The Beatles may be preparing to release their music through digital music services, reports claim.
Speaking during the Apple Corps versus Apple Computer trial in the UK High Court last week, Apple Corps label boss Neil Aspinall confirmed the plans. A spokeswoman for Apple Corps told Macworld UK that Aspinall had made these statements during the case.
Aspinall said that Apple Corps is remastering the Beatles catalogue to make it sound better and that it is assembling digital booklets to accompany the downloads.
“I think it would be wrong to offer downloads of the old masters when I am making new masters,” said Aspinall. “It would be better to wait and try to do them both simultaneously so that you then get the publicity of the new masters and the downloading, rather than just doing it ad hoc.”
The surviving Beatles have held back from releasing their tracks through online services so far, and to finally unleash them could be a pivotal moment for legitimate services.
The current court case shows they are aware that such services exist. Paul McCartney even gave video iPods away to everyone who accompanied him on his US tour last year.
While the label declined to commit to any time schedule for the plans, it did reveal them to be just one of several initiatives the label is working on.
The fact that the Beatles music will go online does not guarantee Apple’s market-leading iTunes Music Store will get the collection. When Yoko Ono made John Lennon’s catalogue available digitally last year, she did so on Real/Rhapsody, Napster, MSN and Yahoo! Unlimited, but not on iTunes.
Jim Dalrymple contributed to this report.