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All the news and social media feeds seem to have overdosed on one story this week: will The Beatles be on iTunes after the big Apple 'Rock and Roll' event today? News at eleven: I don't give a stuff, and here's my top ten reasons why.

  1. Most people would rather have an iPod with a camera than an iPod with The Beatles.
  2. Reality check: the only people who are really getting their knickers in a knot over the possibility of Beatles music on iTunes, unfortunately, would be we the media.
  3. The Beatles are not, and I'm really sorry to have to break this to the fans out there, I repeat not the biggest/best/hottest band on the planet. The hard truth of the matter is that in 2009 The Beatles are simply not relevant, in music terms.
  4. If I wanted Beatles music on my iPod I would have copied tracks off the over priced Beatles box set CDs I had bought (I don't, and I have not bought a box set, but plenty do and have) rather than be stupid enough to pay twice for the same music.
  5. If the record companies really cared about music fans, also known as their customers, they would have made the Beatles back catalogue available in digital format a long time ago. They have not, ipso facto they don't give a stuff about us so why should we give a stuff about them. Even if there was an announcement at the Apple event today, it's too little and too late to make any difference.
  6. The news feeds have taken two plus two and come out with five. The Apple event was announced with a tagline of "It's only rock-n-roll but we like it" and everyone said oh they are talking about The Beatles. Totally failing to notice that it is actually a Rolling Stones reference.
  7. If you do want Beatles music but don't have the cash or inclination to line the greedy record company coffers, pop down to the local garage and pick a CD out of the bargain bin for a few pennies. There are plenty of them available, then just rip them onto your MP3 player. It's doubtful that the police will be breaking your door down any time soon as a result.
  8. It's not even as if Beatles music isn't already available online for download, it is by the barrow-load. OK, none of it is legal, but it does already exist and how.
  9. The sixties were a long time ago, get over it.
  10. Beatles Rock Band, the game, is a far more relevant and interesting way to get into the 'Fab Four' in the 21st century. You might as well have some fun while listening to the tedious pop melodies of yesteryear.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by gemetzel
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You've missed the key point, though - the Beatles remasters are available for the first time anywhere at all today. Literally today, nobody's already got them. That wipes out points 4 and 7 comprehensively; also point 5 and 8; the reissues mean that point 3 is likely to be decided by who's in the charts next week and how many albums they've got there, and any sales will also provide a sanity check to point 2.

The reason there will be no Beatles announcement tonight is very simple. Nobody who's just spent a fortune on a launch of a load of expensive remasters is going to make them available more cheaply in downloadable form on day one. Easy.

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Disagree regarding the remasters launch nullifying my points, they all remain valid: the music buyers are still being ripped off, most (all?) of the tracks which have been made available in remastered form are already available in what most people will accept is perfectly acceptable quality recordings. It has nothing to do with giving the fans what they want and everything to do with screwing every last buck out of them.

The reason there was no Beatles announcement at the Apple event tonight is that the record companies suck elephants through a straw. Simples :)

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Worth checking reviews from Times and others on the remasters - independent types appear to think they're worth every penny. The original stereo-ification and CD releases had echoes put in and all sorts, and really weren't very good. Still, we're veering very off topic.

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I'm not a big beatles fan perse, but I do love their music as much as I like any of the other music I've paid for and listen to in my iTunes catalog.

95% of the music in my catalog came from iTunes. That 5% that didn't came from emp3.com that I bought before I knew about iTunes. I would just as soon delete it.

It's not that I'm that hardcore of a fan that if it's not blessed by the "divine one" that I won't buy it, however there are advantages to owning content purchased through exclusively iTunes, some of which won't become obvious until some future point in time when Apple allows streaming of said music straight from their servers onto any device. One of the reasons they are building a data center in NC, IMHO, is to support services like this. I also believe the new LP digital content they are bundling with albums will eventually be offered to users with existing collections as an upgrade benefit for using the "complete my album" purchase (and hopefully for free or at a significantly reduced price for those that already own said albums).

I know some of the features I right now are the detail with which the information about my music come over to me in the form of meta data. That gives me some pretty nifty DJ power, as I can mix and match my songs to a very granular level when creating my playlists. That also means my iPhone will work better as the voice recognition improves over time. Right now I can tell it to play songs by artist or playlist. Eventually they will let me play songs by meta data on the go, such as "Play something from the 70's" or "Play something sad". I also get the genuis playlist benefits with iTunes purchased content as Apple has information about how others listen to the same music that I own. When purchasing Apple tracks my music habits and with their itunes store genuis feature, can make recommendations based on the song I'm listening to or my tastes in general.
I think a lot of the voice recognition functionality that the iPhone uses now will really start to show itself in the future generations of the MacBook pro, as the current speech recognition software on the macbook definitely has its limits.

As or what else we can get as owners of original OEM Apple music files, I can only imagine what the future will hold. I know it will only keep getting better and smarter.

And with that said, I refuse to buy or listen to any music on my personal devices that I can't legally purchase through iTunes. That includes AC/DC, that includes Bob Seger, and that includes The Beatles. But I cherish the day that I will be able to purchase their music through iTunes.

My feelings are exactly the same about video content purchased through iTunes. I buy all of my TV episodes (those that I choose to own and watch episodes at will, such as Family Guy, The Office, etc) and I cherish the day that my purchases will be rewarded with exclusive content and other features I can only imagine.

We all know Apple has a consumer buy-in philosophy that the more a consumer buys into their hardware and software, the more it complements the existing devices they already own. This was true when I purchased my first MacBook to marry together with my iPhone. This was true when I purchased my Time Capsule to complement my MacBook. This was true when I bought MobileMe to complement my iPhone and my MacBook/iLife 09. This was true when I bought my Apple TV to compement my iTunes collection (I tore up my blockbuster card and sold my DVD player the day I bought an Apple TV, and I haven't rented a movie [outside of iTunes / from my ATV that is] or played a movie on DVD since--not because they weren't Apple, but because I had no reason to anymore; in fact, it almost felt archaic to think about it).

With that said, I think Apple is going to apply the same philosophy to digital content that they apply to their hardware and software marriages, which is that if you own authentic digital Apple content you will get benefits that you won't get by purchasing it offline and ripping it yourself. One benefit that's obvious is your time--how much is an hour of your time worth to you to sit there and spend ripping a DVD or BluRay, or doing the same to a music CD and messing around with labelling the tracks, inputting the album name, year/composer/etc.

I think that Apple really sees the big picture and consumers are starting to realize this. The iPhone and the iPod were such great bait and hook lures for drawing people into the Mac community and reciprocating the buy-in that has made their Mac hardware sales strong. Some people keep looking for that fifth generation of computers and wondering when it will happen. You know many in the academic world like myself believe that Artificial Intelligence will be the fifth generation of computing. And believe me when I say that AI is nothing more than software with a lot of information about you. In a way, iTunes itself is artificially intelligent. More and more we are seeing OS X, the iPhone and iTunes introduce machine learning features into its software: the chinese character drawing support in Snow Leopard and the voice recognition on the iPhone (both neural nets), predictive snooping on a hardware level to make programs run faster, genuis mixes and genuis playlist recommendations in iTunes (decision trees, possibly local search and various other constraint propagation), Shazam's song matching using clever hash tables and frequency vs time spectrography. We are really living in a special time and place now.

I think the fifth generation of computers will most certainly happen in software and Apple and Google are the first to realize this (and it's why they have so many Ph.D's in fields like electrical engineering and computer science working with them on research and innovation). So anything I can do to make sure my buying habits reflect their trends in innovation, I'm all for it because I know the dividends will be exciting.

Anyways.. I digress, you get the point. Not sure how all of that came about over a Beatles on iTunes discussion....
Anyways, I really do hope Beatles comes to iTunes sooner or later. I guess if they don't, they're just missing the revenue boat. Sooner or later someone will get greedy and pull the trigger. In fact I'm almost certain it will happen in the next few months, probably by Christmas, as the economy is so bad right now that it would make no sense for someone with the ability to make the Beatles on iTunes deal a reality not to.

my $.02
shcroeder

</rant>

Edited by schroeder: n/a

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Schroeder, it was surely a matter of getting the revenue that's kept the Beatles off iTunes - as I said earlier there's simply no way it would have made sense to allow lower cost downloads on the day they issued the remasters at a high cost to the consumer.

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Very good point Guy, I read that point but I guess I was speaking more along the lines of down the road, perhaps near future (in the next few months). I agree that it would make no sense to put it out while there's still more money to be made in other forms, like selling the remastered collection in disc form versus letting people pick apart the work song by song in a per-song cost model like iTunes employs.

That would be analogous to putting a movie out on DVD and letting people rent it at BlockBuster while the movie is still in theaters (movie studios always wait at least a month, usually longer, before releasing a film to DVD to rake in as much as they can at the box office).

But man am I tired of waiting for it..

schroeder

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We all know Apple has a consumer buy-in philosophy that the more a consumer buys into their hardware and software, the more it complements the existing devices they already own. This was true when I purchased my first MacBook to marry together with my iPhone. This was true when I purchased my Time Capsule to complement my MacBook. This was true when I bought MobileMe to complement my iPhone and my MacBook/iLife 09. This was true when I bought my Apple TV to compement my iTunes collection (I tore up my blockbuster card and sold my DVD player the day I bought an Apple TV, and I haven't rented a movie [outside of iTunes / from my ATV that is] or played a movie on DVD since--not because they weren't Apple, but because I had no reason to anymore; in fact, it almost felt archaic to think about it).

With that said, I think Apple is going to apply the same philosophy to digital content that they apply to their hardware and software marriages, which is that if you own authentic digital Apple content you will get benefits that you won't get by purchasing it offline and ripping it yourself. One benefit that's obvious is your time--how much is an hour of your time worth to you to sit there and spend ripping a DVD or BluRay, or doing the same to a music CD and messing around with labelling the tracks, inputting the album name, year/composer/etc.

oooo I called this one :-) iCloud announced today scans for songs you own and lets you store them for free in the cloud for syncing across your devices [and eventually streaming I presume]. If you don't own the song, you can still use iTunes Match with iCloud, so long as you pay a $25/yr subscription fee. Also unlimited re-downloads.

I wonder what other benefits will emerge out of digital ownership through iTunes..

schroeder

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sorry, this is a little off topic:
Is there a post about Steve Jobs' resignment.

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@jingda, thanks a lot!

@all: are there any new interviews out featuring Tim Cook? I don't really know him (well, I don't know Steve Jobs either, but you guys know what I mean.)

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