Rolling Stone magazine is taking its long-awaited step into apps, but not initially with one based on the magazine itself. Later this week, publisher Wenner Media will launch The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-by-Album Guide, an iPad book-app based on the career of the Fab Four. It’ll sell for $9.99 on the App Store, and includes 30-second iTunes samples for every song mentioned, with links to buy them.

PaidContent reports that a proper digital edition of Rolling Stone is expected to get appy sometime in 2012. It’s no surprise to see publisher Jann Wenner taking his time, given his comments on tablet magazines earlier this year: “From the publisher’s point of view I would think they’re crazy to encourage it. They’re going to get less money for it from advertisers. Right now it costs a fortune to convert your magazine, to program it, to get all the things you have to do on there. And they’re not selling… to rush to throw away your magazine business and move it on the iPad is just sheer insanity and insecurity and fear.”

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