Beatles Tunes Go Live in iTunes

The Beatles have come to iTunes.

After a decades long back and forth between Apple (the computer company) and Apple Corps. (The Beatles' multimedia company), the two appear to have come to an agreement. The music of The Beatles went on sale in the iTunes store Tuesday morning, has confirmed.

The page selling the Fab Four's tunes went live about 20 minutes before the official announcement at 10 a.m. The entire catalog is available in a $149 box set complete with iTunes LPs (immersive, digital albums), or you can download your favorite songs from all 13 of The Beatles original studio albums, the two-volume "Past Masters" compilation, and the "Red" and "Blue" collections.

"We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes," said Sir Paul McCartney. "It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."

"I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes," said Ringo Starr. "At last, if you want it -- you can get it now -- The Beatles from Liverpool to now!"

Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, was thrilled to finally announce the partnership -- which felt to some like a deal a decade in the making .

“It has been a long and winding road to get here," Jobs said. "Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago."

In addition, fans can watch a TV ad announcing their arrival and a video of the group's legendary appearance at the Washington Coliseum in 1964. The concert, which came just two days after the group's historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was their first-ever live U.S. concert.

Until now, to listen to Beatles songs on iPods, a fan needed to obtain a CD and "rip" a digital version of it -- or find someone who already has done so.

Apple's cryptic iTunes notice on Monday triggered debate among analysts and bloggers about what Apple might announce, Reuters noted. In addition to the rumors of The Beatles music, many wondered whether Apple would launch a "cloud" -- or Web-based -- version of iTunes.

Such a service would allow users to stream content over a network onto various devices, but analysts said Apple still needs to line up agreements with music labels, whom the company has repeatedly clashed with the over the years.

"There's been a lot of speculation about, with the cloud. I'm not sure if that's ready. It's really more around partnerships, content partnerships, before they can announce anything," Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu told the Reuters news service.

While The Beatles songs are live, the cloud-based offering remains a rumor.