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Apple Rocks On With Digital Music

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- We may not see Apple's (APPL) eagerly-anticipated Tablet device at the company's keynote event Wednesday, but digital music will be firmly in the spotlight.

With the iPod featuring prominently on the event invites sent out to journalists last week, iPod updates are inevitable, and there is growing speculation that Apple may join forces with another world-famous brand.

Sept. 9 is also the launch date for "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game, as well as the digitally remastered versions of the Fab Four's music. For some time now, there have been rumblings that Apple will also add the Beatles catalog to iTunes, and a multi-pronged launch would certainly grab headlines.

So, will we see Paul McCartney and Steve Jobs sharing a stage in the mother of all photo opportunities? Stranger things have happened -- the music legend has already appeared in one of Apple's iconic ads, and the media is desperate for a glimpse of the returning Apple CEO.

Aside from the media brouhaha that will accompany Wednesday's launch, there is a longer-term question here. How will Apple keep its iTunes business fresh? The empire of fruit dominates digital music downloads, as well as offering movies and videos, but, as Steve Jobs knows, technology can't stand still.

At least one analyst, for example, thinks that Apple is planning to tie iTunes more closely to its AppleTV wireless device.

The Street's Apple TV Wish List
chart

Launched in 2007, Apple TV lets users play iTunes content on their TVs, but is hardly a going concern. Relegated to the bench while the iPhone, Mac and iPod battle it out against tech's biggest names, Apple TV has enjoyed 'hobby' status in Cupertino.

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