Last week it was announced that the Beatles are finally releasing thier catalogue on remastered CDs. It was a curiously dated announcement. You have Depeche Mode announcing iTunes passes, Nine Inch Nails announcing iPhone apps, and the Beatles are being remastered on CD.
Odder still was the little detail missed by most of the world’s press, that the CDs will be coming with short Quicktime movies with making-of documentaries about each album.
This is, of course, a terrible idea. I think of my copy of All For Nothing/Nothing For All, a Replacements compilation from 1997 that features Quicktime movies of the film clips. The files on there are no longer supported by the current version of Quicktime. Or indeed the last few versions of quicktime.
They could have done great webisodes, or podcasts, or sellable downloads of these movies. Quicktime? In their flimsy defense, the box set of all the albums comes with the quicktime movies as one DVD.
Which all brings me to the point that someone out there, steering the wheel on the digital yellow submarine, is stuck in the past. Will they pay dearly? Hard to tell with the Beatles – they are such giants. But it’s a tragic mistake – in a long career of reissue mistakes.
Lets hope there is more too it, and the Beatles can actually make it exciting to be a Beatles fan in 2009, not 1997.