Apple Insider is reporting that we may see The Beatles finally added to the iTunes music store on Valetine’s Day – as a clever way to promote their new Cirque du Soleil project, Love (which, BTW – is AWESOME – and already on my iPod, so I won’t be buying the DRM’d tracks).
I am a huge Beatles fan. I own Beatles movies, I own Beatles CDs, I am a Beatles fan…but even as a Beatles fan, I’m not really sure what all the hype is around The Beatles coming to iTunes…it’s not like we’re going to be getting a new album from them.
I know that Apple, Inc. and Apple Corp finally settling their dispute is a signifigant story…and I will gladly report on it the day that The Beatles show up in the iTunes store…but I’m still not sure that they’re going to sell a signifigant amount of tracks in iTunes. Most Beatles fans already have Beatles CDs. Hell, I can walk into Wal-Mart right now and buy their entire catalog for $12 bucks a disk…and get them DRM free…why would I be interested in buying them again from iTunes?
Is there just an entire untapped market of kids who will fall in love with The Beatles once they’re entered into the digital age? I don’t know…I’m asking you…what do you think?
Will The Beatles in iTunes be a success?
I’ll tell you why – because the tracks are being remastered. I plan to drop anywhere between $150-$250 for all the songs I already own on CD, vinyl, and MP3, simply because they’ll sound fucking gorgeous. Have you heard the 5.1 master of the Cirque Love show? Then you know why this is important!
Now, if the remasters are iTunes exclusives, well then that’s just MEAN.
So it hasn’t anything to do with Apples recent name-change:
Apple Computers inc. – Apple inc. – Apple records inc.?
I am guessing the publicity itself will get people thinking about it and I am guessing Apple will have them on the iTMS front-page. So, just for those two things they will make a killer profit. I think just dangling it in front of someone’s eyes will allow Apple to get a lot of Beatles purchases.
Example: It still amazes me how a band can be made overnight once they are featured as the iTMS free music download.
I don’t think its going to be a bombshell, but it will def be a big seller on iTunes. iTunes is one of the largest music retailers in the US, #4. They sell a LOT of music, and the Beatles is a very big group and was very well known/praised. Adding their music to the iTunes store will be a very big hit for Apple, I expect them to sell a lot.
Granted I agree, I’d rather get a CD and rip it myself, but iTunes is the 4th top reseller, so I think its clear lots of people don’t care bout the DRM. Especially considering most of these people use them on their iPods anyways.
As written above, rumors abound that the entire Beatles catalog has been remixed and remastered. The approach supposedly used was also implemented for both the Beatles Yellow Submarine Soundtrack album (back in 1999) and Beatles Let It Be…Naked album (a couple of years ago) as well as for the LOVE album.
This is a big deal, as it means you will be able to hear the Beatles without tape hiss, without sonic generational loss from bouncing 4-track mixes to make room for new overdubs, and with fresh (and minor) equalization of tracks to better blend together. The last step, remastering, will hopefully bring the overall mix levels of the Beatles tunes up to better compete with modern levels without resorting to compressor and look-ahead limiter abuse (common with mastering engineers these days).
If Apple has first rights to these remixed and remastered tracks for any period of time before CDs and DVD-Audio disks are released, Apple Inc and Apple Corp stand to make a mint.
2007 is the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper (1967) AND the 20th anniversary of the release of the CDs (1987). You’ll recall that in 1987, they rolled out the CD releases over time (and in chronological order) and then did a big show about the release of Sgt. Pepper on June 1.
My guess: they’ll likely do the same thing here: release the albums via iTunes (hopefully still the UK releases) remixed and remastered over the course of the year. Once that’s done, they’ll do the CD and 5.1 releases.
Paradoxically, I hope we also get a chance to hear some of the mono versions of songs like Paperback Writer/Rain and of Sgt. Pepper. If you’ve heard these, you’ll know they’re very different from the stereo versions released on CD in ’87.
Time will tell, but I can’t see the Apples (and EMI, who still rake in millions every year from owning the Beatles masters) letting this anniversary roll by. “It was twenty years ago today…” and all that.
I’m 27 and it’s more than a year since I last set foot in a record shop. Even longer since I bought a physical CD. I get all my music through eMusic and iTunes.
I’ll definitely want to add Beatles to my library. Never really listened to them, but I hear they are really good.
Most of the comments here cover my thoughts on the release of Beatles on iTunes except the possibility for expansion of their catalogue. Yes, I have every CD, some more than once, they ever made. I even have promotional items and the like and many bootlegs which covered things that Anthology didn’t. Anthology did however do a great job of giving us great sounding tracks of some songs which didn’t sound so great on boots and tracks that we’d never have heard on a bootleg because ownership was from Paul or John’s own collections.
Am I excited about iTunes getting the Beatles? Yes, and it’s basically because that means we are according to rumors, three months away from having the disc in our hands. I like cover art and I like having a solid object when it comes to music. It’s the tactile part of me. In contrast, I have found tracks on iTunes which I never would have known I wanted. I was able to pick out three tunes from the Cure I just had to have which I never owned and one song I didn’t know they had recorded. I was able to find a track from Jonathan King, (early producer and friend of Genesis), “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” and I was able to add something to my collection folks have clamoured for for years from Chubby Checker, the original Twist from the original recordings!
What makes me excited is perhaps there will be a time when the Beatles more experimental tracks will be available as download because the cost to make one file that people buy as they wish, versus making a whole campaign like launching the American mixes collections (which are outstanding!) you can now maybe get the Beatles Christmas messages? They were orignally in mono and released only to club members on flxible discs as a membership thank you. So, the iTunes version would certainly reveal much more clarity and be a cheaper alternative to actually releasing a CD, although I have written many times requesting such a CD over the years. So, maybe this way we may get tracks they created but didn’t like themselves or alternate takes galore which we can buy ala carte? This way, we have access to their vaults so to speak, without marring their legacy by putting out inferior product. It will be more like what artists do today by offering samples or alternate versions on the web sites.
But, as a life long Beatles fan since being born in 65, I can say I will be waiting for the CDs and or DVDs to come out, but I’ll sample their work via iTunes and I won’t worry as 99 cents isn’t a lot to pay when you get what you want. But if they only ever off Sgt. Pepper in mono on-line, I won’t let that stop me from buying it as a downloaded album. Once you make a CD from the files, you can reimport them into iTunes. They sound lovely! So, I don’t know why people are so bent over DRM where Apple is concerned. Also their compression scheme is made by Dolby and I have a-B compared the full AIFF files and the AAC files and can’t hear a difference. I am sure when it comes to headphones sitting and intently listening I can. But most of the time when you listen to music, it’s in a car or while doing something else or through tiny computer speakers or tiny ear buds which sound just fine. We used to have to listen to AM radios or cassettes (gasp, I never liked cassettes aside from convenience before CD players were in-dash in the car) so why complain about the vast selection of songs you can sample at a click of a button? It’s actually become quite easy to click on a tune and buy it for a buck than to get in my car and try to remember every song I ever wanted to own when I get to the store and find a parking spot etc…
That’s my 2 cents.