As speculation mounts that an Apple media event is planned for Wednesday, September 9, that date also sees The Beatles copious back catalogue remastered and rereleased along with the launch of 'The Beatles: Rock Band,' video game for Xbox, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.
The Wednesday, rather than typically a Tuesday, Apple event would make more sense with The Beatles iTunes announcement and tie-in. Apple traditionally announce new iPods in September, in time for the all important holiday season.
The Beatles, a clear inspiration on Apple's Steve Jobs, have long been rumoured to be joining the iTunes Store. "That is constantly being talked of. We'd like to do it. What happens is, when something's as big as The Beatles, it's heavy negotiations," Sir Paul McCartney told Billboard magazine last year.
Two box sets -- 'The Beatles Box Set -- Remastered in Stereo' (£169.98 on Amazon) and 'The Beatles In Mono' (£199.98) - along with individual albums all lovingly remastered should put The Beatles back in the spotlight again. While 'The Beatles: Rock Band,' has the potential to appeal to new generations of fans, Beatlemania back in vogue.
Each album release comes with a QuickTime mini-documentary embedded, which could easily be reproduced on the iTunes Store, while 256kbps AAC encoding and digital rights management (DRM) free downloads are more appealing to potential customers keen to hear every detail of those remasters.
The announcement of The Beatles on iTunes might however be more of an event for Steve Jobs then Apple customers. Anyone with John, Paul, George and Ringo on CD might already have ripped albums to iTunes regardless of the quality of recordings.
In the meantime, here's a breakdown on what to expect come September from The Beatles on CD:
- The Stereo Albums (available individually and collected in a stereo boxed set).
- The stereo albums have been remastered by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and • Sean Magee. All CD packages contain original vinyl artwork and liner notes, extensive archival photos. Additional historical notes by Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley. Additional recording notes by Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett * = CD includes QuickTime mini-doc about the album.
- Please Please Me* (CD debut in stereo)With The Beatles* (CD debut in stereo)
- A Hard Day's Night* (CD debut in stereo)
- Beatles For Sale* (CD debut in stereo)
- Help!*Rubber Soul*Revolver*
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band* (also includes 1987 notes, updated, and new intro by Paul McCartney)
- Magical Mystery Tour*
- The Beatles*
- Yellow Submarine* (also includes original US liner notes)
- Abbey Road*
- Let It Be*Past Masters (contains new liner notes written by Kevin Howlett)
- 'The Beatles in Mono' (boxed set only). The mono albums have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke. Presented together in box with an essay written by Kevin Howlett.
• + = mono mix CD debut.
- Please Please Me
- With The Beatles
- A Hard Day's Night
- Beatles For Sale
- Help! (CD also includes original 1965 stereo mix)+
- Rubber Soul (CD also include original 1965 stereo mix)+
- Revolver+Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band+
- Magical Mystery Tour+
- The Beatles+
This story, "Are The Beatles Coming to iTunes in September?" was originally published by Macworld U.K..