Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beatles come to iTunes

Kushibo is too lazy to download pirated music. That's why I like iTunes, a service which underscores a fundamental aspect of music piracy: At some point you're taking on more than 99¢ worth of work and/or headache just to avoid paying 99¢ for a legal download. Just pay the folks who made the music and enjoy a guilt-free listen.

Anyway, as someone who fondly remembers a childhood of listening to his parents' old audio tapes on road trip after road trip in the family station wagon, I've always wanted to add a few Beatles hits to my iTunes-purchased collection of Johnny Cash. And now I can, finally.

I've been growing my facial hair for Movember,
and I'm starting to look like John Lennon, circa 1969.

It has indeed been a long and winding road:
Tuesday's announcement brought mixed reaction from Beatles fans, spanning cheers from those happy to finally to have a way to legally download their music to jeers from others who long ago ripped and burned their favorite songs off CDs or from unauthorized websites.

"Almost anyone who has wanted to download Beatles songs has already done it via P2P torrents, and they can get them free," reader FGaron posted to The Times' Pop & Hiss music blog. "iTunes and Apple Corps missed the revenue stream a long time ago. The songs have been available on numerous torrent sites for years."

What kept the Beatles' catalog off iTunes for so long was a complicated web of legal entanglements. As long ago as 1978 — long before digital downloading was a reality — Apple Corps, the company the Beatles set up to release its own music, sued Jobs' Apple Computer over its use of the Apple name.

Shortly after the 2007 resolution of that long-standing dispute, a settlement put to rest another lawsuit between Apple Corps and EMI Records over royalty payments that Apple said was owed by EMI.
The Beatles and Steve Jobs seem like shrewd businesspeople, but the holdup always struck me as throwing away a bunch of money in order to gain a little.

Anyway, I like what Ringo Starr had to say about the whole thing: "I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes."

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1 comment:

  1. If you're in Korea, try Bugs Music (www.bugs.co.kr). They offer 150 songs for 10,000 won!! Also, they offer FLAC and WAV downloads and MP3 files up to 320 kbps. The selection is not quite as good as iTunes, but it's still pretty good!

    ReplyDelete

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