SpiralFrog, the free music service viewed (by some) as the last best hope for the struggling music business, yesterday announced a distribution deal with BMI. The song publisher will make their entire catalog available for ad-supported free download in WMA protected format. The catalog comprises nearly half of all recorded music, including the entire Beatles discography, a fact that induces much irrational exhuberence at Wired Magazine:
The irony of The Beatles refusing all online music stores but accepting (or being forced to accept) this free, ad-based service is a little much. I have a call and email in to SpiralFrog to confirm that The Beatles are included in this deal. I have to assume they are, but I just can’t believe it, so I need to make sure. More on this soon.
Not so fast. No word yet on whether Neil Aspinall got back to Wired, but rest assured that the Fab Four’s Luddite stance won’t be changed by this deal. There’s rumors afoot that the recent “Love” songscape could be made available to Apple (the computer company) iTunes, and reports of Steve Jobs using his reservoirs of charm on all interested parties to bring that to bear.
I don’t think Beatles product is going to be digitized until Apple (the music company) is damn good and ready. It will happen when the audio quality is there and not a day sooner – at least that’s what Aspinall said in court earlier this year.