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Peter Kafka with MediaMemo cited "a source familiar with the band's plans" in a story Tuesday, in which he debunks the ongoing rumors that the world's most famous rock band would see its catalog debut on Apple's iTunes Music Store.
"If youâre trying to convince people to spend $16.99 for a remastered copy of the White Album," Kafka asked, "or as much as $250 to play along with the bandâs ghostly avatars, why offer a competing product from Apple at the same time? Nor do I see Steve Jobs expressing much interest in coordinating his marketing announcements with the likes of Viacom."
The entire back catalog of The Beatles is being re-released Wednesday, on compact disc, in a new remastered format. The 9.9.09 date, echoing the song "Revolution 9," also brings the release of the video game, The Beatles: Rock Band.
Sept. 9 is also the date Apple will unveil its new iPod lineup — a date that is purely a coincidence, if Kafka's sources are correct. Rumors of the band's songs appearing on iTunes have existed for years. Apple and the parent company of The Beatles, Apple Corps, were engaged in a lengthy and bitter trademark dispute for decades, but that issue was resolved in 2007.
Even though those issues were patched up years ago, the legendary band has been reluctant to allow its recordings to be made available in a digital format. Users of The Beatles video game, though, will be able to purchase and download additional songs to play in the game, which only further fueled speculation.
When Apple sent out invitations to its event, they included a reference to a lyric from a different legendary rock band, The Rolling Stones. The invitation read "It's only rock and roll, but we like it," leading some to assume Apple was hinting that the iPod-centric event would focus on music, not Macs or the long-rumored tablet.
If The Beatles' songs do not appear on iTunes Wednesday, it's most likely the Sept. 9 date was chosen because Monday, Sept. 7, was Labor Day, a U.S. holiday. Holding the event on Wednesday, rather than Tuesday (as is often done), allows those attending the San Francisco keynote more time to travel after the holiday.