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Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Beatles online gig won't be iTunes exclusive

Every song from the legendary music catalog of The Beatles will soon be available for purchase online, the head of the band's record label says, but the party won't be limited to Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store.

"All 13 core albums, the ones originally released on CD in 1987, have been remastered," Apple Corps chief Neil Aspinall told Fox News. "At some point they will all be released, probably at the same time.”

Aspinall, however, implied that the recent settlement between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps did not address download rights to the band's online offerings, adding that when the re-mastered copies are release, "it will be on all the services, not just one."

He also dropped hints that the settlement between the two Apple's, which ended a near 30-year spat, may have awarded The Beatles a small piece of the profits from iTunes and iPod sales.

"The Beatles, sources say (and not Aspinall, whom I didn't even discuss this with), may have won royalties on Apple iTunes/iPod hardware as part of the settlement," wrote Fox News reporter Roger Friedman.

Rumors of an exclusive arrangement between The Beatles and iTunes have swirled for weeks, helped by two separate media reports that pegged the two parties for a collaborative effort.

The first report surfaced on Beatles news site Abbey Road Best, which talked of an exclusive deal that would give Apple first crack at online distribution of Beatles songs beginning on Valentine's Day (tomorrow).

On the heels of that report came similar claims from the Toronto Sun, which added that Apple had planned a "special" announcement regarding the matter for the February 4th Super Bowl event.

Although neither rumor came to pass, it remains likely that The Beatles' online debut will take place by month's end.