The Beatles Finally Come To iTunes

All day Monday, Apple had been promising some sort of life-changing announcement regarding its iTunes store. Would it be cloud-based streaming for music and video? A change in its pricing? No — it’s the Beatles.

As recently as August, John Lennon widow Yoko Ono had been telling fans “don’t hold your breath” about expecting a deal that would bring the Beatles’ music to the world of digital downloads.

But it looks like the long-standing issues between Apple (the computer company), Apple (the Beatles’ holding company) and EMI Group have finally been resolved. All 13 of the Fab Four’s studio albums are now available for download. So if you for some reason haven’t ripped the White Album off a CD while waiting for all this malarkey to resolve itself, here’s your chance to download it in a completely legit manner.

Most of the albums are selling for $12.99 (the White Album and three compilation albums are each priced at $19.99) with individual tracks selling for $1.29 each. The box set of all the studio albums is selling for $149.00.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Yoko gripe was audio quality – so what part of audio quality changed?

    • ClaudeKabobbing says:

      The monetary value of the audio quaility.

      • obits3 says:

        “I don’t think the audio quality is good enough for us.”

        *Adds some zeros…*

        “Wow, I don’t know what you did, but it sure sounds better.”

    • AI says:

      If she truly cared about audio quality, she wouldn’t allow Beatles songs to be played on the radio, especially AM radio. But of course that really had nothing to do with it.

  2. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    *Yaaaawwwwwnnn* Sorry Apple. I already have everything I want from the Beatles, including stuff you will never offer. Also, it doesn’t have your shitty DRM or your lousy encoding on it.

    Plus, I paid pennies per song.

    • StuffThingsObjects says:

      Yep. But remember, we liked the Beatles before they were cool…again.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      What is even more arrogant (other than CrApple’s DRM and forcing you to use iTunes software) is that it costs MORE to buy the songs on iTunes than it does to buy the physical CD’s on Amazon…

      • Foxtrot-Yankee says:

        Ahhh! I see what you did there…

        You combined Crap and Apple so you can show us how much you dislike them! VERY CLEVER! I wish more people on here would make up words like this to show how witty they are.

        My favorite: M$ to refer to Microsoft. See?!? Instead of an “S”, they used a DOLLAR SIGN to show how greedy they are but a dollar sign is just an “S” with a line through it so you still understand who they’re talking about.

        See? These amazing zings of wordplay and typography really set you apart from the crowd. We’d expect you to just come in here and make a lucid point in plain English but you…YOU!…figure out how to announce your disgust with your very original word scrambles.

        (BTW, iTunes music doesn’t have DRM…welcome to 2010).

        • MeowMaximus says:

          I stand corrected. iTunes may not have DRM now, but they did before, and if you bought theire DRM riddled songs back when, you’re SOL. Furthermore, CrApple still has a form of DRM, in that they force you to use the iTunes app, which is basically malware, and force you to convert your songs to an apple specific format to use them with their music players. In other words, music bought on the iTunes store cannot be freely moved around to whatever device I want to use it on.

          By contrast, my inexpensive music player allows me to copy any song that isn’t a proprietary format onto it by simply plugging it into a USB port, and treating it as an external drive. When I unplug it, it recognizes that songs have been added (or deleted), re-indexes, and is ready to go. No muss, no fuss, no crappy apps to install.

          • Bix says:

            “Furthermore, CrApple still has a form of DRM, in that they force you to use the iTunes app, which is basically malware”

            I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s bloated.and the startup behavior w/ Quicktime Task, iTunes Helper, etc is awful.

            “and force you to convert your songs to an apple specific format to use them with their music players.”

            That’s not true for anything other than lossless compression (where only ALAC is supported), but I don’t think that was what you were talking about since most people don’t use it, anyway+. They play MP3 and AAC (which is an MPEG-4 audio format, not a proprietary Apple format, and it’s actually superior to MP3 at lower bitrates) just fine. No Vorbis or FLAC, but they’re still not widely supported among other manufacturers, anyway.

            “In other words, music bought on the iTunes store cannot be freely moved around to whatever device I want to use it on.”

            Many, many portable media players support AAC audio in a M4A container, which it what iTunes sells now.

            “By contrast, my inexpensive music player allows me to copy any song that isn’t a proprietary format onto it by simply plugging it into a USB port, and treating it as an external drive. When I unplug it, it recognizes that songs have been added (or deleted), re-indexes, and is ready to go. No muss, no fuss, no crappy apps to install.”

            I agree that it’s better, but you’re wrong about just about everything else you mentioned.

        • Griking says:

          You’re my hero of the day.

    • jefeloco says:

      I’m not intending to play an apple fan boy or anything, but didn’t apple remove the DRM last year? Maybe you should update your rhetoric?

      http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1711

      http://www.macworld.com/article/138000/2009/01/drm_faq.html

      http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/01/apple-mwsf-announcements-new-macbook-pro.ars

      “iTunes goes DRM-free

      Today Apple announced that it was breaking its $0.99 per track model and dropping DRM for 8 million songs. The fixed price track gave way to three price tiers: $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29 per song. Apple also expanded the iPhone music store from WiFi only to 3G service. “

      • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

        No hating here. I use Apple products. However I am not going to buy their hype.

        I can buy the entire remastered Beatles catalog at Amazon for $129. and have a permanent set of CDs from which I could rip FLAC lossless files from.

        At Apple, I would have to pay $149. for the same set, they would be 256kbs and if I lost them due to device failure, Apple would offer me only limited recourse.

        I am no Apple hater. What I don’t like is something so obviously non-news being treated by Apple as if it were the second coming of Christ. Their hype machine needs some new material.

        • jefeloco says:

          I agree about Jobs steve-gasming all over the Beatles announcement, I just get tired of people complaining about apple DRM when it hasn’t been on any tracks sold since Jan ’09.

          I have an iMac and an iPhone, want an iPad (when the next model comes out) and an apple tv, but I don’t like the way that apple holds sooper-sekrit dev cycles and has the huge “revival” type product announcements. The iPad is revolutionary for a tablet, it definitely does everything it’s supposed to do with aplomb, yet it is not “magical” in any way.

          I wish that you didn’t have to be a southern baptist carney to understand the “concept” of apple’s reveals.

          • Alexk says:

            I hadn’t realized the DRM was dropped on all recordings. Mea culpa. Still, I see no reason to buy a set of downloads from itunes, when it’s cheaper to buy the actual CDs. CDs are usally more expensive (yes, even on Amazon). In this case, that motivator is gone.

            • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

              Not only that, but with iTunes you don’t get any of the inserts, covers, folders and all the other nifty stuff packaged with the CD’s.

  3. Real Cheese Flavor says:

    Meh. Hardly life-changing.

    I’d rather buy the CDs from a retailer and rip them than have to deal with iTunes.

    • obits3 says:

      I was talking to a friend about this last night. My cousin had all her songs on one computer and on her iPod. Her friend came over and plugged in another iPod. Long story short, went my cousin later sync’d her iPod, all the songs were erased on both the computer and the iPod. There might be a way to get around this, but I don’t want to take that risk. I too would rather buy CD’s and rip them than risk losing 100’s of dollars of songs due to bad DRM. Plus, I still like to use my CD’s in my car ;)

      • Rachacha says:

        I feel the same way. Most of the songs that I have in iTunes were ripped from a CD that I own. There are a few songs (singles) that we have downloaded off of iTunes, or were CDs that I was unable to locate in my local store.

        • obits3 says:

          It wouldn’t be so bad if Apple would just keep some type of log on thier servers for say 10 years. They don’t need a back up of the songs, just back up receipts. That way, if I have a hard drive failure, I just log into my account on a new computer and push a button like “give me my songs.” Apple then sends the songs just like when you purchased them but without you paying again.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        I don’t buy CDs because there are so few songs per CD that I like. I buy my music as MP3s from Amazon and Walmart. There is no DRM on songs from either site (there used to be – back then I would burn the music to CDs and then re-rip to my hard drive).

        I have the music backed up to multiple places (just like my pictures and important docs) and I can use ITunes/iPod without fear of losing anything.

        • skapig says:

          You’re buying the wrong CDs then. Try finding some artists that can produce a decent album’s worth of material. It’s really not as hard as you think. There are countless on the Web. Just look beyond the lame Top 40 offerings since all they care about is pushing singles to sell filler albums.

  4. JohnJ says:

    If you’re a Beatle’s fan, you already have their music on (lossless) CD and/or original vinyl. The addition of a compressed, lo-fi, iTunes version is nothing to get excited about.

  5. MDSasquatch says:

    I have no use for the Beatles

    • CrankyOwl says:

      They don’t much care for you either.

    • GrammatonCleric says:

      Just so you don’t feel totally alone, I agree. I actually dislike pretty much every single one of their songs. I just didn’t know there were other people who thought that way too :P.

  6. ThyGoddess says:

    Again? How many times their stuff has been re-re-re-re-released? (And I probably forgot a few ‘re’s)
    Beatles fans have to be the most gullible fanboys ever.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      This is just anothey way for corporations to sell you the same thing over and over again even though you already own it. A friend of mine probably bought the same Beatles tune 8 or 10 times over different albums and formats.

      ????

      Just buy the album/CD already, then you own it, you can rip it legally, it doubles as a plate in an emergency and it looks nice hanging from your rear view mirror.

      I noticed Avatar came out with a new version (including unseen footage) for sale. Most people just got done buying and watching the “old” version of the movie and now a lot of people are going to have two copies of essentially the same movie. It seems the cycle of stupidity begins anew.

  7. nbs2 says:

    Yay?

  8. Rose says:

    Too bad we all pirated their shit years ago. I mean, I did pay for it, with BlueBeat or whatever that company was with the strange and obviously faulty copyright claim. Before that, I simply copied my friend’s discs. We all did.

    We didn’t do it because we were cheap. We did it because it was the only way to get the music.

    Sorry, Beatles! You’re too late. I already paid someone for your music. Too bad it couldn’t be you.

    • cameronl says:

      Shady downloads were the only way to get the music? Really?
      My legally purchased CDs ripped to my computer would beg to differ.

    • Rose says:

      My local CD stores didn’t sell their CDs, even if I wanted to purchase physical CDs, which I didn’t. Bluebeat (or whatever) was the first place to offer the digital files, which is what I wanted to purchase, which is what this article is about.

  9. CaughtLooking says:

    I realize there are those who love the Beatles, but this announcement is way past its prime.

    Anyone who wanted a digital copy of these songs would long ago have bought the CD and ripped it – and perfectly legal. You don’t need to download these tunes from iTunes to have a ‘completely legit’ copy.

  10. holden190 says:

    *Yawn* . Big deal….

  11. Blueskylaw says:

    “Apple had been promising some sort of life-changing announcement”

    It seems that I can now quit my job and travel across the world while leaving all my worries (and bills) behind. Now all I have to do is buy the Apple product that will accomplish this.

    THANK YOU APPLE!!

  12. JoeDawson says:

    are these the remastered versions?

  13. holden190 says:

    Non-issue, as I’ve downloaded their songs from Bit Torrent for years now.

  14. Robofish says:

    Seriously? Apple and these huge announcements that are not huge. Their theatrics are old.

  15. Daverson says:

    Hey, isn’t that the band Ringo Starr was in before he got famous on Shining Time Station?

    • holden190 says:

      Yeah, Ringo’s the *only* Beatle with one solo album that’s so bad, it was never released in America.

      What a talent!

  16. Laura Northrup says:

    Imagine, I’m in love with you,
    It’s easy ‘cos I know,
    I’ve imagined, I’m in love with you,
    Many, many, many times before.

    It’s not like me to pretend,
    But I’ll get you in the end,
    Yes I will, I’ll get you in the end, oh yeh, oh yeh.

    I think about you night and day,
    I need you and it’s true.
    When I think about you, I can say,
    I’m never, never, never, never blue.

    So I’m telling you, my friend,
    That I’ll get you, I’ll get you in the end,
    Yes I will, I’ll get you in the end, oh yeh, oh yeh.

    Well, there’s gonna be a time,
    When I’m gonna change your mind.
    So you might as well resign yourself to me, oh yeh.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      Hey, now it’s online, so I can take it, re record it and sell it.

      What? That’s what the lady over at Cook’s Source told me…….

  17. KlueBat says:

    So of the people out there that want all of the Beatles’ music do not already own it on CD and have it ripped to their iTunes libraries already?

    This is a move that came far too late in my book.

  18. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I already have all the Beatles albums I want on CD and ripped into my iTunes. I suppose this means I can finally download the album art, which would be cool.

  19. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    Wait, so how did I get all the Beatles albums on my iPod years ago?

    Oh yeah, I had already bought the CDs. I went ahead and ripped them into MP3s myself. And when my iPod recently died, I re-ripped the CDs again.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Beatles (named my son after John) – but this is hardly life-changing.

  20. KishuT says:

    Meh, yay for someone i guess, i was disappointed to see this was the “huge announcement” from Apple.

  21. Thassodar says:

    Psh, I make my own Beatles albums at home.

  22. Alexk says:

    Why would anyone spend $149 on iTunes, when you can get the boxed set of remastered CDs on Amazon for $129? One of the few reasons for downloading music is that it’s cheaper than CDs. In this case, it’s more expensive. No upside.

  23. backbroken says:

    My dad bought this stuff on vinyl 40 years ago.
    I bought it on CD 20 years ago.
    I ripped it to MP3 10 years ago.

    Not going to pay for it a third time.

  24. BobOki says:

    My life has not changed a bit. I demand my money back.

  25. Andy says:

    Oh yes! The Beatles.. now with MORE DRM!!! MOARR!!!!

  26. blanddragon says:

    Crapple strikes out AGAIN!

  27. Raving House says:

    The iTune store is lame. Most stuff you can get on Amazon for much less.
    A Mobile Me account from Apple = $99
    A Mobile Me account from Amazon = $59… wtf?

  28. charrr says:

    Enjoy your overpriced singles

  29. Dito says:

    Really? This is what amounts to a major announcement these days? You gotta admit – Apple’s hype machine works flawlessly.

    And I gotta ask… aren’t most iTunes albums $9.99? And singles $0.99?

    So the 30% markup on the Beatles music is for…?

    Premium quality? No.
    DRM-free? No.

    Oh… I get it… PROFIT.

    How silly of me.

    • KJR52 says:

      Apple switched from the 99 cent across-the-board pricing scheme to a 3-tier scheme where individual songs are 79, 99, or 1.29 quite awhile ago. They also dropped DRM around the same time. We’re talking close to 2 years ago with this. They also improved the quality of the tracks, but they’re not as high as CDs.

      Per song and album pricing is determined by those who hold the rights to the music, not by Apple. A record company charges more for a song they know is popular than one that isn’t.

      I think the announcement certainly isn’t worth the hype, as anyone who really wanted to whole collection had it long ago, iTunes or not. The way they hyped it, I think people (rightly) expected some sort of paradigm shift in the way they use iTunes on a day-to-day basis, ala cloud storage, streaming, subscription services, etc. Addition of new content, regardless of the popularity of the band, is a big meh.

      But the DRM arguments are pretty old and not particularly relevant. Price and quality are bigger, but still not Apple’s fault. Bad Apple for making a mountain out of a molehill, but blame EMI or Apple Records for the price.

  30. AntiNorm says:

    If it wasn’t for corrupt copyright laws, the copyright on Beatles music would have expired eons ago, and this would be largely irrelevant.

  31. Destron says:

    Every time Apple has a life changing announcement it turns out to be something stupid I could completely live without. Like an Ipod in a new color or something.

  32. Dragon Tiger says:

    “All day Monday, Apple had been promising some sort of life-changing announcement regarding its iTunes store. Would it be cloud-based streaming for music and video? A change in its pricing? No — it’s the Beatles.”

    Looks like Apple is starting to over-promise and under-deliver.

  33. ThatsWhatSheSaid says:

    definetly not worthy of a big announcement…in all honestly who the hell cares?

  34. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Beatles: don’t care, and don’t know anybody that cares

    iTunes: …if you’re gullible enough to be using that proprietary DRMd single-platform system, you’re probably going to go and buy every Beatles tune ever made right now, whether you actually want them or not.

    Better choice: any of the myriad .mp3 sites in the world, like Wal-Mart and Amazon, who sell without DRM and without proprietary systems and which work on any platform. And of course keep in mind that there’s plenty more ways to manage the music/files on your iPlod or other device besides iTunes.

    Best choice: buy a CD and rip it to .mp3, that way you have the physical disk as an actual item you own and can re-sell if you like, and/or view as an archive, and you have the .mp3s to carry around with you. Because you can never gift or resell a pure digital download (not legally, anyway).

  35. ophmarketing says:

    “As recently as August, John Lennon widow Yoko Ono had been telling fans ‘don’t hold your breath’ about expecting a deal that would bring the Beatles’ music to the world of digital downloads.”

    And she was right. If you had held your breath since August, you would have died.

  36. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    so wait… does Yoko have the rights to the Beatles’ music, or does MJ’s estate?

    I’m confused.

    • Alexk says:

      The publishing rights are held jointly by Jackson’s estate and Sony music. The rights to the actual sound recordings are still owned by the Beatles and their estates.

  37. Duckula22 says:

    Yesterday, I didn’t care,
    and I don’t care today.

  38. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    maybe apple bought them (one or the other, but the computer company likely has more cash)

  39. wrbwrx says:

    yawn.

  40. thebt1 says:

    I’d be surprised if there was any beatles fan who didn’t already rip the music off the cd or download it off of bittorrent or limewire. who actually gets excited about this stuff?

  41. coren says:

    Anyone who really wanted these already found a way to get them, I’m betting.

  42. Dyscord says:

    1.29 for individual tracks? Isn’t that what Apple charges for non DRM’d stuff? And what makes them so special that they’re more expensive than a typical track?

  43. Bix says:

    “proprietary DRMd single-platform system”

    Not for years.

  44. LastError says:

    Yawn.

    As a child of 1970, the Beatles played no part in my youth. They were already gone by then. When John Lennon died, I had no idea who he was. I didn’t know who Elvis was either when he died.

    By the time I was an adolescent in the early/mid 1980’s and cared more about music, it was MTV era and the Beatles were about as far behind the times as black and white TV and cars you start with a hand crank.

    As an adult at age 40, the Beatles are something my parents might have listened to, maybe. But not me. I have never owned a single one of their songs or albums. Oh sure I hear them used in ads or whatever. I know what the Beatles sound like.

    But it has no meaning to me. I don’t care for it any more than I care for any other music of the 60s, which is to say, not really at all.

    I suppose some people will consider me a lout or something, but every generation has their own musical taste. Every person sets their own music taste usually in their teens and it tends to stay with them for life. The Beatles weren’t a part of that for me. That’s all. Good on you if they float your boat. Supporters mean they don’t need me. Works for both of us.