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Another Spin
A blog by Scott E. Shepherd · A continuing look at popular music, past, present and future.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beatles Are on iTunes...Finally
The event that finally made me start my blog again

Filed under: News

It is either the biggest event in iTunes history or the most over-hyped event in iTunes history. The Beatles are on iTunes. Finally.

Most Beatle fans have been waiting years for this event, perhaps even bigger than the re-mastering of the original CDs. Rumors have it that the main reason the Beatles' catalog took so long to make it on iTunes was that Apple (the company the Beatles founded) was upset at Steve Jobs for using their company name without their consent. More likely, the Beatles and Apple (music) wanted to protect their most important asset, their recordings, as much as possible.

Now, not just the Beatles, but all of the original Apple recordings (Badfinger, Mary Hopkin, and James Taylor's first album) are finally available on iTunes. This is a real boon for fans of early seventies music.

It is strange timing on the Beatles (or their surviving estates) to release their music to the iTunes format on this day, which otherwise has no significance in their history. When the Beatles first went digital, back in the eighties, there was much fanfare with each album released close to its twentieth anniversary. As iTunes and the internet became more and more popular, each of the Beatles released their solo material to the format, drawing speculation that they would release their group material soon, but nothing happened.

After re-mastering the original CDs for the first time in nearly twenty years, there was again speculation that the Beatles would finally release their music to iTunes, but no avail.

Finally, nearly two years later, the Beatles have steppeed into the digital age, which brings all sorts of questions; will Beatles fans, who have waited so long, now download the Beatles music? What songs will emerge as the most popular, their early days, their "experimental" phase, or their later, more controversial days? Will the Beatles still appeal to anyone under 30?

It all seems kind of silly in the digital age that the Beatles would wait so long to release their music in the mp3 format, considering anyone could download their music from the original CDs for years. Perhaps they were waiting for technology to advance further. Perhaps they finally realized this was the only way to preserve their music for the next generations. Whatever the reason, it's nice to see the Beatles finally make it to the 21st century.

P.S. I'm back.

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