AC/DC ends iTunes holdout

acdc ends itunes holdoutFirst it was the Beatles. Then, Prince followed suit to the surprise of many. Now, it seems, AC/DC has also seen the light – or, perhaps, just the glow of potential new profits – and dropped its long-standing opposition to Apple’s iTunes, announcing that its back catalog will be added to the digital music service alongside a new live album.

According to a statement released by the band today, the band’s entire back catalog will be made available to fans via Apple’s digital music service in a variety of options. In addition to the traditional “Buy songs individually or buy the entire album” format, the catalogs will also be available in a couple of different multi-album packages: All 16 studio albums, from 1975’s High Voltage to 2008’s Black Ice, will be available as one collection, with another collection bringing together everything the band has released, including live albums and tracks from previous box set releases.

The announcement doesn’t offer any explanation for the band’s seeming change of heart regarding the Apple platform; in the past, the band has seemingly remained very fiercely against the idea of sharing its songs via iTunes, and digital distribution in general. The band’s last album release, Black Ice, was a WalMart-exclusive release in large part, the band’s Angus Young said at the time, because he considered that option “the best alternative to iTunes.” As recently as last year, Young was still apparently vehement in his distrust for the idea of buying music online, in large part because of the option it gave listeners to take songs out of their originally-intended context within an album. He told Sky News “I know the Beatles have changed [their minds] but we’re going to carry on like that. For us, it’s the best way” talking about the traditional album format. He continued, “We are a band who started off with albums and that’s how we’ve always been. We always were a band that, if you heard something on the radio, well, that’s only three minutes. Usually the best tracks were on the album.”

As the Guardian notes, such album-centric rhetoric is entirely absent from the official release announcing the iTunes catalog addition, replaced by commentary about the remastering of each album so that “the music is delivered to listeners with increased audio fidelity” that just so happens to “more closely [replicate] what the artists, recording engineers and producers intended.” Perhaps I’m missing out on some grand shift in what AC/DC stands for these days, but since when was the intentions of the recording engineers and audio fidelity more important to an AC/DC record than… well, how hard it rocked, for want of a better way to put it?  Clearly, this announcement is the band selling out in more ways than one.

Product Review

Party-proof and big on sound, this could be the perfect portable speaker

With better waterproofing, increased durability, and flashy new colorways, The Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 bests its predecessors, offering excellent sound and worry-free performance on the go.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2018

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? No worries. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? Don't sweat it. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.

Here are the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Genius gives Apple Music a brainy boost with new lyrics integration

Genius has announced its most in-depth partnership to date with Apple Music, bringing lyrics to the app as well as making it the default player for the Genius mobile app and website.

A wealth of rich tunes: Cash in with the best songs about money

There may not be as many songs about money as there are songs about love, but it's a close second. If you're looking for a skrilla-inspired playlist, check out our picks for the best songs about money.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.

From 'E.T." to 'Lord of the Rings,' these are the best movie soundtracks ever

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.

The best new music this week: Kurt Vile, Valley Maker, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases. On tap this week: Kurt Vile, Valley Maker, Broncho, The Dodos, Colter Wall, and Ambrose Akinmusire.

Amy Winehouse is coming back as a ‘hologram’ for a 2019 world tour

Amy Winehouse is set for a holographic return to the stage in 2019 in a global tour featuring her greatest hits, though how fans of the late singer feel about the "comeback" is another question entirely.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.
Home Theater

Make your vinyl collection really shine with one of the best phono preamps

Whether you're looking for a quick fix to set up your first turntable or a long-term audio upgrade for higher-quality sound, here are the best phono preamps you can buy that won't empty out your wallet.