Beatles: only on iPod via iTunes?

The whole article is here, but I am going excerpt from it.

Yes, the long rumoured move is about nigh! The Beatles come to your iPod. And that may prompt me to buy another iPod. I had one, you know, and then I sold it on eBay. Well, you’ve all seen the cool black U2 iPod. Can you imagine the funky Yellow Submarine coloured iPod with some Beatles logos on it? Yes, I’m sitting a pool of drool.

NEW YORK (Fortune) — Click on the iTunes music store and punch in “Beatles” under artist search. More than 50 albums will pop up, including Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play the Beatles, but none are the real deal. But that may be about to change. While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online.

Apple Computer is said to be angling to become the exclusive online music store for the Beatles for a limited window of time. Other music stores, have courted the Beatles over the years to no avail, but it appears Apple is close to getting first dibs on the band’s hits.

If the deal goes through, it will mark a Nixon-Brezhnev-worthy truce – with the band’s record label, Britain’s EMI Group, serving as a peacemaker – between Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs and Neil Aspinall, the one-time Beatles road manager who is now guardian of the band’s business interests under Apple Corps.

At a recent industry conference, David Munns, head of EMI North America, said the Beatles would be available online “soon.” The parties were hoping to make a splashy announcement to coincide with the Nov. 21 release of “Love,” a mashup of Beatles songs that serves as a soundtrack to a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil production. That didn’t happen.

According to a music industry executive apprised of the talks, the parties were discussing how lengthy a window of exclusivity iTunes might get and how many tens of millions of dollars Jobs – who is said to be personally involved in the discussions – will commit to an advance for the band and marketing costs.

Also being discussed is whether the band would be willing to take two steps at the same time and endorse the iPod by allowing its music to be used in a commercial. Another scenario making the rounds is the prospect of the Beatles following U2’s example with a branded iPod. “If the Beatles were in an iPod ad, that would be humongous,” this executive said.

The deal could well fall apart for any number of reasons, including the long-running legal feud between Apple Corps and Apple Computer over both their names and the similarities between the Granny Smith that appears on the label’s LPs and the half-eaten apple that is Jobs’ corporate logo. “The Beatles’ position is that they don’t sing jingles to peddle sneakers, beer, pantyhose, or anything else,” a lawyer for the band told the Associated Press at the time. Notice he didn’t say iPods.

This is enormous news. It’ll kill that damn Zune right out of the door. Happily, the Zune is getting pretty bad reviews from all facets of the press because it’s bulky, counter-intuitive, and worse — what do they expect from the twits at Microsoft, after all they produced Windows. If you own Apple stock, I wouldn’t sell it just now. I think you’ll see a huge jump.

One of the most famous bands of all-time, a group that changed the course of not only music history, but arguably human history — coming to the iTunes store and your iPod. I’m hoping this works out — even if it just ends those damn interminable lawsuits Apple Corps (Music) has been flinging at Apple Corp (Computers).

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