Everybody in the Apple/Ipod/Beatles world, please cool down.

The big Apple announcement next week on Sept. 9 has nothing to do with the Beatles. I am assured by my Fab Four insiders that there will be no news on that concerning downloads of Beatles songs on iTunes.

The Apple press conference set for that day is supposedly all about Cocktail, the new add-on service that’s supposed to help increase album sales.

I don’t know why anyone thought a Beatles announcement was forthcoming. There are so many clues that it’s not happening. For one, the tagline for the day, on the invites, is “It’s only rock and roll but I like it.” This a line from a Rolling Stones song. Did you really think Apple would use that for a Beatles promotion?

And really, 09-09-09 has already been cleared as Beatles day around the world for selling physical CDs, not downloading music. On that day the entire Beatles catalog is relaunched for the first time in 22 years in stereo and mono remastered discs. The mega promotion has been so heavily marketed, and clearly designed to move physical units, a downloading announcement would be totally counter productive.

At this rate, my guess is it will be a long, long time before the Beatles’ music is offered for legal downloading anywhere. And why would they? One great aspect of the Beatles’ unwillingness to remain available only on CD is so that the albums are not broken up into singles. In the cases of Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper. The White Album, and Abbey Road, it only makes sense to force consumers to encounter them as whole concepts, and not all mixed up in a random shuffle.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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