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Beatles unlikely to turn up on iTunes until 2008

The widow of Fab Four guitarist George Harrison has revealed that the music group's catalog should be available by next year.

Olivia Harrison told Reuters on Friday that the work of her late husband and his bandmates was finally on a fast track to music stores like Apple Inc.'s iTunes now that multiple artistic and legal hurdles have been tackled.

"We just have a few things to work out elsewhere," she said.

Though hopeful for a release before the end of 2007, she added that the sheer amount of work might push the online listing to 2008.

The Beatles' music label, Apple Corps, had not only to settle its naming dispute with iTunes operator Apple Inc. but to finish the Cirque du Soleil show Love, remaster the original recordings for better quality, and create a deluxe presentation to revitalize interest.

"That's a big job," Harrison said. "That means you have to go back through all the archives and find great photographs and really give a nice package to the fans."

The retirement of the pioneering Apple Corps manager Neil Aspinall was also said to have contributed to the acceleration of the project, as new label head Jeff Jones intended to "pick up the pace" on transferring Beatles albums to the online medium.