The Beatles' music finally available to download on iTunes

'It has been a long and winding road to get here,' says Steve Jobs

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The Beatles' back catalogue has become available on iTunes for the first time today (November 16).

All 13 albums by the band, along with their officially-released compilations plus assorted live footage, have been added to the download service, making it the first time their music has been legally available to download.

Paul McCartney praised the deal, saying: "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."

Yoko Ono said she thought it "so appropriate that we are doing this on John [Lennon]'s 70th birthday year," while George Harrison's widow Olivia said: "The Beatles on iTunes – bravo!"

Ringo Starr referenced the lengthy time it has taken for The Beatles' music to appear on the service. "I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when The Beatles are coming to iTunes," he said. "At last, if you want it - you can get it now – The Beatles from Liverpool to now!"

The deal is thought to bring to an end the dispute between iTunes' parent company Apple Inc, The Beatles' Apple Corps and their record label EMI. The two Apple companies have traded lawsuits over each other's brand name and logo use since 1978.

Steve Jobs, Apple Inc's CEO, said: "It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to The Beatles and EMI, we are now realising a dream we've had since we launched iTunes 10 years ago."

Songs have been priced at 99p individually, and fans can buy The Beatles' entire back catalogue for £125.

The news marks the end of years of negotiations between EMI and Apple Inc. Earlier this year Paul McCartney suggested it was EMI's fault for the delay, saying there were "all sorts of reasons" why chiefs at the company were reluctant to sign a deal.

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