Apple releases tool to remove free U2 album

Apple chief executive Tim Cook with rock band U2 as he speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch in California. (Stephen Lam, Reuters)

Apple chief executive Tim Cook with rock band U2 as he speaks during an Apple event announcing the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch in California. (Stephen Lam, Reuters)

Some iPhone users are not happy that U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, was automatically added to their iTunes music library, free of charge. 

In response, Apple has  released a special tool that lets people remove the album from their collections.

U2 played at  an Apple event last week that included the unveiling of the iPhone maker’s new smartwatch and updated iPhone models. In a surprise move, the Irish rock band performed at the event and put out its 11-song release. 

Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced that the new album would be given to the company’s 500-million iTunes users. The release showed up in users’ iTunes music libraries. The company said that 33-million iTunes account holders have accessed the free album.

Releasing the album free to iTunes subscribers does not mean the band has given the album away. “We were paid,”  Bono told Time. “I don’t believe in free music. Music is a sacrament.” 

The New York Times reported: “To release U2’s album free, Apple paid the band and Universal an unspecified fee as a blanket royalty and committed to a marketing campaign for the band worth up to $100-million, according to several people briefed on the deal.” 

Songs of Innocence will remain free through iTunes until October 14, when Universal will begin selling the album at stores and make it available through streaming services such as Spotify.

How to remove Songs of Innocence: 

  1. Go to https://itunes.com/soi-remove
  2. Click Remove Album to confirm you’d like to remove the album from your account.
  3. Sign in with the Apple ID and password you use to buy from the iTunes Store.
  4. You’ll see a confirmation message that the album has been removed from your account. 

If you downloaded the songs to iTunes on your Mac or PC or to the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll need to delete them manually. – Sapa, staff reporter

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