msnbc.com news services
updated 8/31/2009 3:52:58 PM ET 2009-08-31T19:52:58

Apple has set Sept. 9 as the date for its next music-themed product launch event in San Francisco.

Apple unveiled redesigned iPod nano music players at a similarly timed event last year.

The iPod and iPhone maker sent an invitation to journalists Monday morning that reads, "It's only rock and roll, but we like it," borrowed from a Rolling Stones lyric.

Apple keeps a tight lid on upcoming products and hasn't confirmed any rumored developments, including a plan to package extra digital content with albums sold on iTunes, and a new tablet-style device.

In recent years, the company has used splashy media events in September to showcase new and refreshed iPod models for the holiday period.

Apple launched the iPod touch model in 2007 and the iPod nano in 2005. This time around, analysts expect the nano and touch to be updated with digital cameras, and they say the touch may also get a video camera.

Apple dominates the media player category, although growth has slowed considerably as the market has matured. The company sold 10.2 million iPods in the June quarter, down 7 percent from a year before.

The company is also expected to unveil the ninth generation of its iTunes media management software.

Apple product launches are some of the most high-profile events on the technology calendar, and expectations around the gathering next week are running particularly high as it could feature the first public appearance by Chief Executive Steve Jobs since he returned from medical leave.

The company declined to say whether Jobs would appear at the event. Jobs returned in late June after a nearly six-month leave, during which he underwent a liver transplant.

Many Apple watchers are also eagerly awaiting the company's launch of its much-rumored, but never confirmed, tablet device. But analysts say the so-called "iPad" won't be unveiled until later this year or next.

The event next Wednesday will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater.

On the same day, EMI will release the remastered original Beatles song catalog and "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game is slated to launch, marking the band's first appearance in digital music.

The Beatles' catalog is not available on iTunes, and some have speculated that a deal might be in the works to finally bring the Fab Four's songs to the online store — although such rumors have circulated before.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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