Apple to unveil iTunes online at next week's iPod event?

With Apple's annual iPod event just a week away, will it just be a camera-blessed iPod touch on stage with Steve Jobs or has the Cupertino company got something exciting in streaming to offer us?  Rumors from the past 6-12 months about a potential iTunes streaming or sharing service are beginning to coalesce; All Things D's sources in the music industry are suggesting that, rather than an outright streaming system, Apple will launch a web-based iTunes branch which can be easily linked to from social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

That would make sharing information about tracks and albums more straightforward, without requiring a new round of negotiations with record labels to add streaming licensing into Apple's contracts.  Meanwhile, sources at the labels themselves are predicting some sort of wireless sync system, which would allow iTunes users to transfer purchased content between devices – such as an iPhone and iPad – without physically connecting them.

Of course, Apple has already dipped its metaphorical toe into streaming, with the recent iDisk update that added the ability to funnel music stored in the cloud to an iPhone or iPod touch.  Meanwhile a trademark for iTunes Live led to speculation that the company would use their acquired Lala technology to do something similar.