U2 and Apple, redux

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18, King James Bible)

So its been a few days since Apple’s “big” event and the unveiling of the Samsung sized iPhones and the iWatch…er… Apple Watch and the thing that had me most interested, the free U2 album Songs of Innocence.

It is that latter part of the event that has many people -for the most part very amusingly- up in arms.  Witness, for example, the fact that the “uproar” from the free album’s release and auto-download to iTunes now has Apple offering instructions on how to remove it from your iTunes que:


According to Heather Kelly, the author of the above article, the lesson Apple learned was that not everyone likes U2 or wants their album, even if it is given away to them free.

The second point she makes, though, is the more salient one: even those who do (like U2) really don’t like it when you put music in their libraries without asking.

The Biblical quote offered at the beginning of this entry is somewhat appropriate to this situation, though I’ll be the first to say Apple’s “sin” is far from biblical in its importance.

A week or two ago one of the biggest tech issues involved the hacking of many very famous actress/models’ phones (iPhones all, it would appear) and the subsequent releases of their private, nude pictures.  Apple’s security took a big hit with this invasion of privacy, yet only days later the company decides it’s a good idea to release a free U2 album (I agree with them there) and an equally great idea to have it automatically download onto everyone’s iTunes (here comes trouble!).

For in “automatically” downloading this particular album to your computer, it feels like Apple, this time on its own and without the aid of a hacker, decided to intrude into your computer and give you a piece of entertainment, whether you wanted it or not.  In effect, they went one extra step too far and have suffered considerable derision for it.

It is astonishing that Apple took what should have been a huge positive (look, kids, we’re giving away a free album from a very big and popular band!) and made it a negative by delivering that content without your consent.

Weird times we live in!