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Apple readies iTunes for Beatles juice, says report

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Apple is making an announcement about its iTunes music service later today, which has led to frenzied speculation about what fanbois can expect to hear from the Jobsian outfit.

Chief among the rumours is that the company will finally be releasing the Beatles’ back catalogue via its iTunes store, which we are quite sure we rightly channelled through Yoko Ono via the wonders of Twitter just yesterday.

It’s hardly surprising to see the Beatles-on-iTunes claim rise again, given that it’s a timeless classic in the world of tech reporting.

Ever since Apple birthed iTunes, the service has been bereft of the Fab Four, in part due to a long-running trademark battle between the Steve Jobs-run firm and the Beatles' old record label Apple. That was finally settled in 2007, since when rumours have continuously circulated suggesting that the band’s music will finally hit iTunes.

But it hasn’t happened – yet.

Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple’s iTunes store will indeed begin flogging Beatles’ tunes at some point in the near future.

The newspaper cites “people familiar with the situation”, and said a deal was supposedly agreed just last week between Apple and EMI Group Ltd, which is the Beatles current record label.

Neither company have confirmed that such a meeting took place, and the WSJ warned that the agreement might not stick.

Then cut to Apple’s teaser on its website’s homepage yesterday about an iTunes announcement today “that is just another day. That you’ll never forget” and, well, you get the picture.

However, the Beatles iTunes hype isn’t the only rumour doing the rounds today. There have been suggestions that Apple is about to unveil a new cloud-based service, or that it could start streaming music, even though the company doesn’t have a licensing deal in place.

Even Lord Alan “You’re Fired” Sugar has been speculating on Twitter about Apple’s announcement.

“Beatles now agreed their music to go on iTUNES maybe has something to do with the 50 year copyright running out on some of the songs,” he sagely pondered.

Who knows or even really cares? Either way, check back later when we’ll have the official word on what’s hit iTunes. ®

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