It has been a long and winding road but technology giant Apple announced Tuesday that its iTunes store has begun carrying music by The Beatles.

The agreement marks a positive turning point in the relationship between Apple and the owners of The Beatles' portfolio of internationally-adored songs, which had been withheld from the popular music service after decades of copyright lawsuits and other bitter legal squabbles.

"We're really excited to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes," said Sir Paul McCartney. "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."

Fifteen albums by The Beatles were made available for sale on iTunes Tuesday, with single albums priced at $12.99, double albums priced at $19.99 and individual songs priced at $1.29.
Each of The Beatles' 13 remastered studio albums -- including "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Revolver," and "Abbey Road" -- are available. The two-volume "Past Masters" compilation and the classic "Red" and "Blue" collections are also on sale.

The iTunes albums offer expanded visual features including a mini-documentary about the creation of each album, Apple said.

"We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we've had since we launched iTunes ten years ago."

Apple is also offering a digital "Beatles Box Set" for $149. It contains the 13 remastered studio albums and all mini-documentaries, "Past Masters," and the "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film.

The celebrated deal resulted from talks that were taking place as recently as last week among executives of Apple, representatives of The Beatles and their record label, EMI Group Ltd., The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.

The sides have traded lawsuits since 1978, when The Beatles alleged that the computer maker, then known as Apple Computer, infringed on the band's trademark for their wholly-owned Apple Corps Ltd., an arts-promotion company that owned Apple Records.