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Apple promises ‘exciting’ iTunes update Tuesday
CUPERTINO, CALIF. (AP) - Apple Inc. replaced its regular home page Monday with a note promising an “exciting” iTunes announcement.
“Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget,” the gadget maker posted online. The webpage instructs people to check back at 7 a.m. PST Tuesday to learn more.
Apple would not give any further details about the nature of the announcement, but The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has finally snagged the rights to sell Beatles albums on iTunes. Relying on unnamed sources, the report also said there was a chance Apple could change its plans at the last minute.
Representatives from the Beatles’ label, EMI, and Apple Corps Ltd., which manages the band’s affairs, did not respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
EMI has acted as the distributor for the Beatles since the early 1960s, but Apple Corps has so far declined to allow the Fab Four’s music on any Internet music services, including iTunes. The situation was exacerbated by a long-running trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps that was finally resolved in early 2007 when the companies agreed on joint use of the apple logo and name, a deal many saw as paving the way for an agreement for online access to the songs of the group, which broke up 40 years ago.
Rumors of the Beatles’ online debut have cropped up tied to past Apple events. In 2009, Apple scheduled a music-themed event on the same day a digitally remastered collection of the Beatles’ oeuvre was due out on CD. However, the event came and went without an announcement.
Apple is also thought to be working on some sort of music streaming service tied to Apple’s acquisition of startup Lala.com in 2009. Lala let people pay a small fee to stream music over the Internet instead of buying tracks for download. Some analysts believe Apple will eventually offer iPhone and other gadget users Web access to their iTunes libraries. Apple would need to have new deals in place with music labels first, and it’s unclear that such agreements have been forged.
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