U2 album giveaway: how to download and delete it

Apple has kindly paid a lot of money to get everybody that has an iTunes account a copy of U2’s new album - their first new album in five years. The album was automatically be available to 500 million iTunes users in 119 countries. Apparently there were only 2 million actual downloads though. Some are over the moon about the gifting of the album, others are not so happy that Apple is making the album appear by default in iTunes music collections. There are quite a few in the office who fall into the latter camp, and it's not just IDG employees, many are angry, judging by the reaction on Twitter. For those U2-haters we demonstrate the best way to remove the album. However, for every hater, there appears to be people who do want to listen to the new U2 album but can't figure out how to get it. For them we offer guidance on how to download it to your iOS devices as well as your Mac.

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  • Step 1 Get U2 album free
  • Step 2 Find Purchased folder
  • Step 3 How to listen
  • step 4 How to download
  • remove u2 album How to delete
  • Tim and U2 U2 reaction
  • More stories
Next Prev

How to get the Songs of Innocence album for free

Depending on your iOS settings, and whether you subscribe to iTunes Match, have Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases checked, or have Automatic Downloads turned on, you may or may not see the U2 album.

On your iPad or iPhone: Go to Settings > Music > Show All Music. (This will show all music that you have previiusly downloaded - even if it is no longer on your device, as well as all the music you have stored in iCloud if you subscribe to iTunes Match.

Also on your iPad or iPhone: Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store, make sure that Automatic Downloads is turned on and select Music. If it's still not showing up on your iOS device, visit the iTunes Store. You should see an ad for the new album on the front page of the store, just click on it. If you miss it just swipe back on the carousel. This should be enough to make it appear on your device, or at least in your Purchased items.

On your Mac: Open iTunes > Preferences > Store, and make sure Always check for available downloads is ticked. Also tick Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases. 

Also on your Mac (or PC): If the U2 album Songs of Innocence still isn’t appearing in the Music folder in iTunes on your Mac or PC, open the iTunes Store. The ad for the album will be in the promotional carousel on the homepage; the exclusive release of Songs of Innocence is a substantial feather in Apple’s cap, so it is likely to stay there for some time. Clicking on it will inform you that the new U2 album is waiting for you to download or stream in your Purchased folder. Read: How to create playlists on your iPhone or iPad

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Next Prev Step 1

Depending on your iOS settings, and whether you subscribe to iTunes Match, have Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases checked, or have Automatic Downloads turned on, you may or may not see the U2 album.

On your iPad or iPhone: Go to Settings > Music > Show All Music. (This will show all music that you have previiusly downloaded - even if it is no longer on your device, as well as all the music you have stored in iCloud if you subscribe to iTunes Match.

Also on your iPad or iPhone: Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store, make sure that Automatic Downloads is turned on and select Music. If it's still not showing up on your iOS device, visit the iTunes Store. You should see an ad for the new album on the front page of the store, just click on it. If you miss it just swipe back on the carousel. This should be enough to make it appear on your device, or at least in your Purchased items.

On your Mac: Open iTunes > Preferences > Store, and make sure Always check for available downloads is ticked. Also tick Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases. 

Also on your Mac (or PC): If the U2 album Songs of Innocence still isn’t appearing in the Music folder in iTunes on your Mac or PC, open the iTunes Store. The ad for the album will be in the promotional carousel on the homepage; the exclusive release of Songs of Innocence is a substantial feather in Apple’s cap, so it is likely to stay there for some time. Clicking on it will inform you that the new U2 album is waiting for you to download or stream in your Purchased folder. Read: How to create playlists on your iPhone or iPad

 

Step 2 of 6: How to find the Purchased folder in iTunes

On your iPad or iPhone: In the iTunes Store on your iOS device, click More, and open the Purchased folder. Select Music, then ‘not on this iPad/iPhone’. The tracks from Songs of Innocence should be sitting there waiting for you – simply click download all songs, and the tracks will begin syncing themselves to your computer or device.

On your Mac: Also from the iTunes Store, click on Purchased, under Quick Links on the right side of the iTunes Music Store home page, and click on the album, enter your password, and download it to your Mac.

 

Step 3 of 6: How to listen to the free U2 album

Once downloaded, open your iTunes library, select the Songs of Innocence album, and start listening – it’s as simple as that.

You may find that on your iPhone, iPad or your Mac the tracks show the tracks, but with a cloud logo beside them. This means that they are stored in the cloud not on your device. You can tap on any cloud icon to download a track, or go to the Album view and click the cloud icon below to download the whole album in one go.

 

Step 4 of 6: Downloading from iCloud in iTunes Match

If you subscribe to iTunes Match, or you have your Apple devices set to automatically download iTunes purchases you may find that the album is already sitting in your music collection – although the iCloud logo will indicate that you need to download it.

Just tap that icon and the music will begin to download, as we mention in the previous slide.

 

Step 5 of 6: How to delete the U2 album

What if you don’t want to listen to the new album, how can you remove it from your music collection? You basically need to do the opposite of everything we have said above.

On your Mac: You can just open iTunes on your Mac, locate the album in iTunes, right click on it, and shoose delete.

Also on your Mac: You can also hide the album. Just go to iTunes Store and on the main page go to Quick Links and click Purchased. Now click Music > Recent purchases. Hover over the alumb until you see the X icon and then click it. That will hide your album from the Purchased list and it will not appear on any of your devices unless you have downloaded it.

On your iPhone or iPad: To remove it from your iPhone or iPad, go to Music and switch off “Show all Music”. This way you won’t see any tracks that aren’t actually on your iOS device. However, this is likely to be an annoyance next time you want to grab a track or two from your collection via iCloud though as you won’t be able to see them there to download. 

UPDATE: Apple has now released a tool to make it possible to remove the album. Now you can remove the album with one click. Apple has issued a statement to the BBC saying: ""Some customers asked for the ability to delete 'Songs of Innocence' from their library, so we set up itunes.com/soi-remove to let them easily do so. Any customer that needs additional help should contact AppleCare."

Apple explains that if you remove the album you will need to pay should you wish to download it again after 13 October.

Happy listening, or not listening.

 

Step 6 of 6: U2: if you don't like it just delete it

Before you delete the tracks, spare a thought for the band. It looks like U2 is a little upset about the backlash from people not wishing to own the new album.

U2's manager Guy Oseary has said: "It's a guft from Apple. If someone doesn't like the guft, they should delete it... There are people who are going to be thrilled to get a gift. There are people who are not going to care to have this gift. We knew all of that going in. No surprises here. If someone doesn’t like it, then great, that’s OK, delete it. ... We just want to share it with as many people as possible. If you don’t want it and you don’t need it, delete it." See Mashable's full interview with Oseary here.

As for Bono's thoughts on the matter: "For the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way: The blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail," he said.

We think that Apple may be testing this new content delivery method to see how it could be implemented via a Beats Music style music recomendation system.

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