AMITIAE - Tuesday 16 September 2014

Cassandra: Unwanted U2 Album Prompts Apple to Provide Removal Tool

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By Graham K. Rogers


I don't suppose I would have bought the new U2 album that Apple arranged to give me for free, because although I liked U2's earliest material, the rawness seemed to go off for me. Anyway, I moved on with other music. Nonetheless, as soon as the deal was announced by Tim Cook at the Apple event, which I watched live, I looked at the U2 pages in iTunes.

It took a few minutes and a couple of refreshes for the album to show up in iTunes here, but when it did, it was marked as "Purchased". I downloaded it from the Purchased section and it went on to my iPhone.

For many, who had automatic features set on their devices, the album appeared automatically. This has apparently caused a major outcry and may end up causing Apple, groups and others to have a rethink: free may not be good. Many were upset that the album appeared automatically, even though their settings allowed this; many were upset that they were given a free U2 album, because they don't like U2; and many were just upset because they could be.

The free release has almost created its own industry of outrage and, despite the relative ease with which such a download can be removed from libraries, Apple has created a tool that will do this for those who are unable to help themselves. The process may be accessed via the Apple page, "Remove iTunes gift album "Songs of Innocence" from your iTunes music library and purchases" but this does note that some will also have to resort to a manual removal.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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