Beatles Music Inching Ever Closer to iTunes

It's been almost two years since we first reported that the Beatles were digitally remastering their music catalogue in anticipation of making it available on iTunes and other digital music services. Since then, we've watched the Fab Four's surviving members, their estates and Apple Corps (the company that handles the business end of the Beatles' music) slowly inch toward that day.

It's been recently reported in the UK press that Paul McCartney has made a $400 million deal with Apple (the computer company) to distribute the Beatles' music on iTunes, removing one more major obstacle. There's long been talk that the Beatles' music would be available exclusively on iTunes, though it's likely that at some point it would also be made available on other digital outlets. As the Beatles' music is on the EMI label, it would be available DRM-free.

There is currently no date set for the catalogue's digital release.

As a side note, the Independent reported that UK bookmakers Ladbrokes are offering 3-1 odds on "Yesterday" becoming the Beatles' next number one on the charts, and that some estimates (it's unclear who's estimating here) suggest that a digital release of the complete Beatles oeuvre could have the group occupying all of the top 20 positions on the UK charts, something no one has ever done before. While I'm looking forward to digital Beatles music – I only have one so-so CD compilation of their #1 hits – I have to wonder how many people younger than, say, 30 are as enthusiastic about the news, and how many people already have Beatles music on CD and will just shrug when it happens.

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Emru Townsend

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