Ever since Apple launched iTunes, every time there has been a product announcement, especially one revolving around music, there has been speculation that the company would finally announce that The Beatles music catalog would be coming to iTunes. And every single time people got their hopes up, they were also quickly dashed as it just never happened.

The BeatlesA lot of the problems stemmed from the early days of the company when Apple Computers had to make a deal with Apple, the company formed by The Beatles in the 1960’s. At the time the original deal was made, Apple Computers agreed to not using the name for music, but flash forward to the launch of iTunes and the iPod, and you can imagine how that went. Even after that was settled there was a lot of bad blood between the two companies. This never deterred Mr. Jobs, however, as he is a big fan of the band’s music, and he desperately wanted their music on his online store.

As recently as this past Aug., Yoko Ono — who inherited John Lennon’s rights to the catalog after he was murdered — was telling the Reuters news agency that this deal was a long ways off from happening:

“(Apple CEO) Steve Jobs has his own idea and he’s a brilliant guy,” Ono, the 77-year-old widow of John Lennon, told Reuters. “There’s just an element that we’re not very happy about, as people. We are holding out.

“Don’t hold your breath … for anything,” she said with a laugh.

What changed in a scant three months is unknown, but here we are, and all 13 studio albums by the band are now on iTunes for individual sale, or as a complete box set.

There are no details about how the deal came to be, nor what the terms are, but it is obvious the company is thrilled as it is now the first thing you see when you go to Apple.com.

The question now, of course, is how much this really matters.  With remastered CDs having come out recently, The Beatles themselves having sold digital versions of the album on a USB drive and numerous occurrences of piracy, how many people are left that really need or even want these albums?  Don’t get me wrong, I love The Beatles, but I’ve already had all of their albums on vinyl and CD, do I really need to buy them yet again?

Either way, you can bet Steve Jobs has a huge smile on his face this morning.

What say you?  Will you be picking up The Beatles albums from iTunes?

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