McCartney No-Show on iTunes

Apple Inc., which made a big deal earlier this month about offering Paul McCartney's 25-album catalog to its iTunes music store, was the odd man out Tuesday as most other online sellers and subscription services added the former Beatle to their portfolios.

In a press release May 15, Apple said: "Paul McCartney's full catalog of 25 solo albums will be available for the first time digitally on iTunes later this month."

On Tuesday, however, some or all of McCartney's backlist went live on Napster LLCs' Napster, RealNetworks Inc.'s Rhapsody, Viacom International Inc.'s Urge, and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune Marketplace. Rhapsody, a monthly subscription service, had all 25 McCartney albums on its site for real-time streaming, and was also selling tracks for its usual US$0.89 each.

McCartney's catalog was to be a precursor to the Beatles backlist going digital -- earlier this month, McCartney told Billboard magazine that a deal to sell Beatles tunes online was "virtually settled" -- but some or all of those plans may have been held up by the agreement Monday of EMI Group, McCartney's former label and the home of the Beatles, to a $4.7 billion acquisition by a private equity firm.

Apple did not respond to request for comment.

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