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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 16, 2010 @ 12:25 am

    What is Apple planning for iTunes?

    Ciara O'Brien

    If you’ve visited Apple’s website today, you can’t have missed the massive tease that Apple is currently running on its homepage.

    The speculation is that there is some announcement due on streaming or cloud services for iTunes, although the smart money is on a Beatles related announcement tomorrow, a glaring omission from the iTunes catalogue at the moment.

    If it is the news that the Beatles are coming to iTunes – and the WSJ seems pretty sure it is – it will draw a line under a row that has been going on since the 1970s over the use of the Apple logo.From the first trademark infringement case that was filed in 1978 to the settlement in 2007, Apple Corp and Apple Computers have had a rocky relationship.

    It’s not hard to see why: both using a similar logo, and then Apple Computers starts selling music. However, since 2007, relations have thawed somewhat. The move to iTunes has been expected for some time, and there has even been a limited edition Beatles iPod available for sale for those with several hundred dollars to spare.

    Apple’s assertion that it’s a day you’ll “never forget” might be pushing it a little though.

    Serious fans of the band who already own an iPhone or iPod will not doubt own the CD version of the albums that will be made available, and probably have little interest in the iTunes downloads. And there’s more than a few people in my immediate social circle who care little for the Beatles and their music at all.

    However, there are enough fans – casual or otherwise – to ensure that it will earn money for both Apple and the label. And the phrasing is typical Apple OTT – this is the company that brings us “magical” devices, remember?

    Either way, we’ll get the definitive announcement at 3pm.

    UPDATE: As suspected, it’s the Beatles announcement. Thirteen remastered studio albums plus a special digital box set. I don’t think it qualifies as a day I’ll never forget though.

    • timamansio says:

      I think it’s more likely to be the announcement of a streaming service similar to Spotify.

    • Dave McG says:

      “Apple’s assertion that it’s a day you’ll “never forget” might be pushing it a little though.”
      That’s an understatement if ever i saw one!

      More appropriate might be: Good job, Apple, you self-aggrandising corporation you.
      A day that i’ll never forget is a less than modest boast… especially if it is the insanely lack-lustre announcement of The Beatles coming to iTunes.
      I’m not sure who that’d be a day to remember for. Perhaps people who hadn’t been capable of buying the Beatles catalogue on CD, vinyl, cassette tape, DVD, ‘Rock Band’ format, etc
      But, i’m not sure anyone exists who’s a fan of the Beatles who’s somehow overlooked those obvious examples…
      I mean, the only people that announcement really speaks to is hipsters who refused to buy The Beatles because they were “too popular and traditional” and now have the “phaw, they’re so cool they’re on iTunes, i can’t wait to follow them on ‘Ping’!”

      Or, Apple might go completely crazy, and this is it, a day to tell us that this website is really telling the truth: http://www.thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com/

    • paul m says:

      i think the beatles reveal is more a message to the big labels and other big artists who might be doubtful of itunes ability to shift music that as been stated here, has already been snapped up by loyal fans in every conceivable format already. Then again McCartney seems to have lost all credibility milking the beatles brand for all its worth (a remake of the yellow submarine with cg animation! criminal)

      i’d expect apple to ramp it up and start looking to put out exclusive content through itunes include video content, back catalogue of films, etc. Its very lucrative and will definitely appeal to a younger generation who wouldnt even consider a cd let alone vinyl.

    • Dave McG says:

      Well, the announcement has been and gone and now “fans” have the chance to FiNALLY have access to The Beatles catalogue of music.
      Fans who so loved The Beatles but where put off buying any album until Apple came along and relieve them of the burden of buying a CD and ripping it to their MP3 player.

      100% agree with your “I don’t think it qualifies as a day I’ll never forget though” since the remastered CDs themselves have been and gone and- even without that- it takes more than a re-issue of an old, not lost, album to burn itself into my memory.
      But, Apple’s marketing department pretty much got their job done, since they posted what we’re admitting is a non-story and it’s already featured in this blog post and on the front pages of The Irish Times online- and i doubt those are the only places this non-story got endless promotion!

      So, bravo, Steve Jobs, you exist in the same realms of Michael O’Leary for shameless self-promoters who- inexplicably- make headlines with the most b*llsh*t announcements.

      @paul m, McCartney may have lost credibility with a recent ‘Yellow Submarine’ thing, but let’s not forget that everyone else lost credibility long ago.
      John Lennon and his stupid “love in” and Yoko Ono related self-indulgent garbage.
      And Ringo Starr, well, McCartney has my favourite words on him: “He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles!”
      Joking or not, i take those words at face value.

    • Quint says:

      The day JFK was assassinated….Sept 11th, 2001….and now November 16th, 2010 – the day The Beatles came to iTunes……another day that you’ll never forget.

    • Me says:

      @paul m, McCartney may have lost credibility with a recent ‘Yellow Submarine’ thing, but let’s not forget that everyone else lost credibility long ago.
      John Lennon and his stupid “love in” and Yoko Ono related self-indulgent garbage.
      And Ringo Starr, well, McCartney has my favourite words on him: “He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles!”
      Joking or not, i take those words at face value.

      Comment by Dave McG

      Wow Dave McG, you’re so wise and all knowing, do you have a web site were I can follow more of your insightful and articulate opinions

    • Joe says:

      Ciara, agreed, that Apples marketing is a bit OTT, but so what, they choose to do what they choose to do, and you can choose to ignore it or not.

      As for “And there’s more than a few people in my immediate social circle who care little for the Beatles and their music at all.”

      I dont really understand your point here? What relevance does the tastes of your friends have to bear here?
      This is a biased opinion, I’m sure readers dont particularly care if your friends are Beatles fans or not, I know I certainly dont. And I read the times for enlightening facts and stories, not for the opinions or tastes of its contributors. You might find this type of subjectivty more welcome at NME

      Cheers

      Joe

    • Well this is a blog Joe, which means that personal opinions, experience etc can be expressed. And I’m not a fan of NME.

      Personally, I like the Beatles, but even at that, describing it as a day you’ll never forget is pushing it just a little. I think I’m allowed to comment on that, and the fact that I know plenty of people who feel the same.

    • Joe says:

      Hi Ciara

      Glad to hear you dont like NME, we agree.
      Sorry, but, blog or not, I still dont get the relevance of your friends tastes in liking the Beatles or not to the article.
      The article was about Apple being OTT in their marketing, you are right, they were, I agreed with you in my post.
      If you’d stated in the article (as you seem to have qualified in the last post) that plenty of your friends feel Apple were also OTT in their marketing, I’d have thought; fair comment. But you actually stated that plenty of your circle of friends didnt like the Beatles. To me it read “I dont understand what all the fuss is about, and neither do most of my friends, many of them dont even like the Beatles”. Sorry, but that remark stuck out as slightly irrelevant to your article, and more than a little subjective.

      Opinions are great in blogs, love them, keep em coming. They detract from articles however, IMO

      Cheers