For a while now there have been whispers of the Fab-Four finally going digital and making their back catalog available for download, but for the most part it seemed to be just wide-eyed speculation. However, that appeared to change a few days ago when the UK press (Daily Record, Telegraph, Daily Mail, etc.) began reporting that a deal had been struck with Apple Inc. (computer company not Beatles publishing, that’s Apple Corps.) to make the songs available for download on iTunes.
It looked as if I’d finally get replace those tattered old records with substandard, compressed mp3s! Hooray! Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Why should I be excited to replace organic audio with a cheap codec-ridden blather that’s one-tenth the file size? To be honest, I’m not. Sure it’d be great to line the pockets of Ringo and Paul with a little more cash; after all Paul is about to get hammered by an ugly divorce settlement. But personally I’d rather scour a record store (even if they’re going the way of the buffalo) looking to find that classic album on vinyl. Now you might be thinking, they’ve yet to create a Walkman that plays vinyl, and they probably never will. Truly, you would be mistaken, and you can find one right here that will only run you $250. Even if that groovy gadget isn’t your style it remains true that most of The Beatles’ catalog is already available on CD, which can be purchased and made portable. In the end it becomes a compromise of quality for price.
All techno-babble and rhetoric aside, the issue is still unsettled. The initial reports of an agreement have since been discounted and only time will tell when those famous boys from Liverpool will finally go binary.