Apple to Announce iTunes for the Web Next Week?

A music-themed event suggests that Apple might introduce a cloud-based music store

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Apple has scheduled a music-themed event on Wednesday in San Francisco, and while the company hasn't (of course) announced what new products they'll unveil, tech blogs like Engadget and Mac Rumors are (of course) speculating on what Apple might have in store.

The big news will likely be iTunes.com, a web-based version of Apple's music store that'll also function as a social network, allowing users to share musical tastes. iTunes.com would make use of the cloud-based technology Apple picked up when they acquired music streaming site Lala. Apple shut Lala down on May 31st, presumably to integrate it into their own music service.

Also potentially on deck: A new iPod Touch with dual cameras to allow the "Facetime" program found in the iPhone 4; a revamped iPod Nano with a back-side camera and a microphone; and, Gizmodo suggests a new iPod Shuffle with a 1.7-inch touchscreen. Apple is also expected to announce a new Apple TV redubbed iTV, 99-cent TV show rentals on iTunes and updates for music production programs like Garageband and Logic.

One thing not to expect: An announcement that the Beatles catalog will finally arrive on iTunes. "Don't hold your breath," Yoko Ono said last month. "There's just an element that we're not very happy about. We are holding out." Adding to the pre-conference intrigue, however: Lady Gaga recently dropped by the Apple headquarters, leading many to wonder whether she'll be involved in Apple's upcoming plans.