The Beatles' Apple vs Steve Jobs' Apple, part 2

The Audiophiliac ponders the hubbub about his Beatles on iTunes blog.

The one and only Beatles DVD-Audio release

A reader responding to my The Beatles on iTunes? Who Cares? rant came up with this great summation: "iTunes are to audio what McDonald's is to hamburgers, but if this is how the public wants to buy music, then let 'em have it." Right on! Sound quality doesn't matter anymore, just the so-called convenience of downloading 1s and 0s at the cheapest possible price, or better yet for free. Why buy the complete "Sgt Pepper" when you can just get "With A Little Help From My Friends"? That's where it's at.

If a remastered recording sounds "better," but no one can hear it, does it sound better? No, not really. I get the feeling that the remastered tag has just been reduced to a catchphrase, something to connote goodness. Hey, it's been remastered, so it's got to be better. Yeah right, maybe, maybe not. I think Apple did a lousy job on the Beatles "Let it Be... Naked" CD a few years ago.

It's curious, the Beatles' Apple's supposed "remastering" for low-fi iTunes was mentioned again and again by The Audiophiliac's readers, as if the new digitalization would reveal new sound from the old tunes over 128 K iToons. Puh-leeze! Yes, sure, maybe they'll also put out remastered CDs or DVD-Audio like Apple did with last year's Love release. Maybe we'll get multichannel, 5.1 Beatles on Blu-ray, sure, why not? Now that would be something. We audiophiles can dream, but the market will collectively yawn.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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