By Clive Young.
New York (November 16, 2010)—The Beatles’ music has finally become available for download on Apple’s iTunes Store.
The group’s 13 remastered studio albums, Past Masters compilations and the Red and Blue collections are available on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Users can also get a digital Beatles Box Set featuring the Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964 concert film, which is also being streamed for free on Apple’s website for the remainder of the year.
An announcement regarding the Beatles and iTunes has been a perennial expectation ever since Apple founded the online download service in 2003, but its perpetual omission from the company’s iTunes-related press conferences has become almost a punchline among Apple followers.
Following decades of LPs, CDs and illegal downloads, the band’s iTunes debut may be coming too late. The move comes 17 years after the creation of MP3s, more than seven years since the debut of Apple’s iTunes Store and over a year since the band released remastered versions of all its albums as CDs, boxsets and even in digital form on a USB drive. Arguably, anyone who wants the songs likely already owns them at this point, although as Pro Audio Review’s Strother Bullins rightly pointed out on Facebook, “A record store without the Beatles isn’t a record store.” Accordingly, the debut is an overdue but necessary addition to the service’s catalogue.
As a result, at least some people are excited about the addition—such as Sir Paul McCartney, who noted in a press release, “We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes. It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”
Ringo Starr opined, “I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes. At last, if you want it—you can get it now—The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”
Meanwhile, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, remarked, “We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes. It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”
Rounding out the commentary, Yoko Ono Lennon noted, “In the joyful spirit of Give Peace A Chance, I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John’s 70th birthday year.”
Single albums are available for purchase and download for $12.99 each, double albums for $19.99 each and individual songs for $1.29 each.