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iPod in the Classroom and New iTunes Software?

Over the weekend, AppleInsider received a number of unconfirmed reports pertaining to Apple's future plans for their iPod digital audio media device and accompanying iTunes software.

According to one tip, a new iPod feature will allow students to record their afternoon lectures —for later listening —to an audio track via a new hardware addition to the player. "Think of it as Apple's version of a mini-cassette recorder only with superior sound and faster scan speeds," one source said.

Rumors of an iPod dictation or recording device first surface in this August AppleInsider report.

Meanwhile, another source cites imminent upgrades to Apple's iTunes software and Digital Rights Management (DRM). While information is rather constrained, major updates to the Macintosh version of the iTunes software are rumored in addition to the debut of the PC software.

According to sources, the company has very privately been co-developing both the new version of iTunes for Mac and the initial iTunes software for Windows PC. The two applications are said to mirror each other in feature offerings and interface design.

A third report claims that updates to Apple's iTunes Music Store DRM will allow users to borrow or preview full tracks or albums for short period of time, without being billed.