A couple of years ago, I downloaded The Waifs’ great cover of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” from the iTunes store. I’ve bought less than five songs from iTunes, so I suspect this was one of their free weekly downloads.
When I acquire a song from iTunes, I usually convert it to MP3 format, and delete the iTunes file. I did convert this song, but didn’t delete the original.
This song came around in the big, randomized playlist on my newish MacBook, and I got the dreaded digital rights management-powered message. This is the first one of these I’ve seen from iTunes (click for a readable version):
Let’s see…those five machines would be my Windows desktop, an iMac at the office, our two old laptops and Julie’s MacBook.
It’s no skin off my nose, because I already converted the file to MP3. Interestingly, I only have access to one of those five machines anymore. I could only de-authorize one, therefore extending this file’s life by only one machine.
From the error message, it looks like the authorization is account-wide, not song-by-song. Does anybody know if that’s the case?
In any case, this is pretty complicated stuff for Nomal Human computer users, and it’s a cautionary tale for iTunes song owners. If you forget to de-authorize your old machines, I think you’re limiting your music library’s lifespan. Do I have that right?
UPDATE: Thanks to Dan, who points me to this article describing how to deauthorize all your iTunes-enabled machines from your iTunes account settings. It worked like a charm.