The Apple Launch: was that it?

I suppose by now I should be used to every utterance from the people in the Infinite Loop being hailed as the Second Coming. But even by the usual standards of a lot of hoopla about not very much, Apple's latest world-shaking announcements of last night had rather more spin than substance.

The rumour-mill had been grinding away about iTablets, new iPod Touches and The Beatles pulling off the hat-trick of the launch of the Remasters series, the arrival of their video game and a debut in iTunes.

Surely the timing of the Apple announcement, streamed around the world, couldn't just be a coincidence?

And when Steve Jobs appeared to lead proceedings, the online gadge-bloggers went into almost Messianic raptures – 'It's Steve Jobs' purred one, with a kind of hushed 'The Master lives!' tone probably not heard for the past 1970 years. Give or take.

Trouble is, the trademark black turtleneck couldn't do much to disguise an element of the emperor's new clothes about the whole shebang.

The chap next to our blogging team, summoned to a converted brewery to witness by proxy the announcements being made in California, was asleep for most of the event – and it seems he didn't miss much.

iTunes 9? Hmmm... The home sharing thing could be handy for those without network storage, I guess, and with my Gramophone hat on the iLP feature, enabling extended sleevenotes and the like to be stored with albums, looks appealing.

But guess what? iLP only works with stuff bought from iTunes – not with discs you have ripped. Of course it doesn't. Silly me.

The new iPods? Well, a doubling of storage size for a new Touch model will be useful for fanatical users, but hardly causes the world to wobble on its axis.

And the 'nano with a cam'? Might appeal to some, I guess, and the fact it doesn't add to the price means it's a no-pain addition, but doesn't anyone who wants to shoot video on the move have a cameraphone these days?

What's more, for all the claims about simple YouTube uploads, the thing has no onboard communications, unlike a cameraphone, and still needs to be hooked up to a computer to send your latest videos out into the ether.

Maybe it's just Apple further segmenting its market; perhaps it's all about appealing to the pre-teens. Could explain those new colours, too.

But then in Appleworld, the sort of thing about which most companies would send out a press release is worthy of a global broadcast. And moreover one to which only the select few should consider themselves lucky to have been invited.

Pity really, because when Apple does launch something able to reinvent the world – or at least something able to take what someone else is doing and make it smaller, sleeker, and marketed to the point of desirability –, it can put on a good show.

Yesterday's event simply had an element of the boy who cried wolf about it.

And I ask you – Norah Jones...?

Not 'only rock and roll'; not even rock and roll...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.