Cocktail part of Apple's September event

Music industry insiders say Apple will debut its next-gen digital album experience, code-named Cocktail, at event likely to take place the week of September 7.

Peter Kafka at All Things Digital reported Thursday that Apple is planning to make a major announcement the week of September 7, and that was a big scoop.

Expect a next-gen digital album experience, including cover art, from Apple in September, music insiders say. Polydor/Jimi Hendrix: Bold As Love

But much of the substance of Apple's announcement--at least as it relates to music--is old news, according to multiple music industry sources. Last month, the Financial Times broke the story that Apple is working on the next-generation album cover, code named Cocktail.

Whatever else Apple intends to announce at the still not officially announced event, expect Cocktail to be part of it. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on Friday.

It would also be a surprise if Apple didn't update its iPod Touch line, or at least cut prices to match the pricing of Microsoft's new Zune HD , which goes on sale September 15. It's also reasonable to think that some of the features from the iPhone 3GS, such as its video camera, might make their way over to the iPod Touch.

Some are still holding out hope that Apple will introduce a tablet, which many think will be akin to a large iPod Touch. However, that is appearing less likely, with several Web sites saying a 2010 launch is more reasonable.

And there's plenty of speculation that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will make an appearance at the September event.

Cocktail will feature interactive material, including photos, lyric sheets, liner notes and clips from music videos, according to the Financial Times. As first reported by CNET News, the labels are planning a revamped digital album experience called CMX, which would be offered to other online music stores.

The music industry is trying to reinvigorate the digital music experience while at the same time encourage people to buy albums, or at least pay more for packaged songs.

Music fans once enjoyed poring over liner notes or album art from their favorite acts. The idea now is to offer some of the same kinds of experiences but use digital technology to modernize it.

Update: Also of note, Apple has current promotion that offers educational buyers a free iPod Touch with purchase of a Mac runs. And that promotion just happens to run through Sept. 8. Hmmm....

CNET staff writer Ina Fried contributed to this report.

 

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