Thursday, September 11, 2014

Technology Lesson: Downloading U2's New Album

Unfortunately Labor Day has come and gone, and the regular posting schedule has not resumed as planned. I've been exceptionally busy. But I have a lesson today, because far be it from me to deny you the assistance to free music.

U2, one of the world's most popular bands, released a new album Tuesday! Titled Songs of Innocence (named after William Blake's collection of poetry, Songs of Innocence and of Experience), the LP will be available for physical purchase October 13. But as of Tuesday, the album was available for free on iTunes. (After October 13 the free album is no longer available.)

I had a deep, abiding love for U2 in my youth, and I have a deep, abiding interest in free things, so I set about getting my hands on the album before the free-window closed. (The group released a single in January, which was free for one hour.) As it happens, Apple set about providing the album for each user. To get the album, you access your cloud and download it.

This is a little disconcerting. (What if you don't want U2's album?) It can be confusing if you go to the band's page and see that you already "have" it. I realize not everyone understands "the cloud" so I'm here to help.

Let's get started. Turn on your computer (or iTouch/iPhone). Load iTunes. (Apple devices have the app, it's purple.) If you are accessing this the week of September 9, 2014, you'll see a banner for the album:

You can click this if you want to, or you can skip ahead to the instructions regarding your account and files in you cloud.

This is what the album page looks like:

You'll see that under the album artwork, it says PURCHASED instead of BUY. If you click on PURCHASED nothing will happen, because you already "own" the album.

This is what the page says: "Songs of Innocence is available from your Purchased page on iTunes now. And soon you can go to the Music app on your iOS device and your iTunes music library on your Mac or PC, and find Songs of Innocence under the artist or album tab. Your music is in iCloud, just tap the track listing to start listening, or tap the cloud icon to download."

So, let's get into your iCloud. Go back to the music page in iTunes. Click MUSIC or click the house icon. Look for the column on the right, under the circulating banners.


By default, the PURCHASED page will show what you have purchased and is NOT in your library. If it doesn't, there are two "buttons" on the right side of the page. Click "NOT IN MY LIBRARY."

My page shows items I have purchased through my iTouch but chosen not to download to my iTunes library.

You'll see the U2 album is there. In the top right corner of the album icon is a cloud with an arrow. Click that to download it. If you click the "X" on the top left corner it will hide the item (but not delete it). 

After you click the cloud, the download will begin.

To get the album directly to your device, open the iTunes app.

Press MORE. It is in the bottom right corner of the app, next to SEARCH.




U2 should be an option. Tap the cloud with the arrow, and await the download.

Presumably this option will expire in October, and those of us burdened with unwanted music will feel some relief. (Particularly since I have no instructions to provide in that regard!)

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