If you have been an Apple customer for a few years, it is not entirely impossible that you have occasionally started playing U2’s album Songs of Innocence. But where does it come from? What is it really about?
The story actually begins on September 9, 2014. Apple holds an event for the (then) new iPhone 6 to be launched the following month. During the event performs (yep) U2 with a song from their new album, Songs of Innocence. An album that has not yet been released.
When the performance is over, a very rehearsed dialogue follows between U2: s frontman Bono and Apples VD Tim Cook. Bono is considering how best to get the new album out to as many people as possible and presents (not entirely spontaneously) the opportunity to send it out to iTunes then about 500 million users. Tim Cook counters that it’s okay as long as they can send it out for free *.
A few tentative moments later, they both agree and end the agreement with some kind of fictitious finger-to-finger button. Okay. No giant weirdness really. Everyone who uses iTunes will get U2: s latest album Songs of Innocence totally free. I guess it’s not that dangerous. Could one believe.
* Apple probably paid U2 a huge sum to release the album, however, exactly how large the sum actually was has never been announced.
The world’s most forced record launch
The above may be to take in a little. But the roll-out did not go quite smoothly Songs of Innocence. The problem was not the record itself, but the way Apple decided to give it away.
For anyone who had automatic syncing in iTunes activated (on the computer or the phone) the “gift” resulted in the album being downloaded directly to all one’s devices. Annoying yes. But that was just to delete the album, wasn’t it? No, not really. From the very beginning, and if the album was downloaded automatically, the only way to avoid seeing it was to hide it via the purchase history in iTunes. Something that then made it also disappear from even iPhone. However, deleting it completely from the purchase history was not possible.
Half a billion iTunesusers were thus forced U2: s new album. Without any possibility of deleting it from the purchase history. Great if you were one U2-Damn. Super annoying for many others.
The reactions were not long in coming and both the media and Internet exploded with angry shouts over one of the world’s most forced record launches. Apples customer service was flooded with customers demanding that the album be removed from their accounts. A few weeks after the event opened Apple for this reason a web service where users themselves could go in and fill in theirs iTunesdetails, after which the album was completely removed from their purchase history.
Songs of Innocence is impossible to delete…
All’s Well. Until the web service was shut down a few years ago. Admittedly, it is now easier to delete the album from both the computer and the phone. To delete it from, for example, yours iPhone do the following.
- Open The music app and navigate to Songs of Innocence-albumet.
- Point to the three dots, autumn at the top right, and select Delete from the library.
Even if the album disappears from the phone, it still remains in the purchase history (iTunes Store> More> Purchased> Music). Where it is funny enough, even though it is not really a purchase, but a “gift”. Since the purchase history cannot be deleted either (which is a completely different super stupid thing), the album cannot be deleted.
… Without a little help from Apple
After reading a lot of articles on the subject, it still seemed that it was still possible to remove the album from the purchase history if you contacted Apples customer service over the phone. Said and done. After verifying my identity and Apple ID with an (otherwise very nice) customer service employee, the album disappeared from my purchase history. During the call, it was also confirmed that this is now the only way to delete the disc from the purchase history.
Still causing all sorts of exciting things
The fun thing in this context is that Apple would like (and not very surprisingly) want their customers to use the company’s own services for music, games, etc. Then far from all iPhoneusers buy their via The music app does that mean that Songs of Innocencethe album is often the only one in the said app.
This can result in all sorts of fun and annoying things. Like for example. to Siri would like to play music from just The music app and then many times the first song starts (The Miracle of Joey Ramone) from the only record many have there (Songs of Innocence) automatically. Same thing when it comes to Apple CarPlay where The music app sometimes stands before e.g. Spotify regarding which app will play music. Something that then results in that you can sometimes be forced a little U2.
Have you experienced any funny or annoying incidents regarding U2’s album? Or do you not have the album in your purchase history at all? Feel free to share in the comments!