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Steve Jobs no longer Eggman as Beatles hits iTunes

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It's official: Apple has finally added the Beatles' back catalogue to its iTunes music service.

Cupertino said that from today the band's 13 studio albums including Please Please Me, White Album and Rubber Soul are now available via iTunes.

Additionally, Apple fans can also buy the Beatles' two-volume Past Masters and Red and Blue collections as either albums or individual songs through the company's popular music download service.

Unsurprisingly, Apple has also bagged an exclusive deal with EMI Music Group, by punting a special digital Beatles Box Set that features the Liverpool group's first ever US concert in 1964 and contains the 13 studio albums, plus other goodies and will cost £125 ($149) a pop.

The Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964 film can be streamed and viewed through iTunes for free by people buying Beatles' music until the end of 2010.

That's a move which perhaps hints at where Apple is heading with its music service down the line. Once it gets its licensing house in order, that is.

Sir Paul McCartney said he was "excited" about the Beatles' music finally hitting iTunes, while the band's drummer exclaimed: "At last, if you want it — you can get it now — The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”

To continue the love-in theme, Apple boss Steve Jobs waded in to gush “We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes," before adding a well-worn pun about the delay. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realising a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes 10 years ago.”

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono also felt the occasion was a "joyful" one, while George Harrison's widow kept it short and sweet:

“The Beatles on iTunes — Bravo!”

Apple said that each album included "iTunes LPs, which create an immersive album experience with a beautiful design and expanded visual features including a unique mini-documentary about the creation of each album."

At the business end, punters buying Beatles' music via the iTunes store can expect to pony up £10.99 ($12.99) for single albums, £17.99 ($19.99) for double albums and 99 pence ($1.29) for individual songs from the Fab Four. ®

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