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Apple releases one-click tool to delete the U2 album you didn't want

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It's a beautiful day

To put it lightly, Apple's "gift" of a free U2 album hasn't been warmly received by everyone. And it seems the company has heard the chorus of complaints loud and clear. As of today, Apple's offering an easy way to permanently erase Songs of Innocence with a single click. Doing so immediately removes U2's latest album from your iTunes music library and iTunes purchase history. Apple has even set up a support website to guide people through the process.

Note that erasing the album means it will no longer show up in your "purchases" tab. So if you want to re-download it for another listen, you'll need to go through the regular album purchase process again. Songs of Innocence will remain free until October 13th; after that, Apple's window of exclusivity closes and you'll need to pay for it should you regret the decision to delete Bono's hard work. The fact that Apple had to go this far and publish a removal tool almost puts U2's new album on the same footing as malware or aggressive antivirus software, but at least the complaining should end.

Just last week, Tim Cook and U2 announced the giveaway during Apple's huge product event. Songs of Innocence was immediately gifted to all of Apple's iTunes customers worldwide (over 500 million), but anger over the company's approach — Apple basically let itself into the music libraries of its users — came hard and fast in subsequent days. It was meant to be the biggest album launch in history. "Never before have so many people owned one album, let alone on the day of its release," reads the promotional website. Now unhappy users have an easy way to reverse Apple's generosity. Hopefully future collaborations between the band and Cupertino won't prove as controversial. For now, here are some puns we've come up with to sum up the whole situation. Feel free to submit your own in comments.

  • How to Dismantle an Apple Bomb
  • All That You Can Leave Behind
  • No MP3s on the Horizon
  • Stuck in a Playlist You Can't Get Out Of
  • With or Without U2 (illuminuldis)