.

The Beatles' Remastered Albums Come to Special-Edition USB Drive

November 4, 2009 9:32 AM ET

Though you can play Beatles songs on Rock Band and enjoy the band's epic catalog on remastered CDs, you still can't legally buy the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo on the iTunes store or other digital shops — yet. In a move that may represent Apple Corps. softening its traditionally inflexible view of selling the Fab Four's music digitally, the company and EMI Music will release a limited-edition USB drive featuring the entire Beatles in Stereo remastered set as 320 Kbps MP3s on December 8th. All 14 albums and 13 "mini-documentaries" will be included on the 16GB USB drive, which will be shaped like the iconic Apple logo with "The Beatles" written on it. Only 30,000 of these USBs will be produced; onsale information is available at the Beatles Website.

Explore the Beatles' full catalog in our album guide.

In addition, EMI is going after a digital-music Website called BlueBeat.com for offering up the Beatles catalog as a digital download without permission. According to Variety, a copyright-infringement lawsuit was filed yesterday by EMI, which controls the digital rights of the Beatles music through an agreement with Apple Corps.

Look back at classic photos of the Beatles.

Not only is BlueBeat offering the Beatles catalog without permission, they're also doing it at below market prices: Each track costs only 25 cents, so an 11-track album like Magical Mystery Tour can be purchased digitally for $2.75, well below the $9.99 or so that iTunes would charge. Additionally, the entire digital Beatles in Mono catalog box set is currently being sold at BlueBeat for $53.25.

As of press time, BlueBeat is still permitting the Beatles' catalog to be streamed and downloaded despite the threat of the lawsuit, and its parent company, Media Rights Technologies, didn't respond to inquires from Variety. According to the news section at the BlueBeat site, the Website has been streaming the Beatles catalog since September 16th, just one week after the remasters were released.

Check out all of Rolling Stone's essential Beatles coverage.

Related Stories:
"The Beatles: Rock Band" Adding Entire "Abbey Road" This Week
Apple Reveals New iPod Models, iTunes LP - But No Beatles News
The Beatles' Remasters: Ultimate Guide to the Fab Four's Career

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com