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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Imagine all the downloads

Come together, twist and shout, because The Beatles are available for download on iTunes.

Is this cause for celebration?

I'm more or less indifferent about the announcement. I own several Beatles albums and can't see myself downloading any that I don't have. I'm someone who prefers the packaging of a CD case when buying music from my favorite musicians. I figured that at this point -- nearly 50 years after The Beatles hit American shores -- that most people have been exposed the music through living through the 1960s and 1970s, or through listening to their parents' albums. I assumed that saying you liked The Beatles was akin to listing your interests on Facebook as "music," "hanging out" and "family and friends." Maybe I'm just projecting my own childhood onto the rest of America.

I was talking with a few of my co-workers about the Beatles-iTunes announcement to see if others had the same ho-hum attitude I did. Business Editor Brandon C. Baker surprised me when he said he didn't have any Beatles music and was happy for the opportunity to explore it via iTunes. He recalled one evening over the summer when I had friends at my house to play a spirited game of Beatles Rock Band. Brandon said he didn't know many of the songs we rocked out to and tried to search for them on iTunes -- with no success.

My assumptions about people's access to The Beatles was clearly wrong. And maybe all the kids out there who are exposed to music only through the Internet, social media and iTunes will form a new Beatles audience. Or, perhaps fans who have records, cassette tapes and damaged CDs will look at this as an opportunity to buy good, digital versions of their favorite songs.

(And if you don't have any Beatles music, $149 for all of the band's studio collections [titled The Beatles Box Set] seems like a pretty good deal to me.)

Coverage of the decision via The Associated Press can be viewed here, and read more about the agreement here.

-- Cheryl Sadler

P.S. Addendum: I don't condone illegal downloads, but this graphic representation of whether one should buy Beatles music on iTunes more or less follows the train of thought I had when I heard about the announcement. I just figured most people had the music or could easily borrow it from the library, friends or family.

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