Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beatles on a Stick

Looking for a Christmas gift for your favorite Minimalist/Beatles fan? EMI is releasing the entire re-mastered, 14-album Beatles collection in stereo on-- get this, on a flash drive this coming Dec. 8th. Yes. A flash drive. An Apple-shaped flash drive, to be exact.

Can this possibly be the same thing? Granted this is about as close to digital as EMI is going to allow the Beatles catalogue to get any time soon, but seriously, a flash drive? This feels wrong.

Obviously I still advocate the tangible album, be it cd or vinyl, but this is way beyond that. Album art in itself was integral to the outward signs of the band's growth. Meet the Beatles was miles away from the Revolver cover, and that's part of the experience of the band as a whole-- it's the progression. Digital tracks exist in a vacuum, I don't care how iTunes is starting to package digital liner notes. The Beatles on a flash drive are The Beatles without context.

Fortunately, only 30,000 flash drives will be made, so it will probably only be the die-hard Beatles fans who spring on it, but I don't think it bodes well.

I cringe to think that some 12-year-old kid's first experience with The Beatles would be getting handed a flash drive with everything already on it. No context, no collecting-- it's too easy. The rest of us had to wait for holidays and birthdays to get new albums. Or, if you're old enough, you had to wait for the band to release something new.

Is it not sweeter that way?


Matt Kraatz said...

I'd ideally prefer my music distributed in Popsicle form. Delicious.

Erin Carson said...

I always look forward to your comments.