According to TIME, U2’s partnership with Apple goes far beyond a free album in your iTunes library, much to the chagrin of some users. The group is reportedly working with Apple on a ‘secret project’ to rejuvenate digital music scales.

Details, however, are thin on the ground. Bono is quoted as saying he is developing a new music format that will somehow inspire consumers to buy complete albums once more. Without more information, it’s impossible to tell whether this is a silly pipe dream or an actual possibility. In the age of streaming music, the sales potential for individually bought songs is waning.

The TIME report echoes comments made by U2’s manager last week. Oseary wants the band to explore how to connect to music beyond an audio file, combining video content and lyrics into ‘innovative’ ways of enjoying music.

It is also unclear how Beats Music fits in with this endeavour. Tim Cook admitted in an interview that one of the key reasons Apple bought Beats was the uniqueness of their streaming service. Many people assumed Iovine would be working to integrate the technology into iTunes. TIME’s claims of U2’s interests seem to go against his vision.

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