Rhodri Marsden: Why do we want the Beatles' back catalogue on iTunes anyway?

Cyberclinic

At 6pm today the technology world will briefly focus on some arts centre in San Francisco where Apple will make one of its regular product announcements. You can usually feel these events looming as the web is overrun with speculation – I call it guessing – about the possible revelations. It's as traditional as the Queen's Christmas message for at least one writer to predict the long-awaited appearance of the Beatles' back catalogue on iTunes, but that's reached fever pitch today thanks to the simultaneous release of the Beatles' remastered catalogue on CD and
The Beatles: Rock Band for Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3. Oh, and Apple has chosen to trail the announcement with the tagline "It's only rock'n'roll, but we like it" – a direct reference to the Beatles. What? Oh, the Rolling Stones. Right.



Anyway, the reason why it's taking so long for Beatles recordings to appear in a legally downloadable format isn't that mysterious (inevitably money, coupled with a history of slightly tedious antipathy between the Beatles' Apple Corps and Apple Inc); what's more puzzling is why anyone cares. Unsurprisingly, it's not difficult to get hold of recorded material by the Beatles. Those with fleeting interest can pick up Beatles albums second hand for much less than an iTunes album, and the number of ways you can download Beatles material illegally are almost hilarious in their number. Meanwhile, the Beatles nuts and audio purists who complain that the currently-available Beatles CDs (digitised in the mid-1980s) are of less-than-pristine quality are hardly likely to be interested in Apple's downloads; they're going to be buying the newly-remastered stuff along with glossy booklets and extended liner notes, and then rip the CDs to their iPod if they feel like it. (This still isn't strictly legal, incredibly, but Yoko won't be setting her lawyers on anyone.) So who exactly is waiting for this, aside from excitable technology writers?

The release of a moptopped Rock Band game is far more interesting. It's not, as The New York Times put it, "the most important video game ever made" – a bit of an oxymoron, surely – but it does demonstrate that the surviving members of the band have no hangups about their music keeping up with the pace of technology. And best of all, it lets us engage with said music on a whole new level, either by showcasing our inferior bass-playing skills on "Taxman", or showing up Ringo's lopsided beats in "Ticket To Ride" for the disjointed mess that they are.



Email any technology gripes to cyberclinic@independent.co.uk or join the discussions on the blog at www.independent.co.uk/cyberclinic

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine