Having finally struck a deal to make the music of The Beatles available to its online consumers, iTunes today announced the addition of another longtime digital holdout. “We’re excited to announce that the entire catalog of Garth Brooks will be available on iTunes beginning next week,” said Apple CEO ‘Cowboy’ Steve Jobs.
Brooks, who had previously gone on record as saying that iTunes was “killing music,” was forced to reconsider when a Taylor Swift song he really, really wanted to hear was made available exclusively through the online service. “I guess maybe it isn’t so bad,” offered the portly superstar, bobbing his head to a live acoustic version of “Sparks Fly.”
Still, most of Garth’s objections to a la carte downloading, inflexible pricing, and digital distribution remain, so the singer has established some safeguards to protect his interests as he enters the wild unknown of online music. As with Brooks’ Vegas concerts, stringent guidelines have been put in place to ensure equal access to the new catalog additions and prevent scalping of his songs.
1. Those interested in purchasing Garth Brooks music on iTunes must meet at the corner of 14th Avenue and Jefferson Street in Poughkeepsie, New York, between the hours of 2pm and 3pm on Wednesday, November 24.
2. If you mispronounce Poughkeepsie, you will be immediately sent home.
3. Remaining prospective consumers will be led to an undisclosed location set up as a computer lab, where a specially branded version of the iTunes program will already be open and displayed on each screen.
4. Prospective consumers must enter their full name, phone number, mailing address, Social Security number, and various other personal information in the corresponding fields and tick the checkbox asserting “I agree that I will not let anyone else hear my purchased copies of this music or utter the name ‘Garth Brooks’ in conversation without prior written approval from Mr. Brooks or his legal representatives.”
5. Having registered your intent to purchase, you will be placed in a holding cell for up to 72 hours while Brooks’ team runs exhaustive background checks, including talking to your old high school flames and thoroughly investigating any clubs or associations (e.g. AHBA) to which you have ever belonged.
6. If approved, you will be able to claim one (1) set of earbuds and proceed to a different computer lab, where you will be allowed to enter your credit card information and purchase any tracks you desire for $1.50 apiece. Note that these tracks may only be downloaded once, to the lab computer. You may not burn or transfer them, and you agree to have your credit card charged again, possibly repeatedly, should Garth ever be running low on jet fuel.
“I’m trying to make this as easy as possible for fans while still making it worth my while. There are a couple hoops to jump through, but only because I need to be absolutely sure that I won’t lose a penny on this deal,” said the singer, whose albums can alternately be had for $2 apiece at virtually all used record stores nationwide.
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