“Unlimited number of iPods” = 5 iPods? - Macenstein

“Unlimited number of iPods” = 5 iPods?

Faithful Macenstein reader Phelim ran into an interesting problem I had never heard of while copying music to his friend’s iPod. Apparently despite Apple’s claims that you can put DRM songs purchased via iTunes on “an unlimited number of iPods”, that isn’t always the case.

Apparently there is a 5 user limit per iPod, meaning if you are like Phelim, who has 3 different iTunes accounts, and then your friend wants some songs from you and another friend on his iPod, he’s out of luck.

Perhaps if you regularly share music with your friends this is common knowledge, but I had never heard of this before, mainly because I have never had four friends. 🙁

10 Responses to ““Unlimited number of iPods” = 5 iPods?”
  1. Vas the Man says:

    Well, what they say is true: you can play your DRM’d music on an unlimited number of iPods. I could buy 20 iPods and play my music on all of them. What they limit is how many people’s music can be put on one iPod, and they’ve never made any guarantees about that. Besides, isn’t putting music from your friends’ collections on your iPod copyright violation, anyway?

  2. Jim C. says:

    Allowed: Unlimited number of iPods tied to one iTunes account

    Not Allowed: More than 5 iTunes accounts per iPod

    There’s no confusion there, it’s printed right in the Terms & Conditions, and it’s perfectly reasonable. This way, even in a family of two parents and three kids, everyone would be able to have their own iTunes account, and still be able to share music. But, this does prevent people randomly sharing music with a bunch of friends (which as Vas the Man mentioned, *is* a copyright violation). And why would one person need more than one iTunes account?

  3. Enigmafan420 says:

    Simple fix-burn the DRM songs to a CD FIRST, re-rip as MP-3.

    Viola! No more issues…

  4. Alternately, you could find a copy of Requiem, somewhere…

  5. Brett says:

    This is good news. I didn’t know you could even put other people’s music on your iPod. And from 5 others, no less! That’s pretty cool.

    Of course I still believe in buying CDs and ripping them myself. I want no restrictions on how I use my music.

  6. Adam says:

    Welcome to another reason why I started buying from Amazon. 🙂

  7. Booba says:


    I hope you meant the french word voila!
    because viola in french mean ‘raped’ …

  8. Albert says:

    Once again, why would you buy drm’d music from iTunes when Amazon has mp3 so you can listen on your cell phone, ipod or iphone

  9. imajoebob says:

    As someone who travels, this is just a PIA. The US has a store, The UK has a store. So do Norway, Ireland, Canada, and a collective of EU countries. That’s six. iTunes uses your IP address to determine what country you’re in and which iTunes store to use. I need a separate account for each, but I won’t be able to load them all onto one iTunes? Baloney.

  10. phelim says:

    @imajoebob no, no. You make one account in the country where your billing address/credit card is. Then, when you go to other countries you can use the drop down menu at the bottom of the iTunes Store to switch back to whichever store has your account. You could have separate accounts in each country if you had a lot of debit/credit cards and a lot of billing addresses in different territories.

    @Albert firstly Amazon MP3 can only be used in one country, secondly if you have an iPod/iPhone they integrate so well with iTunes that you’d be compelled to buy music from Apple- that’s why it is so popular.

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