatles, finally available for purchase on iTunes. We’ve been inching closer to that epic day for what seems like forever; Tuesday’s event would have been a great time to give Beatles fans—Steve Jobs being No. 1—what they’ve been waiting for.

Funny enough, most of the features I chose here today (I just noticed) were listed on MP3.com as the Top 5 iPod Features You’ll Never See. I remain optimistic.

This story, "Let’s Rock event updates that should have been" was originally published by PCWorld.

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