-- The Beatles may not be ready for iTunes, but another legend from the world of rock 'n' roll is diving deeper into the digital age.
A Sad Tune For iTunes
First, the latest from the Fab Four: Sir Paul McCartney revealed this week that talks to bring the Beatles' catalog to iTunes had "stalled," according to an interview with the Associated Press. The band had been working on moving its music into the realm of digital sales for years, with various business conflicts continually holding up the process.
The Beatles did take one step forward with the announcement of a Rock Band-style interactive video game in October -- which will debut in late 2009 and will feature much of the group's music -- but for now, it looks like a full digital collection is still far from becoming a reality.
A Digital Dream
Now, onto the good news: Led Zeppelin is releasing a series of rare bootleg videos and 16mm concert films onto the Internet. The band, which has been the focus of a steady stream of reunion rumors recently, is starting to post new concert clips onto its official YouTube channel. Some are calling it a "sign of renewed activity within the Zeppelin camp," hoping the clips will add credit to the idea of a 2009 tour.
As you'll see below, the quality isn't always the best, but this stuff is a bootlegger's dream. The actual concert footage starts about 2:30 into the clip.
Zeppelin, of course, has long been infamous for its strict stance against bootlegging, so the band's willingness not only to allow but also to directly provide hard-to-find clips marks a significant shift. Just last year, the group fought to remove illegal clips of its reunion concert from YouTube. And it was only last November that the band even began to offer its music for sale online.
So there may be no digital Beatles just yet, but there's at least some rare Zeppelin to hold us over. And hey, maybe the boys from Liverpool will work out the legal issues and get their tunes to iTunes soon. In the end, all they need is love. And a really good lawyer.