Unboxing The Beatles Limited Edition Stereo USB

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Unboxing The Beatles Limited Edition Stereo USB

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The Beatles USB, containing all of the recently remastered albums, is the coolest thing to be made into the shape of an apple.

The USB drive contains all 14 of the band's studio albums, including both FLAC format and a 320 kbps mp3s. It is the same material that was released on the CDs this fall, but in a much more convenient delivery system. The FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit files are actually better than CD quality. Only 30,000 of the limited edition drives were made and they are currently sold out, which is no small feat at $279 a pop. The drive rests in a small cast iron apple about 2.5" in diameter. Pulling on the stem of the apple release the USB drive, and setting it into its slot provides an oddly satisfying click as magnets latch on to hold the drive in place. The apple stands for Apple Records, which was established by the Fab Four in 1968.

While The Beatles music isn't yet available for download on iTunes or Amazon, it is a good sign that they are embracing digital distribution like this USB drive and The Beatles: Rock Band. Perhaps more is to come.

The Escapist's own Greg Lincoln received his Beatles USB drive over the weekend and was impressed with the overall package. "When I bought it, I thought it would come in a cheap plastic thing," he said. "But opening it up, I was impressed with the cast metal design. It will look great in a curio cabinet or something."

Check out the photos of his unboxing in the pictures below.

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If I knew about this before I may have been one of the 30,000.

Holy crap, I really want one O.o are they making more/how much is it???

I'd expect a little bit more bang for your buck. I mean, $280 for a usb stick with some songs on them? You could download your ass of in the Istorethingey (sorry, no Ipod owner) for that kind of money!

I would love for someone to not be paying attention and try take a bite out of it, lol

Reeper0278:
If I knew about this before I may have been one of the 30,000.

Simalacrum:
Holy crap, I really want one O.o are they making more/how much is it???

It looks like Amazon still has some in stock at $230. I doubt they'll have them for too long though.

Virgil:

Reeper0278:
If I knew about this before I may have been one of the 30,000.

Simalacrum:
Holy crap, I really want one O.o are they making more/how much is it???

It looks like Amazon still has some in stock at $230. I doubt they'll have them for too long though.

On to begging my parents for money!

What's the big deal with packaging. Ooo, it's so impressive that they spent so much work designing something you will throw out once you buy it. I remember when I bought my iPod a few years ago, an iPod that was since stolen, and remember the packaging which I didn't throw out because I thought it might have a purpose...turns out, no. It was completely useless and I really think they should have spent less energy on the packaging and more energy making the iPod not shit.

Virgil:

Reeper0278:
If I knew about this before I may have been one of the 30,000.

Simalacrum:
Holy crap, I really want one O.o are they making more/how much is it???

It looks like Amazon still has some in stock at $230. I doubt they'll have them for too long though.

2 HUNDRED and...?!

...

dammit!

wouldn't it have been cheaper to just buy a 20$ usb drive, shove it into an apple, write "the beatles!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111oneoneone" on it and download everything off of limewire?
just saying...

JRShield:
I'd expect a little bit more bang for your buck. I mean, $280 for a usb stick with some songs on them? You could download your ass of in the Istorethingey (sorry, no Ipod owner) for that kind of money!

14 albums in greater-than-CD-quality format. Albums. Plus all album art, photos and liner notes. Some documentary footage on there, too. The apple is cast-iron so can be used for home defense in an emergency (seriously, it's heavier than it looks).

armageddon74400:
wouldn't it have been cheaper to just buy a 20$ usb drive, shove it into an apple, write "the beatles!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111oneoneone" on it and download everything off of limewire?
just saying...

You're new here, so you might have missed[1] how we're not fans of promoting illegal activities.

You could put your legally acquired music on a USB drive and shove it into a plastic apple if you wanted. Some people might like to cook up a nice homemade meal, others will be fine with E-Z Cheez on Saltines.

I'm not even a huge Beatles fan, but that's just tempting.
14 Albums for $230 is a bit expensive these days, but throw in the FLAC files and collectability, and that's not bad at all.

For Ģ10 and a solid night of internet, I'll get you the same thing.

I could even make a paper mache apple to keep the usb in if you really want.

Oh dear lord I do ever so want this.

So that's what those little boxes are. A lot of stores have stacks (by which I mean JESUS CHRIST LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT THING! sized stacks) of the box sets, both stereo and mono, which I of course wanted but I ended up just buying the individual CDs when the first run sold out. Put them in that Beatles Box of Vision I did. Then I kept seeing these little boxes on top of the stacks, but I couldn't figure out what the hell they would be.

That's a cool little package, if you want the whole thing in one shot (and FLAC, very nice). Takes up much less room, everything is there, and it's a nifty little thing to show off.

Kinda wish I'd held out for this. Alas, she is not in the budget.

What could have been.

Yellow Submarine rocks.

People don't seem to understand the appeal of this. One, these are the newest digital masters, the highest quality ever made of the Beatles material from the original mixes. Two, they are professionally encoded right from the digital source. Three, none of the material is available for purchase digitally except in this format. So this offers the absolute highest quality digital "pressing" - the best source via the best transfer - and in a convenient, well packaged and legal format. If you were to obtain copies from the internet they would suffer by comparison because One: they would be from older masters made using dated technologies and/or inferior methods; Two: they would be transfered from a CD and encoded on a home computer, most likely using inferior software (very likely ripped using the horrible iTunes encoder); and Three: they would be illegal pirated copies.

This apple, as well as the over-wrought iPod packaging that Black Widower mentioned, are a mark of quality and confidence that the brands have built into the product. Yea, I don't care for fancy packaging either - but it does send a message that the company cares about the product to want to present it as best they can. Also, this being a box-set type of offer, the packaging and extra incentives like lyrics and artwork are an added value on-top of the music which is EASILY worth the asking price. 14 albums, estimate 11 tracks per album, for 154 songs. Multiply that times two because you get a portable MP3 and a studio-quality FLAC of each track, for 308 tracks. Based on the music alone, you pay:
$280 total / 308 tracks = ~$0.91 per track. 8.1% cheaper than iTunes, with both tracks encoded at considerably higher quality, and all of the added value of artwork and packaging.

TL;DR = I WANT THIS SO BAD

Is this the future of hard media music distribution? I've never heard of anything like this before.

Seems interesting though.

What's the total file size, and how much can the USB hold? Sounds like it would have to be around 15 gigs to me... the Beatles had a ton of songs.

Wicked cool man! Now I'm jealous...

JRShield:
I'd expect a little bit more bang for your buck. I mean, $280 for a usb stick with some songs on them? You could download your ass of in the Istorethingey (sorry, no Ipod owner) for that kind of money!

I won't tear your post asunder, seeing as you're not an iPod owner, but just so as you know the Beatles songs were never officially released as digital downloads until they released the DLC for Beatles Rock Band (illegal methods notwithstanding), and that's only a small amount of the Beatles' catalogue so far. As most people have already said, this represents the entire catalogue of one of the greatest bands of all time in digitally enhanced quality, in a relatively new format for the Beatles music in general, presented as a quality collector's piece. $280's a bargain, and I want one.

cool lil thing for a beatles fan

Eh, I'd like it better if it didn't look like an apple... how about... a Yellow Submarine?

300lb. Samoan:
TL;DR = I WANT THIS SO BAD

Ah, someone else who understands the sheer awesomeness of this. This is not something that a torrent of 192kbps files should even be mentioned in the same sentence as (and I apologize for having to do so). This is a little USB apple of sheer concentrated awesomeness.

Man that is actually super neat.

WanderFreak:

300lb. Samoan:
TL;DR = I WANT THIS SO BAD

Ah, someone else who understands the sheer awesomeness of this. This is not something that a torrent of 192kbps files should even be mentioned in the same sentence as (and I apologize for having to do so). This is a little USB apple of sheer concentrated awesomeness.

Totally. I bet we start seeing audiophile labels offering this sort of thing for a lot of new products, not packaged in an apple but on a flash drive contained in a uniform package. Audiophiles really appreciate getting their hands on physical product just as much as they like their super-high-quality gear and recordings. This seems like the best of both worlds. Flash drives could very well be the most practical means of distributing 24/192 DTS and Dolby recordings, unless a Blu-Ray audio format really takes off. I doubt it will, considering how well DVD-Audio did.

Gormourn:
Eh, I'd like it better if it didn't look like an apple... how about... a Yellow Submarine?

Nice, I see what you did there.

ADD. to the above:

FINALLY!

A Label sees that Lossless formats are the future.
and the Artbooks etc. give you a real reason to buy.

Although I will not buy this, because I donīt like Beatles but thatīs not the point here.
It's the Signal to the industry that counts.

Feeding the crowed with low quality mp3 will hopefully come to an end soon.
I only buy CDs and they end up as Lossless Format on my Hard Disk.
I would glady throw my money at iTunes or whatever IF they give me Lossless Formats.
44Khz is acceptable, FLAC/ 24 bit is sweet!!!!

GOGOGO!!!

"The FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit files are actually better than CD quality."

Since 24-bits @ 44.1 KHz IS the current standard, I am having trouble understanding how they are better than CDs. That being said, MAJOR props to them for not being content with Apple raping everyone's ears.(Yes, 192 Kbps is ear rape, and everyone who is content with that is deaf, stupid, or both)

I do hope this signals a change in the industry's treatment of the digital format, but I doubt it. Why take the extra time to encode tracks at higher quality and purchase 5 times the bandwidth when people are just as likely to purchase the lower quality crap.

Elementlmage:
"The FLAC 44.1 Khz 24 bit files are actually better than CD quality."

Since 24-bits @ 44.1 KHz IS the current standard, I am having trouble understanding how they are better than CDs. That being said, MAJOR props to them for not being content with Apple raping everyone's ears.(Yes, 192 Kbps is ear rape, and everyone who is content with that is deaf, stupid, or both)

I do hope this signals a change in the industry's treatment of the digital format, but I doubt it. Why take the extra time to encode tracks at higher quality and purchase 5 times the bandwidth when people are just as likely to purchase the lower quality crap.

Relax buddy, not everyone is an audiophile.

A USB to distribute music? That is awesome for it's sheer novelty.

TsunamiWombat:
Relax buddy, not everyone is an audiophile.

A USB to distribute music? That is awesome for it's sheer novelty.

Oh yeah it is, My dad would love that. but it would not last long (technophobe) it would probably be eaten. >.>

$8,370,000 (at $279 a pop) for 30,000 of these things.

Wow. Even if production costs were $40 each for these (which I highly doubt) they would have made over $7m for them. Nice marketing.

hmmm... I never thought about USB keys used as distribution of music... thats actually a really good idea. Considering solid-state memory and all. Completely digital is still better, but for the people who just love having something physical... well, nothing better.

What about DRM, though? Or are the songs able to be taken off the USB and onto your HDD?

If I weren't completely penniless, I'd be snapping one of these up. It's incredibly priced - the CD boxset is Ģ180 here, which is about $290 to you lot.

As it happens, I've already got the entire Beatles discography - thanks Mum for being a teenager in the 60s and passing on the obsession to me as a child. I just want this because it's so lovely.

I WANT ONE!!!

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