Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beatlemania Goes Digital. . . Finally!

If indeed it was 20 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play than for about half that time the band have been in negotiations with Apple Computer about releasing their songs on iTunes. Well today the two parties were finally able to reach an agreement and Computers As Humans is only sorry that we didn't report on this story before all the obvious Beatles song title puns had been used up by other writers.

So let's just take a deep breath and quickly say that yes, after many hard days nights and long and winding roads, the two parties have indeed been able to come together and that 13 original Beatles albums, the two-disc "Past Masters" set and two greatest hit collections are now available to be legally downloaded through iTunes. The Beatles never do anything halfway and just as they took television and radio by storm 50 years ago, the Fab Four are currently burning up the Internet with eight albums occupying spots in the iTunes 25 top selling albums.

The reasons for the Beatles long hold out on making their catalog available online are many and varied but generally stem from the group's longstanding dispute with Apple Computer over the company's name and logo image both of which were admittedly derived from the Beatles' own record company back when the idea of a computer company and a record company with the same name conflicting with one another was hard to fathom.

The two parties resolved this dispute back in 2007 and reached a legal agreement to jointly use the Apple name and logo. Since that time the band had held out partially due to the fear that selling their songs online would make them too readily available and diminish the impact of new releases for box sets, video games and remastered reissue. However sources close to the band have hinted that ultimately there was just too much money at stake to continue to ignore online downloads as a revenue stream.

Whether this deal will cause teenage girls to scream at their computers of course remains to be seen . . .

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