Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again


The Beatles' clash with Apple ran for almost 30 years.
Photo: Apple Corps

Mar30 March 30, 2006: A court case begins that once again pits Apple Computer against Apple Corps, aka The Beatles’ record label and holding company.

Capping a long-running legal battle between the two wealthy companies, the U.K.’s High Court of Justice will ultimately hand down a verdict in the tech giant’s favor. It’s the final fight in an epic legal battle over music, technology and money.

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact



Editor’s note: This weekend was the 15th anniversary of the iPod, the humble digital music player that reshaped Apple.

To mark the occasssion, Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22 2011.

An Illustrated History of the iPod

The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

Apple Music playlist highlights 40 songs from 40 years of ads


Apple Music is ugly and hard to use.
Apple Music is ugly and hard to use.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Festivities for Apple’s 40th birthday have spilled over onto Apple Music this week, with an all-new playlist that celebrates songs from the company’s iconic ads over the years.

The 40-song playlist spotlights some of the best tunes of the present and the past. It’s available to all Apple Music subscribers, and includes hits from The Beatles, Rolling Stone, Eminem, Adele, Daft Punk, Lauryn Hill, Coldyplay, U2 and Bob Dylan.

Check out the full track list:

Bill Gates says Beatles song perfectly explains relationship with Jobs


Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rivals and friends.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rivals and friends.
Photo: AllThingsD

Bill Gates has a song in his heart for the late Steve Jobs. Yes, they were fierce rivals as they pioneered products that revolutionized personal computing, but the competition mellowed into a good friendship.

So when Gates, in an interview on BBC show Desert Island Discs, was asked to choose eight songs and why they are meaningful to him, he had one picked out for Jobs — “Two of Us” by The Beatles.

You’ll soon be able to listen to The Beatles on Apple Music and Google Play


The Fab Four are coming to streaming music services everywhere.
Photo: The Beatles

Forget The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles are coming to Apple Music, Google Play, and a variety of other online streaming music services — and just in time for Christmas, too.

Starting Christmas Eve, the Fab Four will be available for your listening pleasure on Apple Music, Spotify, Slacker, Tidal, Microsoft’s Groove, Rhapsody, Deezer, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.

Apple’s New Ad Is An Animated Magical Mystery Tour Of The Beatles [Video]



Late last week, Apple uploaded this fantastic new ad to their official YouTube account, and it really is a beautiful piece of work: a magical mystery tour through a collection of living, breathing Beatles covers.

It’s really charming how proud Apple is of getting the Beatles on iTunes, to the extent that over a year later, Apple is still advertising the Beatles as if they are one of their own in-house products, like an iPhone or iPad.

The Flaming Lips Will Cover The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ as Tribute to Steve Jobs



Steve Jobs was a massive fan of English rock band The Beatles, and once revealed in an interview for 60 Minutes that his business plan was inspired by the group. To honor Steve’s life and his achievements, The Flaming Lips will provide a special performance at the O Music Awards on October 31 where they will perform a cover of The Beatles‘ “Revolution”.

Why The Beatles on iTunes Is a Big Deal



It seems like everyone except Steve Jobs was underwhelmed by the Beatles on iTunes announcement today.

The reaction here, on other blogs, and on Twitter was unanimous: Who cares?

Most Beatles fans have already bought the CDs and added them to iTunes. The music is 40-50 years old. Half the band is dead.

Perhaps Apple overplayed it a bit, announcing that this was a day we’d never forget. Then it turned over the homepage, iTunes and Ping to The Beatles. There’s even four TV ads. Overkill? Maybe.

But seen from Steve Jobs’ point of view it is gotta be a big deal. Symbolically, at least. This is the day iTunes triumphed over the old music industry. It marks the complete obsolecence of the old distribution system and the triumph of the new.

The Beatles catalog was one of the last trump cards held by the old music industry. Giving it up is an admission that iTunes has prevailed. Music is fully digital, and there’s no going back. The other holdouts — AC/DC, Led Zeppelin Garth Brooks (CNet has a list here) — must surely follow.

Jobs has been working on this for seven years or more. To him, it’s a massive validation. Like he says, a day that won’t be forgotten.