NPR logo Happiness Is A Digital Download: At Long Last, The Beatles Come To iTunes

Happiness Is A Digital Download: At Long Last, The Beatles Come To iTunes

The Beatles rehearse for that night's Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in November 1963.  Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

They have been one of the last digital hold outs. For years, and for reasons no one, not even Sir Paul McCartney, could truly articulate, the Beatles catalog had remained in the world of CDs and LPs and locked away from the world of legal digital downloads.

Well, no more. Apple anounced Tuesday that the whole Beatles catalog — from a Hard Day's Night to Revolver to Let It Be — will be available on iTunes immediately.

The announcement was made on the company's website with a huge picture of the Fab 4.

"The Beatles," it read. "Now on iTunes."

The announcement has been unsurprisingly met with loud cheers.

Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair sighed with relief that this was not yet another product announcement Apple is sure you'll love:

Instead, it is simply a promise to provide access to something we know we already adore.

The Telegraph says the Beatles on iTunes will make others rethink their digital positions. AC/DC, for example, has kept their albums off the service, because they're ideologically opposed to selling singles:

"We don't make singles, we make albums," says AC/DC's guitarist Angus Young. "If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album - and we don't think that represents us musically".

The paper says this Beatles deal puts Apple in a strong position to attract reluctant acts:

The recession has cut deep into music sales and the fear of losing out on the considerable iTunes revenue stream may yet see AC/DC and Garth Brooks become begrudging iTunes participants.