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The Beatles go digital with apples, but still not Apple's iTunes

post #1 of 89
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The Beatles announced Wednesday they will release their music catalog digitally in December, but the iconic group's songs are still not due for release on iTunes.

Apple Corps Ltd., the company owned by The Beatles, and EMI Music will release the digitally remastered catalog on Dec. 7 overseas and Dec. 8 in North America in digital form via Beatles Stereo USB apples. The limited edition product will have a run of only 30,000.

The product will have a "specifically designed Flash interface" that uses 16GB of capacity to provide the audio in both lossless FLAC 44.1 Khz 24-bit and MP3 320KBps formats. The product, which costs $279.99 or £200.00, is compatible with both PC and Mac.

"This unique, apple-shaped USB drive is loaded with the re-mastered audio for The Beatles' 14 stereo titles, as well as all of the re-mastered CDs' visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original UK art, rare photos and expanded liner notes," the product description states.

On Sept. 9, the same day as the Apple keynote where new iPods were unveiled, The Beatles re-released their entire discography, remastered in stereo. The box set with CDs carries a suggested price of $219, meaning the limited edition USB stick runs with a $50 premium.



The new product is yet another sign that The Beatles could be softening up to the idea of potential future digital distribution. In September, the band's catalog was also included in the rhythm game The Beatles: Rock Band, which includes downloadable content for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii.

Rumors of The Beatles' songs coming to iTunes have persisted for years. The move seems far more likely to happen soon than it did years ago, when Apple and Apple Corps were engaged in a trademark dispute. In 2007, those issues were resolved, leaving many to believe an appearance for digital downloads would soon follow, though it never did.
post #2 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The product will have a "specifically designed Flash interface" that uses 16GB of capacity to provide the audio in both lossless FLAC 44.1 Khz 24-bit and MP3 320KBps formats. The product, which costs $279.99 or £200.00, is compatible with both PC and Mac.

So they're selling them on USB keys in unprotected format, but not on a (reasonably) secure store? What have they been smoking... (don't answer that...)
post #3 of 89
Who???
post #4 of 89
Don't mess with Yoko. You steal Apple name, you get no Beatles music.

Meanwhile, my Mono Box Set arrived last weekend. 2nd pressing. I have only played the first disc. Sweet!
post #5 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by philb View Post

So they're selling them on USB keys in unprotected format, but not on a (reasonably) secure store? What have they been smoking... (don't answer that...)

Well I think the major thing is they are still stuck with this idea that they want people to buy the whole damn thing rather than just a few songs or even a CD or two. Eventually they'll milk it out to the point where they realize that iTunes isn't going to cannibalize their idiotic addiction to selling $200+ sets and then they are going to realize that, holy crap, they could have made way, way, way more if they had just put the CDs out on iTunes at 1 month increments and allow people to download a track at a time at $1.29.

They are arguably worse than George Lucas IMO...
post #6 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by philb View Post

So they're selling them on USB keys in unprotected format, but not on a (reasonably) secure store? What have they been smoking... (don't answer that...)

Most music on iTunes is no longer DRM'ed, so you could share it just as easily. And considering how long Beatles albums have been on Napster/Kaazaa/torrents, etc. this obv. won't affect anything.

Those are some pretty sweet flash drives/apples by the way...
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Don't mess with Yoko. You steal Apple name, you get no Beatles music.

Meanwhile, my Mono Box Set arrived last weekend. 2nd pressing. I have only played the first disc. Sweet!

Wow, color me surprised but I never imagined you, of all people, would shell out hundreds of $'s for decades old music that you can get from isohunt.com for free.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

Most music on iTunes is no longer DRM'ed, so you could share it just as easily. And considering how long Beatles albums have been on Napster/Kaazaa/torrents, etc. this obv. won't affect anything.

Those are some pretty sweet flash drives/apples by the way...

How ya like them apples?

/sorry, I had to
post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Wow, color me surprised but I never imagined you, of all people, would shell out hundreds of $'s for decades old music that you can get from isohunt.com for free.

Is it lossless? Does it come with reproductions of original vinyl sleaves and inserts? Do I steal?
NO and NO and HUH?
post #10 of 89
Meh. I picked up the remastered CD of all the albums I care about (RS, R, SP, MMT, WA, AR, LIB, + Past Masters) in September and made my own 320kbs AAC rips. So this means nothing to me.

If they ever do get around to releasing their stuff on iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. it'll still probably be "album only" and not per song. A missed opportunity IMO but it's their decision to make. The only way to get just a handful* of Beatles songs is to steal music... Brilliant business decision (NOT!).

* Does ANYONE sit down and listen to the whole White Album?

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post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is it lossless? Does it come with reproductions of original vinyl sleaves and inserts? Do I steal?
NO and NO and HUH?

Actually, I thnk it's a YES to the first item. And really, you're ok with paying a premium for REPRODUCTIONS of the original sleeve?

Like I said, arguably worse than George Lucas (I like both the Beatles and Star Wars but the endless money grab of both is just embarassing)
post #12 of 89
Most who care about the Beatles already have the albums.
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post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Actually, I thnk it's a YES to the first item. And really, you're ok with paying a premium for REPRODUCTIONS of the original sleeve?

Like I said, arguably worse than George Lucas (I like both the Beatles and Star Wars but the endless money grab of both is just embarassing)

Lucas is much worse- you can't even get the original Star Wars anymore. He's altered it so much then released it but letterboxed it and not anamoorphic.
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Most who care about the Beatles already have the albums.

or just bought them
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Meh. I picked up the remastered CD of all the albums I care about (RS, R, SP, MMT, WA, AR, LIB, + Past Masters) in September and made my own 320kbs AAC rips. So this means nothing to me.

If they ever do get around to releasing their stuff on iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. it'll still probably be "album only" and not per song. A missed opportunity IMO but it's their decision to make.

So long as they continue to do that there will continue to be torrents out there - the people are going to find a way to get what they want. If you offer it to them in the way they want it (iTunes, Amazon.com, etc) it has been shown that people are willing to pay for it but if you refuse to give the people what they want they will find other ways of getting it and the only way of getting anything from the Beatles on a per song basis is via torrents so...
post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by philb View Post

So they're selling them on USB keys in unprotected format, but not on a (reasonably) secure store? What have they been smoking... (don't answer that...)

I don't think iTunes still sells protected music. They might, but I think most of the catalog has shifted already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Well I think the major thing is they are still stuck with this idea that they want people to buy the whole damn thing rather than just a few songs or even a CD or two. Eventually they'll milk it out to the point where they realize that iTunes isn't going to cannibalize their idiotic addiction to selling $200+ sets and then they are going to realize that, holy crap, they could have made way, way, way more if they had just put the CDs out on iTunes at 1 month increments and allow people to download a track at a time at $1.29.

They are arguably worse than George Lucas IMO...

That I've heard, The Beatles didn't alter the songs to say different things in the newer remastered release, so maybe not as bad as Lucas? I'm told it's a faithful restoration of the original work. They are selling the individual remastered CDs. Why they can't do any digital downloads, that is quite the mystery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Wow, color me surprised but I never imagined you, of all people, would shell out hundreds of $'s for decades old music that you can get from isohunt.com for free.

Maybe he has more scruples than you expected?

Besides, I've seen the mono set, it has very nice packaging, and the designs appear to be faithful reproductions of the original packaging and liner notes, just scaled down for CD size.
post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Lucas is much worse- you can't even get the original Star Wars anymore. He's altered it so much then released it but letterboxed it and not anamoorphic.

It's just remastered... And yeah, the Beatles are just as bad as George - *cough* Beatles Rock Band *cough* (which, yeah, I own, I know I know)
post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


That I've heard, The Beatles didn't alter the songs to say different things in the newer remastered release, so maybe not as bad as Lucas? I'm told it's a faithful restoration of the original work. They are selling the individual remastered CDs. Why they can't do any digital downloads, that is quite the mystery.

I am specifically addressing the endless money grab not the changes he made and then unmade and then remade. Comparing the two in terms of artistic vision is a little hard (music vs movie) but comparing the endless re-release of the same thing over and over again in fancy new packaging is easy to compare.
post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Besides, I've seen the mono set, it has very nice packaging, and the designs appear to be faithful reproductions of the original packaging and liner notes, just scaled down for CD size.

It took me a long time to decide but I'm glad I did. I only had one CD of theirs previously. All the new Cds have been fully reviewed in the month's Sound and Vision and the Mono comes out on top as it has about everywhere else as well. I'm lucky they repressed it as it sold out so fast. I ordered it as soon I heard it was getting reissued- at Amazon. The sound is spectacular- and it's Mono! And the packaging is relatively small- excellent job.
post #20 of 89
Good for them! I hope other artists and labels explore options of distributing music. It's too bad they're really excluding new fans of the music in this process, as most people discovering the Beatles probably can't afford the $279 price tag... but the older, more loyal fans, who probably already own all of this stuff can.
post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I am specifically addressing the endless money grab not the changes he made and then unmade and then remade. Comparing the two in terms of artistic vision is a little hard (music vs movie) but comparing the endless re-release of the same thing over and over again in fancy new packaging is easy to compare.

Endless? I thought the Beatles didn't have a rerelease since the mid-80's and from what I understand, the new version does a very good job of restoring the music with technology that wasn't available in the 80's. Waiting 25 years to release a new version doesn't strike me as "endless re-releases", there even were a lot of fans begging for a restoration. Hard to see where the comparison is valid here against someone else that might have done different packaging every five years.
post #22 of 89
McCartney is retarded, shame the bullet got Lennon.
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is it lossless? Does it come with reproductions of original vinyl sleaves and inserts? Do I steal?
NO and NO and HUH?

who cares? iphones have better music recording apps than what the Beatles used in the studio back in those days
post #24 of 89
The Beatles have to wake up and realize that it's going to be 2010 soon, not 1970. And this USB gimmick would have been cute maybe, what, 8 years ago? Today it's all about digital downloads. And now that iTunes LP exists to provide bells and whistles to the media buffs and audiophiles out there, there's no reason why The Beatles couldn't rake in huge $$$ by going digital.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Lucas is much worse- you can't even get the original Star Wars anymore. He's altered it so much then released it but letterboxed it and not anamoorphic.

Original Star Wars or nothing.

The newer, CGI-laden blue-tinted versions are horrible.

I've got an original version on DVD.
post #26 of 89
what does 'buy' mean?
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Endless? I thought the Beatles didn't have a rerelease since the mid-80's and from what I understand, the new version does a very good job of restoring the music with technology that wasn't available in the 80's. Waiting 25 years to release a new version doesn't strike me as "endless re-releases", there even were a lot of fans begging for a restoration. Hard to see where the comparison is valid here against someone else that might have done different packaging every five years.

The Anthology doesn't count as a shameless money grab? George added stuff, released stuff that hadn't been seen before and it's a shameless money grab but the Beatles do the same thing and since it's music they get a free pass? They release this stuff because they know the fans will buy it, and they do. I don't suppose there's anything wrong with that but let's call a spade a spade here.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by beauty of bath View Post

mccartney is retarded, shame the bullet got lennon.

+1

....
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Original Star Wars or nothing.

The newer, CGI-laden blue-tinted versions are horrible.

I've got an original version on DVD.

Let's ignore the changing of scenes and who shoots first and if Luke whines or not (although George did go back and change that one) let's just look at the special effects "fix up" in the star wars movie. You're vehemently against the updating of the CGI of Star Wars to reflect what George had originally wanted it to be but didn't have the technology to do it but the Beatles going back and updating their recordings and do what they can to make it sound as much like what they had intended is viewed as artistic?

I don't like the added scenes in SW either but saying updating the CGI is any different than digitizing and perfecting the original recording is any different you're just lying to yourself. Both are processes that allow the original artist to bring their vision to the masses in such a way as they had originally wanted, or at least as close to it as possible. (added scenes excluded, although, there is documentation that Lucas wanted those scenes but just didn't have the CGI or $ to get them in there so if we're just talking about the artists vision...)

EDIT: I guess here's the rub - in the world of music the artist is always viewed as owning the music, it doesn't belong to the fans but in the world of cinema once you release something it then belongs to the fans and you aren't allowed to touch it. Double standard perhaps?

EDIT 2: Also, if you're a purist why in the world do you have anything on DVD? You should have it on LaserDisc
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

TAnd now that iTunes LP exists to provide bells and whistles to the media buffs and audiophiles out there...

There's really nothing that iTunes LP does for audiophiles. Sure, it provides artwork and such, but the audio quality is still crap (to an audiophile). Have you tried listening to iTunes Plus quality digital music on a good audio system? It's fair at best.
post #31 of 89
I bet this is a test to see how popular it would sell digitally.
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by philb View Post

So they're selling them on USB keys in unprotected format, but not on a (reasonably) secure store? What have they been smoking... (don't answer that...)


They have been smoking...dried apple stems of course!

Smells just like you know what, freak out your parents!
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post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

There's really nothing that iTunes LP does for audiophiles. Sure, it provides artwork and such, but the audio quality is still crap (to an audiophile). Have you tried listening to iTunes Plus quality digital music on a good audio system? It's fair at best.

Not so much audiophiles as it is for hardcore fans. I hoped that the audio would be lossless from a master copy that exceeds the CD quality. Alas, it wasn’t.

If selling individual songs doesn’t appeal to Apple Records they can use iTunes LP. Some nice artwork and maybe even some previously unreleased video clips and it could be another major revenue stream for music people already own. Hell, I might even buy it and I’m not a huge Beatles fan.
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post #34 of 89
Cry Baby Cry - Because - Money (That's What I Want).
But
I've Got A Feeling - It Won't Be Long - Because - Tomorrow Never Knows.
In any event,
I Should Have Known Better.
post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by floccus View Post

Most music on iTunes is no longer DRM'ed, so you could share it just as easily. And considering how long Beatles albums have been on Napster/Kaazaa/torrents, etc. this obv. won't affect anything.

Those are some pretty sweet flash drives/apples by the way...


iTMS music isn't DRMed anymore, but it is tagged.

One might have to explain how their tagged music wound up on several million computers...
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post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Don't mess with Yoko. You steal Apple name, you get no Beatles music. ...

For the record, even though everyone seems to hate her, there has never been any evidence of any kind that Yoko is the one holding up the talks or even has much to do with it. It's basically a popular myth that may be true and may not.

You have no idea how disturbing I find it that you like the Beatles enough to buy the mono box set.
post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauty of Bath View Post

McCartney is retarded, shame the bullet got Lennon.

McCartney isn't the problem here. This thing is in the hands of lawyers and record execs (and record execs who are lawyers, God help us).

And it would have been a shame for a bullet to have gotten any of them, dumbass. But if someone had shot McCartney instead of Lennon, you think the current situation would have been any different? Moreover, are you such a narrow-minded loser that you think this issue (which in the scheme of things is pretty trivial, since anyone who wants to have their music on an iPod/iPhone can do so very easily) is enough to want someone to die over? If so, please proceed immediately to the nearest running shower with a plugged-in hairdryer.
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

There's really nothing that iTunes LP does for audiophiles. Sure, it provides artwork and such, but the audio quality is still crap (to an audiophile). Have you tried listening to iTunes Plus quality digital music on a good audio system? It's fair at best.

Factcheck: 256 kbps AAC is indistinguishable from lossless to the human ear.
post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Lucas is much worse- you can't even get the original Star Wars anymore. He's altered it so much then released it but letterboxed it and not anamoorphic.

I have the original Star Wars on VHS and the original Beatles albums on vinyl bought at the time they were released and I can tell you that you probably wouldn't want them. They are crap quality. The movies are full of digital artefacts and bad puppets and the albums are mono and have a very flat sound even if you ignore 40 plus years of scratches and crud.

Sometimes remastering is a good thing.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Who???

No! The Beatles!
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