Apple Quietly Updates iTunes Policy To Reduce The Number Of Authorized Devices Per Account


While testing the new TV re-download feature with iCloud, I stumbled upon a new iTunes policy change. Previously, you could associate five computers with a single iTunes store account, and there was no limit on the number of iOS devices. Apple has now changed the policy so that you can only have five devices associated with your iTunes account. I’m not exactly sure when this policy went into place, though just a week or two back I agreed to a new 53 page iTunes store policy that seems to pop-up every now and then.

It’s no wonder that Apple didn’t make a mention of this change, and instead just lets users discover it on their own. Now you’re limited to the number of devices you can use with one iTunes account because you can have quite a few iOS devices in one household as compared to computers. Now both are lumped together to really limit where you can transfer your content to.

The change makes sense with the new assumptions Apple is working under in regards to the iCloud. During the WWDC keynote, Jobs began the section on iCloud by stating the following, “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” Your computer is now just another device, and your iTunes account is likewise limited to only a certain number of devices.

I have never seen the alert below until trying to re-download a previously purchased TV show this past week right after the new feature was enabled. Now you can re-download TV shows in addition to music, apps, and books that have been available since the keynote. You just can only re-download them on five devices, not five computers and an unlimited number of iOS devices.

Apple has demoted the computer to a device, and demoted your account’s capabilities in the process.

43 Comments on "Apple Quietly Updates iTunes Policy To Reduce The Number Of Authorized Devices Per Account"

  1. Uihoihij August 9, 2011 at 5:10 AM -


  2. chas_m August 9, 2011 at 5:18 AM -

    A bit premature, perhaps, as you are TESTING the iCloud service under a DEVELOPER account. We’ll see if this makes it to the fall, my guess would be “no” but of course I could be wrong.

    • Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM -

      this is apple we are talking about. they sometimes will do what they want and don’t care what people think until enough people cry foul. we all need to post and complain about this as much as we can and maybe something will get fixed.

    • Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 4:26 PM -

      Re-downloading music and TV shows is available in iOS 4.3.3, and that’s what I was using when the alert appeared. The feature is available to everyone currently.

  3. Dominoscr August 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM -

    The third world called. They wanted to know why you have more than ten iOS devices when all they have is famine and malaria.

    Also, a person that knows how to use a computer asked why you don’t just connect to your library through a networked device? That guy also mentioned you don’t have to use iTunes at all. He also mentioned that AirPlay will probably work with other Apple ID devices after iOS 5 is released. That guy is kind of a jerk!