Monday, July 14, 2008

The Beatles on IPOD?

A report in Rolling Stone says that Bloomingdales (of all people) will be selling a limited edition IPOD with every Beatles tune on it. Many have speculated that the Beatles catalog would be available on the IPOD but who would have thought Bloomies would be the one to bring it to us. RS is saying there will only be 100. If the mock-up is any thing to go by that is one ugly IPOD. I suggested that the front and back of the special Beatles IPOD when and if it came would be suggestive of the center label on all vinyl albums: the green apple on one side and the cut-away inside the apple view on the back.

On another related Beatles note, fellow traveller Joe Esposito has a look back at the Beatles and how their touring lead to popularity and record sales but the model ultimately broke down when the band stopped going on the road.
A peculiar fate befell the Beatles, however, in that they, like a very small number of other musicians, found it impossible to continue the touring to promote their records. Touring became dangerous and, playing in huge stadiums to screaming teenage girls, artistically unrewarding. The Beatles thus left the road, risking their business model, as the essential relationship between live performance and the sale of records was broken. Famously, the Beatles responded by inventing a “live” audience: the first thing we hear on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is the sound of the invented audience. The imaginary audience did not contribute to the Beatles’ economy, however. That economy continued to be based on the sale of records. It was the Beatles’ good fortune that their fame was such that they no longer had to go on the road to promote the sale of their intellectual property. Perhaps it was just as well: when asked about the relative benefits of a live performance over a recording, John Lennon remarked, “Well, I’m a record man myself.”

He suggests the time of their break-up coincided with the "apotheosis of a particular business model for the media industry, the now-derided practice of creating copyrighted works and selling them, copy by copy, for profit." Read the whole article.

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