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Report: Apple close to exclusive iTunes deal with Beatles

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, November 27, 2006
News Categories: iTunes

After years of shunning digital music distribution, the Beatles may soon make their online debut on the iTunes Store. According to Fortune, Apple is close to landing a deal with the band’s record label, Britain’s EMI Group, to offer the Beatles’ catalog exclusively. “While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online,” the magazine reports. “Apple is said to be angling to become the exclusive online music store for the Beatles for a limited window of time.”

Fortune also mentions the possibility of the Beatles allowing Apple to use one of their songs in an iPod commercial, or agreeing to sell a special edition Beatles iPod like U2 currently does. The magazine reports: “Also being discussed is whether the band would be willing to take two steps at the same time and endorse the iPod by allowing its music to be used in a commercial. Another scenario making the rounds is the prospect of the Beatles following U2’s example with a branded iPod.”

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Comments

1

I’m patiently waiting for the next round of The Capitol Albums on CD.  Sorry, but I’m not gonna pay for 128Kbps files.

Posted by Galley on November 27, 2006 at 8:47 AM (PDT)

2

The Beatles already have most of their albums listed on other services including the zune marketplace.
http://blog.wired.com/music/2006/11/beatles_catalog.html

Posted by zip22 on November 27, 2006 at 9:12 AM (PDT)

3

They only have THE COVERS of the albums, not the songs.

Posted by Dionisios Lialios on November 27, 2006 at 9:18 AM (PDT)

4

Zip22—While the Zune Marketplace (and others) may have “entries” for Beatles albums, they are NOT for sale. It’s a rare store that will showcase the things you CAN’T buy, but that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing.

They may have listed the Beatles’ albums first, but if this news piece is to be believed, Apple’s iTunes will be the first to have the actual music for sale.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on November 27, 2006 at 9:28 AM (PDT)

5

If there is a Beatles ipod, it will SELL (I would buy it and know plenty of others who would)

Posted by kero on November 27, 2006 at 10:17 AM (PDT)

6

Too little, too late…..

Posted by SASDALLAS on November 27, 2006 at 10:30 AM (PDT)

7

I want a Devo branded iPod.  That would be mind bending.

Posted by Dness on November 27, 2006 at 10:58 AM (PDT)

8

well its too late for them for me at least, I already borrowed my friend’s CDs and copied them.  I would have gladly paid for them if they were available online but they lost my money forever.  (No I couldn’t find them where I live in stores and music is very much an impulse buy for me,  I will not wait for online shipping)  I did find the “Love” album and I bought the CD/DVD version so I will buy music when I can find it) The beatles took too long.  And Zepplin took too long as well, I borrowed those from my friend last month…

Posted by toolateforbeatles on November 27, 2006 at 11:34 AM (PDT)

9

I agree with the person who said they wouldn’t pay for 128kps songs. Neither would I, and getting excited over inferior versions of songs you already have in your iPod is a mystery to me. But this is a very good thing in one respect - they will probably remaster everything and release new and improved CDs and I would buy those and put them in at 160kbs or above.

Posted by morebinky on November 27, 2006 at 12:37 PM (PDT)

10

This would have to be something special like remastered sound with bonus tracks and not the 20 year old cd releases that are currently out,but it still does’nt make any difference to me as we still do not have iTunes in New Zealand we must be the last country on the planet to get it also they would have to bump up the bit rate take a leaf out of Allofmp3 variable bit rates at different prices.

Posted by steven on November 27, 2006 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

11

i’m sure that nobody at all would be interested in buying Beatle songs on iTunes…

Posted by Bradley on November 27, 2006 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

12

There are millions of people that would buy The Beatles on iTunes.  The fact that the albums are being remastered (per Neil Aspinall of Apple Records) will drive the sale of millions of albums.  The question is what quality will you get on iTunes vs a CD (which has already been brought up).  Personally, I’m sure 128kps remastered Beatles albums will sound better than 160kps old Beatles CDs (it better, otherwise what’s the point of remastering).  If Apple/iTunes were to offer a package of all the Beatles albums for significantly less than buying all the CDs separately, and also offer a new Beatles ipod, they would sell millions.

Posted by Pat on November 27, 2006 at 1:24 PM (PDT)

13

Of course they’ll sell “millions.”  I don’t think anyone doubts that.

I’m just one of the (many, not millions) who have been collecting Beatles stuff for years “here and there” and won’t be _one of_ the millions.

But, sure, it will be a big deal, and people _will make_ money!

Posted by SASDALLAS on November 27, 2006 at 1:39 PM (PDT)

14

I own every Beatles CD, but have always been disappointed with the quality.  Some tracks are very flat, some muddy, some have the bass lines underempasized, etc.  I don’t think there was much thought when putting out the original CDs.  I for one plan on buying them all again, assuming the remastering makes them clean, fresh, and warm sounding again.  Maybe I’m a sucker, but I would love to own all The Beatles albums as they were meant to sound, not just something that’s “close enough”, and I’m willing to pay for them again to hear it.  The current CDs I own just aren’t good enough.  Whether I buy them on iTunes or newly remastered CDs will depend on quality and cost.

Posted by Jeff on November 27, 2006 at 2:03 PM (PDT)

15

I bought a couple of Roy Orbison tracks from iTunes recently and the had a bitrate of 256kbps so maybe The Beatles tracks will also be at a higher bitrate.

Posted by Kev on November 27, 2006 at 6:43 PM (PDT)

16

That’s 128kbps aac files, don’t forget. While not on par with CD sound, it still blows mp3’s of the same bitrate out of the water. Better still is to have the Beatles on wax and convert it yourself! wink

Posted by Laer on November 27, 2006 at 11:29 PM (PDT)

17

Would it have been just wonderful if the Zune™ marketplace had got to the Beatles’ catolog first?

....and why are those buzzards circling up above the Zune™ marketplace?

Posted by ahMEmon on November 28, 2006 at 8:58 AM (PDT)

18

Because buzzards are drawn to roadkill.

Posted by Laer on November 28, 2006 at 9:01 AM (PDT)

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