updated 08:40 am EST, Wed November 4, 2009
Beatles edge closer to pure digital sales
The Beatles on Wednesday surprised the music industry by offering their collection outside of a disc for the first time. The Limited Edition USB Stick carries the entire LP collection of the British band in a stereo mix along with the mini-documentaries, album art and liner notes from the remastered CDs. Significantly, all of the songs come both in unprotected 320Kbps MP3 as well as in a similarly unguarded, lossless FLAC and should work on most any computer or portable player.
The 16GB, Apple Records-themed drive is for now only being sold in a 30,000-copy run and will ship December 8th for $280. Pre-orders start today.
While limited, the move is a milestone for The Beatles and signals a move a step closer to online sales for the band. While Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and the rest of those directly involved with the group have been in favor of a release through iTunes and other online music stores, the remastering process and licensing have together pushed back plans for Internet sales. The release of The Beatles: Rock Band, including the recent addition of Abbey Road as downloadable content for the game, is widely considered the first step.