Is Apple finally ready to welcome The Beatles to iTunes?

Can you hear it? The nothingness? The strange and gratifying
silence that only comes once a year. The unnatural calm that precipitates out
of every Apple September event?

 

Everyone is holding their breath, mouthing the same wordless
question: Just what the hell are Jobs and Co going to drop on Wednesday?

 

For digital journalists, the stream of news has been reduced
to a noticeable trickle. No one is moving, there’s no shaking – it’s a dry
creek-bed and Apple’s hand is on the faucet.

 

Any company, especially a plucky young start-up, would be
wise to wait a couple days, maybe even a week to make a major announcement,
lest Apple shows up and turns the industry on its head once more.

 

Apple enthusiasts have been sifting through rumours, gossip,
hearsay, patent logs and their wildest dreams – for months – in anticipation of
Wednesday, questioning every subtle nuance, inspecting every detail, like a
jealous, embittered spouse.

 

For those in the know, a glaring peculiarity precludes
Apple’s event. It’s as simple as the days of the week.

 

Specifically, Wednesday. Why Wednesday?

 

Historically, Apple events have been on Tuesdays.

 

Yet, Wednesday also happens to be the day MTV Games releases
‘The Beatles: Rock Band’. It also marks the day the band’s remastered albums
hit store shelves.

 

Is Apple finally ready to welcome The Beatles to iTunes?

 

Deciphering clues is like a reliving the ‘Paul is Dead’
hysterics.

 

For instance, take Wednesday again – or 09/09/09. Nine, a
famous Beatles number, as in ‘Revolution 9′.

 

The invite to the event reads “It’s only rock and roll,
but we like it” – which is, well, a Rolling Stones reference – or rather a
‘red herring’, according to Mac Rumours, to throw us off the track of the
likely Beatles announcement.

 

Beatles on iTunes has been rumoured for the past two years,
with negotiations very much ongoing between the Beatles Apple Corp, Jobs’ Apple
Inc and EMI, specifically the $0.99-per-track pricing scheme that has irritated
music labels since its inception.

 

Apple and Apple Records have a prickly history, going as far
back as 1978 regarding a trademark dispute, which was settled in 2007, yet just
last year Macca described the ‘Beatles on iTunes’ proceedings as
“stalled”.

 

Have the two sides finally buried the hatchet?

 

Is Apple going to launch a new iPod on Wednesday, with
Beatles tracks preloaded (like it did with U2 a while back), much to the
delight of millions of Apple and Fab Four fans the world around?

 

Sure.

 

But what else might happen?

 

iPods with cameras? This seems likely. iPods always play in
the September events in one way or another, but as sales stall, how long can
Apple depend these ubiquitous devices in the lead up to the holiday season. An
in-house camera could certainly have Christmas shoppers clamouring for a
replacement.

 

New iTunes? Almost certain. iTunes 9 (Number 9!), is
expected to be integrated with Facebook and Twitter, marking Apple’s descent
into the murky depths of social networking. Perhaps a subscription package is in
the works, much like Spotify has had success with, because if you can’t beat
‘em, just rip them off.

 

The iTablet? You wish, and so does everyone else, but it
simply not going to happen. Not on Wednesday at least…

 

  • James T Kirk

    Who would want to listen to the low quality i-tunes version when the new remastered versions are out today? I am quite excited about sound quality, although clearly a lot of ipod users are not.

  • KEVIN GORDON

    And this Year’s Black Hood goes to…we don’t even want to know.

Latest jobs Jobs web feed