Wired's Leander Kahney points out that the recent Apple vs. Apple (Inc. vs. Corps) settlement clears the way for Apple to sell iPods preloaded with music. Until now, the prohibition to sell music in a physical form forced Apple Inc. to keep iPod and iTunes separate. (Well, relatively separate for a benificent vertical monopoly.)
The first preloaded iPod? Keahney writes:
First up will likely be the widely rumored Beatles special-edition Yellow Submarine iPod, tipped to be released in just over a week on Valentine's Day.
Beatles fans are hoping that the Fab Four's entire catalog, currently being remastered, will be available in uncompressed format. What better way to deliver it than preloaded onto an iPod, instead of forcing fans to download gigabytes of data from iTunes?
It would be sacrilege to any true Beatles fan to abandon the physical form in which those albums appeared -- and I hope and am praying to Jesus that the remastered rereleases bring a similar restoration to the original album art as well. But a dedicated Beatles iPod with lossless mp3s of the entire catalog, that looks like a Yellow Submarine? I just might dig deep into these shallow grad-student pockets and do what the music industry's been demanding that we all do without anything close to a comparable addition in musical or experiential value: spring for both.