U2 frontman Bono apologizes for foisting 'Songs of Innocence' on unsuspecting iTunes users

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 2015
During a Facebook interview posted to the Web on Tuesday, U2's Bono apologized for Apple's handling of the "Songs of Innocence" LP giveaway, which caused automatic downloads for many users after the company linked the album to all iTunes accounts.



Meant as a gift to iTunes customers, Apple negotiated first rights to U2's latest album and meted the LP out for free in September.

The company spent a reported $100 million on a worldwide ad campaign touting the exclusive download, but drew criticism for attaching the album to iTunes accounts, which in turn caused unexpected downloads for those using the iOS or Mac automatic music download feature. What's more, customers were unable to delete or unlink "Songs of Innocence" from their online profiles.

"Oops, I'm sorry about that," Bono said in answer to a Facebook fan question. "We had this beautiful idea, we got a carried away with ourselves, artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn't be here. There's a lot of noise out there, I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it."

Shortly after the debacle, Apple released a Web tool to help users remove the album from their account history.

Despite its troubles, U2's latest album is seen as a success after clocking 26 million downloads after one month of availability. In addition to full album downloads, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Service Eddy Cue said some 81 million people "experienced" songs from the LP through iTunes or streaming on iTunes Radio and Beats Music.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    I'm sure this has been addressed, but I think it's an interesting feature that Apple can force-upload files to any end device basically unchallenged (from a technical standpoint). That could be both useful, say emergency situations when emergency broadcast messages could be disseminated, or harmful.

    Random, kindergarten-level thought, I know. But still.
  • Reply 2 of 68
    emoeric87 wrote: »
    I'm sure this has been addressed, but I think it's an interesting feature that Apple can force-upload files to any end device basically unchallenged (from a technical standpoint). That could be both useful, say emergency situations when emergency broadcast messages could be disseminated, or harmful.

    Random, kindergarten-level thought, I know. But still.

    Except people only got the songs if they had Automatic Downloads enabled. It didnt download by default.
  • Reply 3 of 68

    Bono should also apologize for that poor audio quality as well. Takes away from a brand new album in such a negative way. Thanks for nothing U2. :no:

  • Reply 4 of 68
    emoeric87 wrote: »
    I'm sure this has been addressed, but I think it's an interesting feature that Apple can force-upload files to any end device basically unchallenged (from a technical standpoint). That could be both useful, say emergency situations when emergency broadcast messages could be disseminated, or harmful.

    Random, kindergarten-level thought, I know. But still.

    While Apple may or may not have the ability to force-upload files this isn't what happened here. In this instance Apple updated iTunes accounts to show the album had been "Purchased". The album only downloaded to end user devices if they had automatic downloads enabled for iTunes music purchases.

    Of course they did break from tradition in automatically updating iTunes accounts to show the album as purchased rather than giving users a choice which is where all the controversy arises from. Well that and the fact that not everyone likes U2 or they do but just don't like this particular album. I was very happy to receive it as a free gift but can see the frustration for those that didn't want it but were given it anyway. For the most part I think it was a bit of an over reaction but Apple could also have done things differently.

    I'm fairly sure I've read articles in the past on AI about Apple patents for emergency broadcast messaging that would allow them to broadcast messages to end users devices based on the location of the device. So if there was some sort of emergency or natural disaster in your area you would receive messaging delivered to your phone based on your location.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    It's cool Bono, Apple, you can down load free U2 music to my iTunes account anytime
  • Reply 6 of 68
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    It's cool Bono, Apple, you can down load free U2 music to my iTunes account anytime

    Apple paid $100million dollars for it. Nothing in life is free.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member

    Welcome to America, where free isn't good enough. Thank you U2 and Apple, I am enjoying the album!

  • Reply 8 of 68
    Wow, after years of complaining about having to pay $.99 for a song and stealing it instead people have actually come to the point where they're complaining about free music. U2 fan or not, it seems that appreciation for art is truly dead. If having a free album appear in your iTunes library actually bothers you that much it's probably time to get a hobby.
  • Reply 9 of 68

    As a developer, I have to enter a code to get a free OS Update from the App Store.

    It doesn't automatically show up or even download automatically.

     

    If they gave out a code (didn't even have to be unique) that would've worked better.

  • Reply 10 of 68
    zozmanzozman Posts: 393member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xZu View Post

     

    Welcome to America, where free isn't good enough. Thank you U2 and Apple, I am enjoying the album!




    No kidding huh, When someone gives me something, i say thank you too.

    Too many self entitled douches around, even if you don't like a give, you say thank you, then put it under the bed :p

    I was surprised about how many people complained about getting a free album :S

  • Reply 11 of 68
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    zozman wrote: »

    No kidding huh, When someone gives me something, i say thank you too.

    Too many self entitled douches around, even if you don't like a give, you say thank you, then put it under the bed :p
    I was surprised about how many people complained about getting a free album :S

    At the end of the day you don't force Drek on anybody. Music is a very personal thing- why are so many surprised about people's negative reaction to this?
    Would you like a free Lawrence Welk album too?
  • Reply 12 of 68
    mubailimubaili Posts: 398member
    Well I guess there is indeed no "free" lunch.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Seems it was easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    Apple paid $100million dollars for it. Nothing in life is free.

     

    Hey troll, it was free for iTunes users- which party paid for it is completely irrelevant. If I get a coupon for a free meal, is it somehow "not free" because the restaurant had to cover the cost"? If you win a free iPad, is it "not free" because someone else paid for it? Or in your limited little mind, is the definition of free that it magically materializes out of thin-air with no cost to anyone? You're such a disingenuous tool, your quips are always such meaningless garbage. 

     

    Also, if so many of you weren't such haters, you would see Bono's response as honest and refreshing.  He called himself out and apologized, even though he didn't do anything wrong. What else do you whiners want from him?

  • Reply 15 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

     

    As a developer, I have to enter a code to get a free OS Update from the App Store.

    It doesn't automatically show up or even download automatically.

     

    If they gave out a code (didn't even have to be unique) that would've worked better.




    You armchair quarterbacks are the gnats flying around the anus of the world.

  • Reply 16 of 68



    Don't apologize for the download. Idiots who b*tched over getting free music are morons.

     

    Apologize for the little skit that you performed with Tim Cook.

     

    You and Mr. Cook are better than that.

  • Reply 17 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xZu View Post

     

    Welcome to America, where free isn't good enough. Thank you U2 and Apple, I am enjoying the album!




    And it will be the undoing of this country

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zozman View Post

     



    No kidding huh, When someone gives me something, i say thank you too.

    Too many self entitled douches around, even if you don't like a give, you say thank you, then put it under the bed :p

    I was surprised about how many people complained about getting a free album :S




    Well I don’t think it was very many people at all. I think the douche bag complainers were a tiny minority and because of the Internet’s ability to magnify anything way out of proportion, the desire of the media to sensationalize anything, this nothing story got traction. And the same douche bags are the ones calling it a “debacle.” Just like bendgate. Complete asshole losers, and you know who you are.

  • Reply 18 of 68
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,242member
    The real issue was that people who had automatic downloads turned on weren't given enough information about the implications of this, or enough notice to turn it off.

    For some of these people it was pushed to their mobile devices over cellular, which had the potential to eat up their entire data allowance or even cost them hundreds of dollars for exceeding the allocated mobile data cap on their plan. When you view it that way hundreds of dollars does seem like an awful lot pay for something you didn't purchase.

    That said I didn't experience any of these issues and am grateful for Apple's gift, though I don't care much for the album.

    Though I did experience a similar problem after upgrading to iOS 8 Apple charitably took it upon themselves to authorise the App Store to download app updates over cellular instead of wifi only. Of course I only noticed this after it had silently consumed 1/3 of my data allowance for the month.
  • Reply 19 of 68
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lolliver View Post



     I was very happy to receive it as a free gift but can see the frustration for those that didn't want it but were given it anyway. 

     

    Well I don’t see it at all. Those people are the dregs of humanity, the whiners and complainers that contribute NOTHING in this world.

  • Reply 20 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post



    The real issue was that people who had automatic downloads turned on weren't given enough information about the implications of this, or enough notice to turn it off.



    For some of these people it was pushed to their mobile devices over cellular, which had the potential to eat up their entire data allowance or even cost them hundreds of dollars for exceeding the allocated mobile data cap on their plan. When you view it that way hundreds of dollars does seem like an awful lot pay for something you didn't purchase.

     

    Sorry, bullshit. I doubt there was a single example of what you just imagined. First of all, if I'm worried about my data, I'm not gonna have automatic downloads turned on.Especially if a single album can eat "my entire data allowance".  Also, "hundreds of dollars"? Are you shitting me? If a single album can cost someone "hundreds of dollars" of data, then they deserve that for having that feature turned on in the first place.You can even specifically disable automatic downloads over data. Your hypothetical scenario is just that- an extreme worst case scenario that is pretty much impossible.

     

    If that happened to even a SINGLE person (Album costing them $$$), I bet they would have bitched about it online, and it would have made every single blog and mainstream news in a heartbeat.  

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