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Apple's musical revolution

Misha Pearlman | Feb. 26, 2013
Despite persistent claims to the contrary, the album isn't dead -- yet. Adele has sold more than 25 million copies of her second full-length recording, 21, since it was released in January 2011, while back in September, hoedown-loving folksters Mumford & Sons shifted some 600,000 units of their second record, Babel, in its first week.

5 Musicians' apps worth downloading

Blur -- The Blur App (free) - After more than two decades together, Blur have a lot of lot of history behind them. Now you can hold the bulk of it in the palm of your hand. For free. Modern life's not so rubbish after all, is it? The app promises interviews, demos, remixes and archive performances.

Björk -- Biophilia (£8.99) - The mother of all band apps, this is one of music's most innovative artists using the most innovative technology in the most innovative way. Suffice to say, there's a hefty price tag (for an app), but it's worth it -- as much for a sign of what's to come as for the app itself.

The Rolling Stones -- The Rolling Stones Official App (free) - Given the iconic band have been around five times as long as the first ever iPod, their adoption of new technology is as impressive and surprising as their longevity. The app offers video content and the chance to vote songs into the band's set lists.

Nine Inch Nails -- nin: access (free) - Trent Reznor and co's official app gives fans a community through which they can interact with each other, as well as gain access to music, videos and image -- hence the app's name, presumably -- and keep up with news and blogs from the band.

T-Pain -- I Am T-Pain (£1.99) - The American rapper's music might not be to everyone's taste, but his app -- which lets fans sing along to his songs and have their voices Auto-Tuned -- is the epitome of interaction.

The iTunes hold-outs

Better late...

Not every musician has eagerly embraced Apple's new digital music ecosystem. Here are some notable long-term refuseniks.

The Beatles: joined iTunes in November 2010

Despite Steve Jobs' well-known admiration, the biggest band of the 20th century could not be found on iTunes until 2010. Shortly after Apple's inception, the similarly named Apple Corps (the Beatles' own business venture) sued it for trademark infringement. The firms settled a few years later, with Apple agreeing to stay out of the music business, but when Apple launched a Mac that could synthesise music (in 1989), Apple Corps sued once again.

"We love the Beatles and are honoured to welcome them to iTunes," a relieved Jobs said when the mess was finally cleared up.

AC/DC: November 2012

For many people, the Beatles' arrival in iTunes sealed the deal -- the iTunes Store was the place to find all the digital music you desired. "Not so," said others. "For iTunes to rock, it must have AC/DC." They had to wait another two years.


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