U2 Says No Early Album Release on iTMS

The rock group U2 will not release its new album on the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) earlier than previously announced, squelching numerous rumors by other Mac news sites after the album started appearing on Internet file-sharing networks Monday night.

A group spokesperson told MacWorld UK magazine Tuesday that the new album, iHow to Dismantle an Atomic Bombi, will still be released on November 22, as scheduled. "At present there is no plan to bring the album release date forward," a representative said.

U2 leader Bono vowed in July that if the album leaked onto the Internet illegally, it would release the album early. In July a tape containing rough tracks from the upcoming album was stolen during a photo shoot in the south of France.

It now appears contractural agreements between Apple Computer and the band will not make an early release possible. Industry sources have confirmed with millions of dollars in marketing already spent by Apple, the company wants its right to reap financial rewards from the pent up ibuzzi.

Apple announced on October 26 a special edition, black-colored U2 iPod for US$349. With its red click wheel, the new U2 iPod has a 20GB hard drive holding 5,000 songs, and features the autographs of each U2 band member engraved on the back. It comes with an exclusive U2 poster and white iPod earbuds. It also includes an iTMS coupon for $50 off the purchase of iThe Complete U2i digital boxed set, which includes every U2 song, plus 25 rare and unreleased tracks, for a total of 400 tracks.

U2 fans not buying the special edition iPod will be able to purchase and download The Complete U2 beginning in late November for US$149.

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