When Tim Cook announced that Apple was giving away U2’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, to all iTunes users, he proclaimed it as the ‘largest album launch of all time’ but he probably didn’t expect the backlash and criticism the release would receive.
Tim Cook and U2 announced the free album last week during the reveal of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the Apple Watch. The album, Songs of Innocence, is the band’s 13th studio album and giving it away for free is part of Apple’s celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the U2’s iPod commercial. It has been reported that Apple paid U2 around $100-million dollars to be able to give the album away for free. The free album was automatically added to all 500 million iTunes user’s libraries and according to a statement by Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, “33 million people have already experienced the album.”
But because the album was automatically added to users’ libraries and automatically downloaded to users’ devices (if that feature was turned on) and included in their iTunes Radio list, a lot of people didn’t see it as a good thing and instead saw it as Apple forcing music they didn’t like on them. So Apple has swiftly responded to the criticism by releasing an online tool to remove the album from one’s library. The tool can be accessed by visiting https://itunes.com/soi-remove.
The tool is simple, users only need to click the “Remove Album” button and confirm the removal of the album from your account. This will remove the album from the user’s library and previous purchases list and make it unavailable for download. Apple says that if users decide to check the album out after removing it they’ll need to “get it again” meaning users will need to re-purchase the album from the iTunes store again. According to Apple, the album will remain free for iTunes users until October 13, 2014, and after that users who have removed it from their libraries will need to pay for it.