Gee, Thanks, Apple….

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“Apple logo black” by Image SVG créé par Utilisateur:Quark67 avec Inkscape à l’aide de la police de caractère Helvetica fournie avec Mac OS X. (Original uploader was Quark67 at fr.wikipedia) – Transferred from fr.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Kyro using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_logo_black.svg#mediaviewer/File:Apple_logo_black.svg

Who hasn’t heard about the faux pas that Apple committed when they rolled out hundreds of millions of free copies of U2’s Songs of Innocence to all their iTunes users, many of whom then had the album automatically downloaded into the music collection on their computers, iPhones, iPads, and/or iPods, whether or not they actually wanted it?

A lot of people are saying, “What’s the big deal? You got free music! If you don’t like it, take it off your device! Cry baby…” Apple and U2 probably think they’re being generous, like Oprah, giving away albums.

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The problem is, Apple shoved the album into everyone’s archive of purchased music, from which it would download if a user authorized automatic downloads, and didn’t give people who didn’t want the album a mechanism for getting rid of it completely. People could delete the album from their devices, but Apple would just restore it from the archive. No one doubts that it was meant as a gift, they just question how it was made.

I don’t let Apple download anything automatically, so I didn’t have to remove it from any of my devices. I did, however, delete the album from my archive. Despite being a member of U2’s demographic (fat old white guys), I don’t care for their music.

Do you think people overreacted to what was meant to be a nice gesture on Apple’s part, albeit poorly handled? Or should Apple have offered it and let their customers decide whether or not they wanted it? I’d be interested in your thoughts.

7 thoughts on “Gee, Thanks, Apple….

  1. It was unnecessary marketing for either product. Both are huge names. I can see the benefit to U2 more than Apple. Frankly, I think it’s ITunes way of creating an illusion of controlling music when much of the world engages in file sharing. Expensive illusion but both parties can sustain any loss.

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    1. You’re absolutely right, it benefits U2 a lot. It now appears that they’ve sold half a billion units of the album. Apple included it as everyone’s past purchases, meaning it shows up as a sale, making it a diamond album 50 times over (gold=500k units, platinum=1m units, diamond=10m units). And, until enough people raised a stink about it, it was pretty well impossible for people who automatically download their music to get rid of it. Every time they deleted it, it just got downloaded again. It’s likely going to affect what Apple recommends from now on: “Oh, we see you have U2’s Songs of Innocence, you’ll probably like this, too.” And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they took away the option of downloading music manually in a later release of iTunes.

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  2. I don’t like U2, either. People always look at me funny when I say that. LOL. But, honestly, I think this is one of those instances where people made a big deal out of something small. Overreaction causes a lot of problems in a lot of areas, and life it too short. My mom was saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff” long before it become a book. 🙂

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    1. I can understand the complaints. Apple loaded an album that a lot of people wouldn’t have wanted into everyone’s account, and if automatic download was turned on, it was downloaded to all their devices without their knowledge. And if they tried to delete it, Apple would just download it again, at least until they wrote the routine to let people opt out of owning it. But it really is small potatoes…

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