Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rant #1,286: Free For the Taking

The word "free" means, basically, without any cost.

It isn't used too much in today's world, because in 2014, we know that just about everything comes with a cost.

But yesterday, Apple iTunes and the rock band U2 did something that was unprecedented.

They allowed U2's new LP--"Songs of Innocence"-- to be released for free.

That's right, for free, to any iTunes subscriber, which means anybody who subscribes to iTunes, with a couple of simple clicks, can get the album for free.

For nothing, zilch, zero, call it what you want, you don't have to pay for it.

With iTunes' millions of users, this means that album is in a category all by itself: it is the first album to go multi-platinum without a single cent in sales.

How can this be, in this world where everything costs something?

Well, it draws people to iTunes, where after getting the LP for free, the user might try another U2 album, which he will have to pay for, or maybe another album by another artist, which again, the user will have to pay for.

U2 is an aging rock beast. Ultra successful, their last album didn't do very well, and this is a way to get their new music out there without any muss or fuss ... or sales.

I haven't heard anything off the new LP yet. Some people I know have, and they say that it really doesn't jump out at you, musically, like the best of U2 music usually does.

But it is free, so it is good. If you have to pay for this, maybe it isn't that good, but if you can get it for free ... well, it is not only good, it is wonderful.

I don't know if there is a limited time to get this album, or it will free in perpetuity for iTunes subscribers, but right now, it is free, so come and get it.

With millions of illegal downloads being completed as I write this Rant today, here is one free download that is completely legal, ripe for the taking.

And now that it is out, even people who don't subscribe to iTunes will be able to get it, because as you know, once it is on the Internet, it is out there, ready to be taken.

So in all actuality, it is a win/win for iTunes, for U2 and for rock fans, so rather than stare this one down and try to pick it apart, just go and get it.

I mean, it's actually F-R-E-E!

Finally, here's one for the consumer.


  1. It's not the first time iTunes has given away music for free. But usually the free music is from artists most people have never heard of. But free U2? Have to check it out!

  2. And yes it's there, ready for streaming or downloading in my "purchased" queue. But only through October 13.

  3. Correct. There have been free downloads before, but certainly nothing of this magnitude. I downloaded it--I have used iTunes maybe three times ever, if that much--and I will definitely listen to it when I have the time. Probably convert it to MP3 and listen in the car.



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