Some thoughts on the Beatles and iTunes

Today Apple announced that the Beatles was coming to iTunes.

Apple made a huge event of out it and Steve Jobs gushed:

We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”

I’m sure there are plenty of folks that only have a few Beatles records that are happy they can now buy a dozen singles of their choosing across many records. It’s also great if this brings the Beatles music to new younger fans.

However, there are Beatles fans that didn’t care about this announcement. We ripped all of our Beatles CDs years ago.

I follow yvynyl on Tumblr and this was his reaction:

Listen to me carefully, and listen good.  Go to your local record shop. Buy a copy of the White Album, gently used on FUCKING VINYL for $10. I don’t give a shit that it’s the reissued version.  Just buy that. Or go to the dying CD stores if you can still find one and pick it up on double CD in HIGH FIDELITY non-compressed digitally remastered glory.  Without DRM.  Without the risk of your hard drive crashing and losing it all. Without the risk of having your iPod stolen.  

I get it and I feel it too. I love listening to the Beatles on my turntable. It’s an absolute joy.

And it’s amazing/outrageous that it took until (the end) of 2010 to be able to purchase the Beatles music online

In many ways, the Beatles holdout for me has always been a representation of big media and content owners that fight the web and fight against technology. They want it like it used to be. They don’t want change. They don’t want you to buy single tracks. They want you to buy the entire album whether you want all of the songs or not. They want limited supply and constrained distribution. They want to keep their analog dollars even if users have a different point of view. They like being in charge. 

But even the Beatles couldn’t stop the train. The past is the past.