12/4/12
12:31 pm

Forum Question: How Do I Best Break Up a Shared iTunes Account

Hi Gary
My husband and I decided to go separate ways, it’s all quite amicable, but one of the hardest things about the break up seems to be how to split the iTunes account ;-)
We have used a shared iTunes account for Music, Books and App purchases. This account is also set up for iTunes Match.
We both have another separate iTunes account for iCloud (contacts, calendars, photostream etc.) but our joint music collection is about 15000 songs and we have a lot of iPhone apps.
I would like my husband to be able to continue use the apps & music we bought together but going forward for each of us to buy their own stuff and manage the music libraries / app collections independently. As the shared purchasing account is under my main e-mail I would need to keep this account and set him up for something new.
For the music, I think it might be easiest if I take the music files (that I have backed up on a hard disk), open a new iTunes match under his name (e.g. under the iTunes account he uses for iCloud now) and import all music to that new account (?). And then have his devices sync with that Match account and not with mine anymore. Most of the music is from CDs, but will he lose what was bought on iTunes under my account this way, or is this all DRM free now? Also, is there any way to copy the playlists we currently have as a starting point so he does not need to start from scratch?
And what could I do for the apps? I would like him to continue to have access to the ones he is using, so he can keep updating them and does not have to download everything again (a lot are free apps, so its not the money but the hassle).Is there a way to work through home sharing (I don’t mind letting him have one of my 5 “activations” for my account).
But with homesharing can he delete stuff like a song or an app, or change playlists on his computer without messing with my collection?
How would you suggest we best do this? we used to share the Mac at home too, but he now has a new one so is starting from scratch on that one. Can I just copy the Media Library over and activate his computer for homesharing my account?.
I’d be extremely grateful for a simple explanation for a “non-techie”. As mentioned the Media Library on his Mac is currently empty. We both have iPhones and iPads that we sync via iCloud and we both use iTunes Match.
Also I have searched the forum for similar issues, but topics that seemed similar were all related to old versions of iTunes and having just switched to iTunes 11 makes it even more difficult as I am still trying to find the basics there. Hope there is a simple way. Thanks a lot for your help
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Annie

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Best Break Up a Shared iTunes Account”

    12/4/12 @ 12:45 pm

    The best way is probably for one of you to keep the account, and the other to take what media you can from that account. That would only work with music, though, and I’m not sure of the legalities of that. After all, you purchased one license for that music and now you are splitting it up over two accounts. It may not even work as when the other person takes the aac files and tries to use them with iTunes Match, it may identify the aac files as being from another account and not allow it.
    DRM is gone, but music is still signed. So one aac (or mp3) file is still marked with the owner. This allows you to put the files on weird devices or import them into editing tools, etc, but the mark may be a problem for iTunes Match as you are clearly going against the license.
    As for apps, you could use Home Sharing one time to transfer apps and then go your separate ways. But I’m not sure what happens when you try to update those apps. It may not work. And Home Sharing only works “at home” (same wifi network) so it would be a one-time thing for the transfer. It doesn’t link the accounts in any way — it just transfers raw files. So after he is away from the wifi network then if he deletes an app, it won’t do anything to you.
    I don’t have a good answer for you on any of this because it is a BIG question. There are a lot of details and a lot of options.
    The idea of copying the whole iTunes library over is a decent one. It almost certainly breaks copyright law, though.
    The only thing I would advise is that when you are done to go your separate ways with the Apple ID and iTunes accounts ASAP. Allowing him to authorize though your account may mask some problems that will later crop up when he finally breaks free. Better to see those problems now and deal with them. I would change your password too, and not let him know the new one for the same reason. Him not having access to your account will reveal any problems now, rather than later.
    I suggest this: go into the Apple store and meet with an Apple Genius. Ask your questions firsthand and see what they suggest. Apple may have a guide for dealing with this, whereas the guy you are asking now (me) has never needed to do this before.

    Annie
    12/4/12 @ 2:53 pm

    Thanks anyway, that gives me a starting point. Sounds like a trip to the Genius bar might be up next…

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