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The Beatles' catalog goes digital and there's an apple involved...


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The Beatles' catalog goes digital and there's an apple involved...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-04, 14:09

...but not in the way you'd expect/hope.

Interesting little story here.

Their catalog is getting released digitally in December, via a USB-based apple (lowercase)...and a limited edition run of only 30,000.





That's either the coolest thing I've ever seen, or the biggest "WTF?!"

I haven't decided yet.



From the article above (some meat 'n' taters specs/info):

Quote:
The product will have a "specifically designed Flash interface" that uses 16GB of capacity to provide the audio in both lossless FLAC 44.1 Khz 24-bit and MP3 320KBps formats. The product, which costs $279.99 or £200.00, is compatible with both PC and Mac.

"This unique, apple-shaped USB drive is loaded with the re-mastered audio for The Beatles' 14 stereo titles, as well as all of the re-mastered CDs' visual elements, including 13 mini-documentary films about the studio albums, replicated original UK art, rare photos and expanded liner notes," the product description states.

On Sept. 9, the same day as the Apple keynote where new iPods were unveiled, The Beatles re-released their entire discography, remastered in stereo. The box set with CDs carries a suggested price of $219, meaning the limited edition USB stick runs with a $50 premium.
I guess you're paying $50 for a cute little packaging idea? While clever and neat, I don't know if it's $50 worth of it. Do the box sets come with the mini-documentaries, art, photo and all the rest? If not, then the $50 makes a bit more sense. If not, then I can't imagine pay $50 for a little green USB apple.

But with just a 30,000 edition run, I'm surprised it's not already sold-out! I know there are 30,000 hardcore Beatle fans with $280 to burn on something like this.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2009-11-04, 14:12

Oh man, it's an apple... and you take a byte out of it, literally. Fuuuck.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-04, 14:16

...and it's rockin' to the core.



It's got the seed of a good idea, but it remains to be seen who'll bite. Will this approach bear fruit?







I can do this all day...
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Satchmo
can't read sarcasm.
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
 
2009-11-04, 14:24

Cute...but I'm guessing the USB part detaches from the apple portion relatively easily. Otherwise that stem is begging to be broken off.

A can see a boatload of these selling over the holidays...
Only after in the new year, will the Beatles discography appear on iTunes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-04, 14:29

Probably. It's certainly not going to happen now, before year's end...this thing will get center stage.

Beatles on iTunes might - might - happen in 2010. It's going to have to happen at some point. I'm surprised it's taken so damn long (and given the fact that all four of them, as solo artists, are already on iTunes).

So it's not as though they're unaware of, or opposed to, the medium/outlet!



Yeah, that stem better be made of metal and fused/welded directly to the part it pulls out, otherwise it's not long for this world.

I assume, then, you can just drag the MP3 files to your iTunes window, right? No weird DRM or "apple/USB-only playback"? You can pull the songs off, to your Mac (and sync them to your iPod or iPhone), and then just keep the Apple around for a souvenir (and backup in case you needed to reload)?

What keeps 10 friends going in together, at $28 a pop, and "sharing" this apple (I always type a capital "a" every time I write the word "apple"...gee, I wonder why? ).

Or just one guy buying it and passing it around to whoever he wanted?

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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-11-04, 15:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
I can do this all day...
The little apples have appeal, but the problems really stem from the high price. While some may be green with envy, it might leave a sour taste in others' mouths.
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spotcatbug
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Clayton, NC
 
2009-11-04, 15:19



Er... how does this thing work exactly? Which of the two parts holds all the music and stuff? If it's the little part (the core thingy with the stem on it), then the other part is just a cute holder, right? Otherwise (if the apple has the music), you dip the little USB connector core thingy into the apple and it sucks some music onto it? Kinda like a Shuffle?

Maybe the little stem is an antenna and the music is sent wirelessly from the apple to the core thingy?

Either way, you then plug the little part into a USB port on your computer and play the music from the mounted drive? Could you plug it into an iPod? What about other music devices that don't have USB?

Ugh.
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FFL
Fishhead Family Reunited
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
 
2009-11-04, 15:25

That's a lot of bytes for just one Apple!
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Noel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago
 
2009-11-04, 15:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
What keeps 10 friends going in together, at $28 a pop, and "sharing" this apple (I always type a capital "a" every time I write the word "apple"...gee, I wonder why? ).

Or just one guy buying it and passing it around to whoever he wanted?

What stops that from happening with regular CDs?
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
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2009-11-04, 15:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel View Post
What stops that from happening with regular CDs?
That, my friend, is a question for the music thread
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2009-11-04, 16:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
What keeps 10 friends going in together, at $28 a pop, and "sharing" this apple (I always type a capital "a" every time I write the word "apple"...gee, I wonder why? ).

Or just one guy buying it and passing it around to whoever he wanted?

Next thing you know, you'll have people inviting friends to their living rooms to watch movies together. ZOMG infringement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel View Post
What stops that from happening with regular CDs?
Nothing, nor is there anything wrong with that.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-04, 18:58

Alright, alright...let me be clear about a couple of things, goons, since my question wasn't taken the way I intended.

I didn't ask the question from any sort of self-righteous, indignant and baiting position (I typically save that for certain threads over in AppleOutsider ), nor do I give any real damn, one way or the other, about that specific topic from any moral standpoint.

I was mostly interested in just the tech-related reason. I simply assumed the Beatles and their reps wouldn't put out such a cool, novel thing in a "wide open", easily duped way. But maybe they did, and I've just come to expect more of a hassle when dealing with these types of products (and expect some sort of ballbusting DRM or "songs can only be accessed and played when the apple is attached to your computer" catch).

If it's free and open, that's great. I'm still not buying the thing, but it's great.

But, just to be thorough, I'll answer Noel's question:

"Nothing."

However, you have to agree that a little USB "apple" (with their entire library already digitized into a decent, high-quality setting) certainly makes the sharing/stealing/whatever angle much easier (and convenient!) than individually ripping/encoding 14 CDs and keeping up with who has which disc among all your buddies.

If my best friend comes to me and says "I've got everything the Beatles ever recorded...do you want the 14 CDs or this little cute apple, where they're already digitized?", guess which one I'm lunging for?



That's what I was getting at...even though they're only making 30,000 of these, I'm guessing they're going to wind up in about eleventy zillion homes and computers if these are unprotected mp3 or other files, right?

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Noel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago
 
2009-11-04, 23:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
That's what I was getting at...even though they're only making 30,000 of these, I'm guessing they're going to wind up in about eleventy zillion homes and computers if these are unprotected mp3 or other files, right?

I don't know. It seems to me that the type of person likely to buy this apple thing is also the type of person to not let it out of their sight. They may let a few people download the songs from it, but probably not out of their direct supervision, and that would get annoying after more than about three people.
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2009-11-05, 00:17

This just smells of spite to me.

Well, maybe USB sticks were the right choice after all. That seems likely.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-05, 07:49

Putting them on an apple-shaped device, or "going digital" without involving iTunes (which is where every other "major act" has wound up by now)?
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2009-11-05, 13:51

Going digital in such a weird and unproven way.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-05, 14:14

That's probably why they limited it to that 30,000. Maybe if all of those sell out, that'll spur them to do another run (of a larger size)? Something tells me that 30,000 is a "toe in the water" move, more than anything.

"Just how popular are these guys in late 2009 that we can put their entire catalog on something like this and charge $50+ more than any reasonable person would consider spending?"



And if they sell only 4,000 or so, that'll tell them they've overplayed their hand, and that they need to quit screwing around with excessively cute, gimmicky stuff (like USB apples)...and get their butts on iTunes (and/or Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.) if they're interested in selling their stuff in this century, to people who aren't into the idea of overpriced, physical CDs (which they're just gonna rip into computer/iPod-friendly format anyway).



At one time, being the holdout gave them some sort of aura or a cool sense of "legends too big for iTunes"...but now it's just annoying and makes them look a bit like foot-dragging asshats about it all.

If the Stones, Zeppelin and everyone else on the planet (including Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr as solo artists) have landed on iTunes, here at the cusp of 2010, I think it's safe to say the damn Beatles can find their way there too. Enough already. I think it's a bit played-out and, at a point, people simply aren't going to care that much, and it won't be a big deal because folks are just tired of waiting for it to happen.

They could've made this happen years ago, and they'd be even richer and more popular than they already are! It's not like iTunes is some cheesy, fly-by-night outfit or unproven vehicle or music sales. I don't know what the holdup is in all this...


Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2009-11-05 at 14:51.
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