U2 rocks the iPhone 6 event, offers new album free to all iTunes users

u2 offers new album free itunes apple v2
At the end of Apple’s live event today, in which the ridiculously anticipated iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the new Apple Watch were all released to ravenous fanfare, U2 came out on a dark red stage to close the show down. The band played the debut single, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)” from its new album Songs of Innocence. After the performance, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Bono had an awkward conversation that culminated with two events: the soon to be immortalized “ET” finger touch, and news that Songs of Innocence will go out live to all iTunes users for free.

Related: Here’s the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Everything we know so far

Teasing the album release before a room full of Cupertino fanboys, Bono and Cook went back and forth for awhile, debating about whether or not Cook could make the album available for all iTunes users in 5 seconds, which he could not; but close enough, it turns out, as the album is now live on iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music. The two called the launch “the largest album release of all time,” defined by its availability to 500 million+ iTunes users, exclusively, and all for zero dinero. It’s a pretty cool cherry on top of the event — if you’re still into U2 these days.

The U2 performance, and subsequent album release, were nods to Apples re-invigorated focus on music, embodied most poignantly by the company’s recent $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, as well as bringing Beats co-founders Dr. Dre (a hip-hop icon) and music mogul/hit-maker Jimmy Iovine into the Apple fold.

Related: Apple makes it official, announces 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus

However, missing from today’s big event was any information about audio for the shiny new Apple gear. Music lovers were left in the lurch, without the deployment or even mention of any Beats headphones that might be paired with the new phones, or news of further integration of the streaming service, Beats Music. And perhaps more surprising, we’re still in the dark about whether or not the new phones will finally get on board with the rest of the audio industry and offer support for hi-res audio.

Related: Apple Watch unveiled for the first time ever

The former points about Beats hardware and software integration aren’t all that surprising — although Apple’s acquisition process for Beats began back in May, the company didn’t even officially welcome Beats “to the family” until August. It may have simply been too short a time span to fold in the newly acquired hardware, if that is even part of the plan.

But the latter point about hi-res audio is a bit more troublesome. Will users who want to play tracks at or above CD quality be relegated to using one of Sony’s new Walkmen, or Neil Young’s forthcoming PonoPlayer for yet another iPhone generation? Perhaps Apple is saving hi-res audio for the inevitable iPhone 6S release? Details are still coming in about the new phones, so we’ll have to wait and find out, but as far as we know, Apple products are still stuck at lower resolution when it comes to music.

For now, at least we can grab a free new U2 album to (eventually) rock out on our shiny new phones — in AAC format, of course.

News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Music

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Music

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Music

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.