Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Beatles Remastered Albums - Box Set Vs USB Apple

By James Magary

2009 has been a very active year for the Beatles, despite the fact they have been broken up for over 30 years. Following the release of Beatles Rock Band and the remastered Box Set collections, soon 30,000 fans will be fighting for the chance to buy the Beatles USB Apple which comes out on December 8th.

This is a limited edition "box set" in the form of a green aluminum apple, which has a removable USB drive containing all the same music as in the stereo box set. Either the box set or the USB will give you a comprehensive Beatles collection, but the much smaller USB package actually has much more in it.

The music on the Beatles USB Apple is the same as the stereo box set in terms of the albums and songs that are included. It has the stereo mixes of all the major studio releases from the Beatles career, including the classic albums you would expect. Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (White Album), Abbey Road, and Let it Be are all included here, as well as the early albums. All the hits and B-sides that were not included on a regular Beatles album, like "Hey Jude" and "Revolution", are also part of this set.

The key advantage of the USB version is that it contains all of this music in two formats, neither of which is used on the CD releases or the box set CDs. The first is high-quality FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit format sound files, which are a step up from 16 bit CD quality, so audiophiles who think that CDs are too "cold" sounding can finally get their Beatles fix in a format that caters to them.

Second, if you buy the Beatles USB Apple instead of the box set you will get mp3 versions of the tunes, in a high-quality 320kbps format, and they are DRM-free, unlike most iTunes mp3s. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management which places access restrictions on the content, so it's better not to have it. This is a significant release, as it represents the first time that the Beatles have decided to release any of their music in mp3 format.

To this day you still cannot buy the Beatles tunes on iTunes or other download sites that sell mp3s, but you can get them all on the Beatles USB Apple, and transfer them to your iPod from there. The final temptation of the Beatles USB Apple is that as of now, there are only going to be 30,000 of them for sale, so they will probably be hot collectors items.

If you don't use CDs anymore, or you are an audiophile, and you are looking to get the whole Beatles collection at once, the Beatles USB Apple is a great option, especially since it has the USB functionality plus higher quality music files vs the CD formats. All the visual materials, including album artwork, expanded liner notes, and a 13-minute documentary film are also on the Beatles USB Apple, so there is really nothing missing vs the box sets, except for those pesky CDs.

To learn more, or to buy the Beatles USB Apple click here:

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