Why is The Beatles on iTunes such a big deal?


If we assume that next week’s Apple event will have something to do with The Beatles—and we have to assume that, otherwise this post has no value (not to say that it does, mind you)—then I have to ask: what’s the big deal? Obviously, being the first (and only?) online music store that has The Beatles will be something of a coup, for at least the first day. You can picture the articles and posts now: “Apple meets Apple: Beatles on iTunes,” “iTunes just won my $9.99: Beatles on iTunes,” etc.

But that publicity won’t last. And even if it does, who cares? It’s not as if it’s exceedingly difficult to rip a CD these days. (If I recall correctly, as soon as you insert a music CD into your computer, iTunes will ask if you want to import it into your Music Library.) And once the CD has been ripped, you can put it on your iPod and/or iPhone. The point is, if you want to listen to The Beatles on your iPod while you’re out and about, it’s already terribly easy to do so.

It also goes without saying that you can find The Beatles “elsewhere” online. In fact, you can find it in a quality that you’ll never find on iTunes. How much sense it makes to download a 24bit lossless rip, from the original vinyl, when you’ve got $20 earbuds, I don’t know. But it’s there if you want it.

So, if The Beatles on iTunes isn’t a big deal for you guys, people who know how to rip a CD, or who know how to use BitTorrent ;-), then who will give a damn? Who’s going to be interested in adding a couple of Beatles songs to their iTunes Library—suggesting, of course, that they’re competent enough to use iTunes—because now they can get them from the iTunes Store?

Now, keep in mind that I have no doubt people will buy The Beatles from iTunes like it’s their job (and that people will buy The Beatles Rock Band like it’s also their job), but I just don’t understand why.