The arrival of the Beatles’ catalog on iTunes, along with the resurgence of vinyl (yes, vinyl), are credited with a 1.6% increase in total music sales so far in the U.S. in 2011, according to the Nielsen research group — as reported by “AppleInsider” (

In a look at domestic music sales in 2011 through May 8, Nielsen found that digital album purchases were up 16.8%, while individual digital track sales were up 9.6%. Catalog album sales were also up 5.4 percent at the start of 2011, a boost credited to the arrival of the entire catalog of The Beatles on iTunes in late 2010.

Digital music sales through services like iTunes accounted for more than half of all music transactions. In all, digital music sales have increased 12.4% over sales in 2010. Also, vinyl sales were up 37% at the start of 2011 over the same period a year prior. That represents the largest increase of any format.

At the iTunes Store, you can download individual Beatles songs, the legendary group’s original studio albums or buy a box set with the whole shebang. The box set is US$149, individual songs are $1.29 and albums are $12.99 each.

— Dennis Sellers