Paul McCartney’s entire music catalog made its way to several online music stores this week, but the artist is conspicuously missing from the most popular store of all—Apple’s iTunes.
As of Wednesday afternoon, iTunes has McCartney’s new album, Memory Almost Full, for pre-order. But the rest of the catalog is not available. A check of MTV’s URGE music store and Real Network’s Rhapsody shows the entire McCartney catalog.
When Apple first announced it would carry McCartney’s full catalog on iTunes, the company said it would be available “later this month.” Although users may want access to the music at the same time as other online music stores, Apple still has a little more than a week to meet its own deadline.
Why is the ex-Wings frontman appearing on other online music services but not iTunes? Apple isn’t saying. But if you consider another recent iTunes-related announcement, it isn’t very difficult to figure out why.
Back in April, record-label EMI announced that it would begin to offer tracks through iTunes that were free of digital-rights management, or DRM, restrictions. These DRM-free tracks would sell for $1.29 each—30 cents more than a standard iTunes download—but come encoded at a higher bit rate.
When are EMI’s DRM-free offerings set to appear on iTunes? Sometime during May—the same timeframe as McCartney’s catalog. And, incidentally, Paul McCartney’s music is published by EMI.
It’s not a terrific leap of logic to assume that both offerings—DRM-free songs and Paul McCartney tracks—will make their iTunes debut simultaneously. As far as musical mysteries are concerned, this one is a lot easier to figure out than who the walrus was.