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Nicolas Niarchos Headshot

Why Study? Beatles and iTunes Make for Procrastinator's Dream

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Mornings in New Haven have been getting colder and colder, and because of this, and the fact that my house's heating system seems to turn off before I go to bed, I've resorted to performing my homework under the covers. Unfortunately, I haven't found a soundtrack to those early hours, and as I blearily check my email, anything I put on just seems to be too harsh. But luckily, this morning, as apple.com started loading, the answer was only a couple of clicks away.

That's right -- anyone who's been on apple.com (the default page for apple's Safari browser) will know that the Beatles are now on iTunes. With glee, I forgot Keats's Hyperion beckoning from my bedside table and started to click away. By the time my late capitalist shopping frenzy had ended, I was down a couple of dollars, but up a few epic tracks. Soon, the ordinary morning in New Haven had become a whirlwind tour of my childhood and early teens; walks in the English countryside, my fascination with the Cold War and, of course, the epic images from the feature-documentary series "The Beatles Anthology" (which I watched over and over again as a child) all melted into one long reverie.

Now I'm the first person to say music sounds better on vinyl or even CD, but the fact is that I've now got some of my favorite songs on my computer. The whole Michael-Jackson-not-wanting-them-to-go-on iTunes thing was kind of annoying anyhow, and probably made sure that a lot of people don't listen to The Beatles on their iPod. For better or for worse, people will now be able to listen to the Fab Four wherever they want without having to go to the hassle of illegally ripping them from CDs (like George W. Bush!) or the internet.

And that's a good thing, for one huge, main, basic reason. In Sliding Doors (1998), John Hannah's character remarks to Gwyneth Paltrow, "Everybody's born knowing all The Beatles lyrics instinctively. They're passed into the fetus subconsciously along with all the amniotic stuff. Fact, they should be called 'The Fetals'." So it's pretty embarrassing when you forget the lyrics to one of them. And I have to admit that's been happening more and more to me ever since I started listening to music on iTunes. So, to all the people out there who've been hating on Apple today and saying the release was underwhelming, you can criticize iPods, you can criticize iTunes, but you can never criticize The Beatles. And for that reason, we have to have them on our iPods.