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Beatles’ move to iTunes is irrelevant

Originally published in the November 19, 2010 issue

For the 21st century, iTunes is the equivalent of a record store. While not a physical destination, it’s a place where you can interact with other music lovers, scope out some new musical finds and listen to your favorite bands.

That was, of course, assuming your favorite band wasn’t The Beatles and many other bands or acts that have few to no songs available on iTunes.

While the latest lyrical mess that comes when Ke$ha hits iTunes the instant it is released, many were originally outraged they couldn’t buy the cornerstone of modern music online.

The disappointment, though, was an initial feeling – something fans got over after years of waiting for the Beatles’ catalog to make its way to iTunes.

Then Monday, Apple said it had an announcement to make on Tuesday – one that would make people always remember Nov. 16. Internet speculation ran rampant, as overzealous fans were hoping for something revolutionary that would change online music purchasing or at least get a few free downloads.

For all the CIA-level protection that goes into other announcements, this was a terribly kept secret. In the past, any discrepancy with leaking information was not handled lightly at Apple, but this was different. Before Steve Jobs even opened his mouth, everyone knew what was coming – that the entire Beatles’ catalog would be available for purchase on iTunes.

At first, the announcement is an exciting one, evoking thoughts of “Yay! The Beatles are finally on iTunes!”

But once the dust settled and it begins to sink in, the announcement was a rather tedious and unnecessary one.

Has anyone really waited to complete their Beatles’ collection because iTunes didn’t sell it? Sure, there are certainly some that might be just recently tuning in, but those that want it already have it. And it’s not making the big splash I bet Apple thought it would. As of Wednesday morning, no songs were in the top 20 and only two albums made it in the top 10.

As obnoxious and as big of an oversell as the announcement may have been, to look at the actual collection is pretty epic. It’s easy to just scroll through the CDs or songs and complete your collection, and even though it is not as life changing as Jobs’ wanted it to be, for music lovers, there is still some excitement behind it.

When Apple markets something as a day to remember, they need to follow up on it. From the technology behemoth, anything less than extravagantly awesome is unacceptable, so until it’s officially time for the iPhone to come to Verizon, Apple needs to be careful as to what it’s selling.