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.