The music industry has been waiting for years for see when The Beatles would release their catalog to online music services…and many thought a deal was imminent when the Beatles agreed to go digital with The Beatles Rock Band. Now Apple Corps and record label EMI have announced another digital Beatles release, but it’s not bringing the Fab Four to iTunes or any other online music service: instead, fans will be able to snap up one of 30,000 limited-edition Beatles USB drives, featuring the digitally remastered Beatles catalog plus a bunch of extras.
The 16 GB drives will carry the digitally remastered Beatles catalog in both 24-bit FLAC 44.1 KHz and 320 Kbps MP3 format; the drives will also feature 13 mini documentaries about the Beatles’ albums, images of original UK album art, and expanded liner notes. And, even better, the entire drive is shaped like the green Apple Corps logo.
Pre-orders will be available from The Beatles’ online store soon…but it’s definitely one of those items where if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. To be one of 30,000 people to have the Beatles’ catalog on a USB drive, you’ll pay a cool £200—that’s about $330 USD. That’s about $50 more than the CD version of the digitally remastered Beatles catalog.
The drives launch December 7 in the United Kingdom, and December 8 in the United States.