At 10 am today, Apple put the “rock” into “Rock On” at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco. Or something like that. Here’s what they introduced, in order of appearance:

iTunes 8 – Apple has once again reworked the UI of iTunes to focus on album art and other cool visual cues. Accessibility is increased, too. The biggest feature, however, is the introduction of the “Genius” sidebar, which suggests songs that you might like based on the song you’re listening to, the other songs in your library, and anonymous data gathered from everyone else using the Genius feature. It’s sort of like Pandora Radio or Last.fm, except you have to buy the songs you want to listen to, and thenceforth can listen to them any time you want.

iTunes Store – iTunes 8 also now supports HD iTunes video, namely TV shows, now available for $2.99 apiece. Also, NBC is back, so if you want to watch The Office, you can get it from Apple, now in glorious high resolution, albeit for a 50% premium.

iPod classic – Apple discontinued the thicker Classic and upgraded the $249 thin version to 120GB of storage. The Genius feature may also be included, but no reference to it in the sources I followed.

iPod nano – So the “iPod fatty” didn’t go off too well on its design. How about the “iPod oval”? Apple flipped the last-gen iPod nano’s screen on its side, bringing back the original iPod nano formfactor. Except this time the music player has a glass sheen covering the screen and a curved front and back, for an oval profile that’s even thinner than before. Color options are many and striking.