Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple links new U2 album to iTunes accounts, causes unapproved auto-downloads

As part of its free promotional offer of U2's "Songs of Innocence" LP, it appears Apple is flagging the content as owned for all iTunes accounts, meaning iOS device users who have automatic downloads enabled will get the entire album pushed to their device without prior approval.

First spotted by ArsTechnica, U2's "Songs of Innocence" is now showing up in the iOS Music app even if users did not previously opt-in to accept the free content.

Because Apple is linking the album with iTunes accounts on their end, iOS device owners who have automatic music downloads enabled will get the U2 cuts piped to their devices without user intervention. Those who have automatic downloads deactivated will still see "Songs of Innocence" tracks in their playlists as available to download from the cloud.

Due to the way iTunes is set up, removing the tracks could be a hassle. On a Mac, deleting the LP from the Album view is enough, but with iOS the process is more involved. iPhone owners can simply hide the album by toggling the "Show all music" option in the Music app, which makes only onboard content viewable. Alternatively, disabling automatic iTunes downloads in App Store settings will more permanently keep the album off an iOS device, but by doing so users give up the convenience of having wanted content pushed over.

Apple announced at the iPhone 6 event on Tuesday that it was giving away free copies of "Songs of Innocence" to more than 500 million iTunes customers as part of the "biggest album release in history." It was later learned that Apple paid an undisclosed sum for exclusive first rights to the LP and will be using the album's first single to promote products like iTunes and the iPhone 6.