Things You Can’t Do with an iOS Device, #67: Copy Audiobooks from One Device to Another

A correspondent wrote with a question. A friend bought an audiobook from the iTunes Store on his iPad, and wanted to listen to it on his iPhone. But he doesn’t own a computer, and this actually isn’t possible. Why? Because, as Apple says:

“If you made a backup of these items on your Mac or PC, you can sync the items to your iOS device. You can’t download these items again from iTunes in the Cloud.”

I had mentioned this recently in one of my Ask the iTunes Guy columns, but I hadn’t considered the case of someone who owns two iOS devices, but no computers. If you have a computer, you can copy purchased items from one iOS device to your iTunes library. But if not, you can’t even back up the audiobook.

This is frankly a pathetic situation. Imagine if you have to restore the device; you’ll lose any audiobooks you’ve purchased.

There is software that lets you copy files from an iOS device to a computer, but, again, in this case, the person doesn’t own a computer. What I’d suggest is that they find someone with a computer who can create a user account for them. They can then sync their purchases to iTunes, and sync back from iTunes to the other device.

I’ve long recommended that people buy audiobooks from Audible, and not Apple, and this confirms that one should never buy audiobooks from Apple.