Apple’s confusing method of device authorization and association

The iTunes Store was launched 14 years ago today, and has morphed from its initial music-only offering to embrace all forms of digital media. It’s now just another digital purveyor among many, though still the leading seller of digital music in the world.

While music files were protected with digital rights management (DRM) in the early years, it’s now been eight years since this was removed. But other types of content sold on the iTunes Store still have DRM: movies, TV shows, apps, audiobooks, ebooks, and ringtones. For these types of media with DRM, there are restrictions as to how many devices you can use.

It gets complicated, though, because there are two types of restrictions. The first is for computers that are authorized to sync and play content from the iTunes Store, and the second is for devices that are allowed to download and play iTunes Store purchases.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

4 thoughts on “Apple’s confusing method of device authorization and association

  1. It is truly uncanny how your articles seem to mirror most every confusing issue i have with Apple. Just last night i realized my iMac lost most all of the music files i had added since i joined Apple Music. They were there – only greyed out. One recommendation for fixing this was to de-authorize then re-authorize that iMac. I was able to finally do this but i also realized i could not “manage” all of my devices. I am the person you describe Kirk. I have 2 children both with MacBooks iPads and iPhones. (as do i) We are on the family plan under my iTunes account. (They too have their own iTunes account also individually) Each of us has also replaced at least one Macbook in the past few years – and/or upgraded the hardware. Kirk so much of what you write on especially in your “Apple fix this” articles seem to be REAL COMMON SENSE issues that could be easily solved. I just don’t understand how arguably one of the worlds most efficiently run and responsive companies can overlook basic use issues by their tens of millions of customers. I guess one only needs to look at the apparent dissatisfaction of product line decisions in the entire Mac line to get a clue that maybe they are not as customer oriented as they were when Mr Jobs was still with us. I don’t have the answers surely. Thank you for being a voice in the wilderness.

  2. It is truly uncanny how your articles seem to mirror most every confusing issue i have with Apple. Just last night i realized my iMac lost most all of the music files i had added since i joined Apple Music. They were there – only greyed out. One recommendation for fixing this was to de-authorize then re-authorize that iMac. I was able to finally do this but i also realized i could not “manage” all of my devices. I am the person you describe Kirk. I have 2 children both with MacBooks iPads and iPhones. (as do i) We are on the family plan under my iTunes account. (They too have their own iTunes account also individually) Each of us has also replaced at least one Macbook in the past few years – and/or upgraded the hardware. Kirk so much of what you write on especially in your “Apple fix this” articles seem to be REAL COMMON SENSE issues that could be easily solved. I just don’t understand how arguably one of the worlds most efficiently run and responsive companies can overlook basic use issues by their tens of millions of customers. I guess one only needs to look at the apparent dissatisfaction of product line decisions in the entire Mac line to get a clue that maybe they are not as customer oriented as they were when Mr Jobs was still with us. I don’t have the answers surely. Thank you for being a voice in the wilderness.

  3. Even if I only have two Apple devices and one PC, the “de-authorize” process has been a mess on me, forcing me to contact Apple support to do another “de-authorize” long before the start of next year (maybe within 2 weeks after first attempt) because multiple OS install on a single PC is treated as “different computer”.
    Luckily, now I almost don’t reinstall system at all and authorization issue becomes less than an actual issue.

  4. Even if I only have two Apple devices and one PC, the “de-authorize” process has been a mess on me, forcing me to contact Apple support to do another “de-authorize” long before the start of next year (maybe within 2 weeks after first attempt) because multiple OS install on a single PC is treated as “different computer”.
    Luckily, now I almost don’t reinstall system at all and authorization issue becomes less than an actual issue.

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