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Apple says iTunes will sell music from Beatles

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — The Beatles are finally coming to iTunes.

Apple Inc. said Tuesday its iTunes service will start selling music from the Fab Four, in an agreement with the Beatles’ recording label, EMI, and its management company, Apple Corps Ltd.

As of Tuesday, Apple will sell 13 remastered Beatles studio albums, the two-volume “Past Masters” set and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections. People can buy individual songs for $1.29 apiece or download entire albums, at $12.99 for a single album and $19.99 for a double.

For $149, Apple is also selling a special digital box set that includes a download of the 41-minute movie of the Beatles first U.S. concert, “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964.”

The Beatles had been the most prominent holdout from iTunes and other online music services. Apple Corps had resisted, and the situation was exacerbated by a long-running trademark dispute between Apple Inc. and Apple Corps. It was resolved in 2007 when the companies agreed on joint use of the apple logo and name, and many people saw that as paving the way for an agreement for online access to Beatles songs.

Until now, to listen to Beatles songs on iPods, you’d have to obtain a CD and “rip” an online version of it — or find someone who already has, legalities aside.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, couldn’t resist celebrating the Beatles’ arrival on iTunes with an obvious quip.

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

In a press release, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison all gave the deal their blessings.

“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” Starr said.

Apple swapped out its home page design for a black and white image of the Beatles in silhouette.

Apple will also be running a series of minimalist television commercials that combine footage and photos of the band with classic songs such as “All You Need is Love” and “Let it Be.”

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