Paul McCartney to share art, video collection online

Hewlett-Packard is helping to digitize McCartney's collection of paintings, film and master recordings

Paul McCartney plans to digitize his collection of artwork, videos and master recordings with the goal of making most of it accessible to the public.

The collection includes some unique items that have not been seen before by the public. For instance, McCartney had cameras follow him while he attended events such as Live Aid, and that footage has not previously been released.

Hewlett-Packard is managing the project and will build the computing infrastructure at the former Beatle's company, McCartney Productions Ltd., to make the works accessible.

HP called McCartney's collection "one of the most comprehensive libraries of any artist." Less than 5 percent of it has been shared, said Dave Shirk, vice president of marketing for HP's enterprise business.

The content management system will let McCartney decide how much of the collection he ultimately wants to share, Shirk said. Once the content becomes accessible, McCartney will likely end up with a hybrid private-public cloud system that can accommodate spikes in traffic.

HP couldn't say when the project is expected to be completed. Between 30 and 100 people at HP will work on the project, Shirk said.

"We have people fighting on our teams to be part of this project because of the way [McCartney] is getting involved," he said. "He's been steering this, not the guys who work for him."

Depending on the outcome, HP could decide to market a package of products to other artists who want to share their collections, Shirk said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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