At long last, The Beatles are on iTunes

Apple finally cuts deal to make legendary band's music available for download

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Image credit: flickr/Marxchivist

OK, maybe Steve Jobs hasn't brokered a Mideast peace agreement, but he's accomplished something that at times has seemed almost as impossible -- he finally snagged The Beatles for iTunes.

Apple announced Tuesday morning that the entire catalog of Beatles songs are now available for download in the iTunes store.

I've already made a purchase, downloading "Hey Bulldog" because my 6-year-old son loves the song and I couldn't justify spending $15 to $20 to buy the painfully mediocre Yellow Submarine album for one decent tune.

Interestingly, Apple shares were down 2.58, or 0.8 percent, to 304.45 in early morning trading. Not sure what that's all about, unless investors were disappointed that Apple instead didn't announce a cloud-based streaming service for iTunes, as many had expected.

Still, the availability of Beatles songs should lead to a boost in iTunes sales for this quarter. iTunes generated $1.2 billion in revenue for Apple in the third quarter.

Apple and representatives of the Beatles have negotiated sporadically since iTunes went live in 2001, but until now an agreement couldn't be reached. A deal reportedly was close a couple of years ago, but fell through over what surviving band member Paul McCartney called "a couple of sticking points."

Individual Beatles songs cost $1.29 to download, while single albums are $12.99 and double albums $19.99. For $149, iTunes users can download the Fab Four's entire catalog.

The agreement reportedly expires next year, which I don't really get.

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