How do I let my ex have her iTunes songs if they're on my computer?
November 30, 2008 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Two people, one iTunes account - now we're divorcing!

We have already separated and divorce is imminent. The computer was mine before we got together, so it is with me. The iTunes account we used and all songs we downloaded are on my computer, but she wants her songs so she can put them on another computer. Help!
posted by thatweirdguy2 to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Burn everything onto CD(s) -- then re-rip into another computer(s). No DRM protection anymore, so don't have to worry about going above 5 device limit now or later.
posted by zeikka at 6:52 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Perhaps you could just print out a playlist of the songs she wants, and then get her an iTunes Gift Certificate that will enable her to repurchase the appropriate songs? This probably only feasible if the number of songs we are talking about is in the dozens, rather than the hundreds.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:52 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Rock Steady has it. The account and "original" purchased songs stay with you on your own computer, and the ex-wife gets freshly-made MP3-via-CD copies.

If they had DRM (some iTunes songs still do, some don't) this will also remove it.
posted by rokusan at 6:56 PM on November 30, 2008

Errr I meant zeikka has it. Sorry Rock Steady. :)
posted by rokusan at 6:56 PM on November 30, 2008

If you have a DVD burner, you can save the songs as a data DVD and use way fewer discs than you would using CDs.
posted by Airhen at 7:04 PM on November 30, 2008

Sorry Rokusan, you can't burn MP3 CDs of AAC protected (iTunes purchased) songs. You can burn AIFF audio CDs (or AIFF files on a DVD) of anything. Whoever gets the CDs will have to re-import them. There may be a slight loss in quality.
posted by Gungho at 7:21 PM on November 30, 2008

There may not be a way to do it that is both within the EULA (the fine print you agreed to when you signed up) and/or the law. You should see if you can find the fine print you agreed to and read it.

You may be out of luck. This is one of the ways DRM makes your life hard. There is some explanation of the technical issues here, and there is text that agrees with the above suggestions saying a burn-rip cycle will disable the DRM. But I cannot immediately find whether you are legally and/or contractually allowed to do this with your iTunes songs.
posted by fritley at 7:22 PM on November 30, 2008

But I cannot immediately find whether you are legally and/or contractually allowed to do this with your iTunes songs.

yeah, well, I am legally required to remain at or under 65MPH on the 280 when going up to the City.

Not gunna happen.

And of course Apple isn't going to give a crap about this, so it's up to one's personal morality.

FWIW, the gift card and re-purchasing idea would be the moral choice, preserving one's IP karma score should one be concerned about that.

Another moral choice IMHO would be to put "her" songs on the CD, and just delete them from your machine.

Laws and contracts can't cover every eventuality.
posted by troy at 7:31 PM on November 30, 2008

do either of you have ipods? you can transfer all of her music onto an ipod then plug it into her computer and import it from there. i'm pretty sure you have to have the ipod in "disk" mode to do this, but it's been a few years since i've investigated this.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:51 PM on November 30, 2008

Sorry Rokusan, you can't burn MP3 CDs of AAC protected (iTunes purchased) songs.

Even if iTunes won't allow you to do this (and I don't believe this is the case), just burn them with Toast or using the Finder, or just sneakernet the files to her machine.

After burning the files as data, give the media to your ex - she'll load them into iTunes, and upon first playback, she'll be prompted to authorize her machine with the iTunes username/password associated with the purchased music (you are allowed to authorize 5 machines total for your purchased iTunes music).
posted by porn in the woods at 7:54 PM on November 30, 2008

You can burn iTunes purchased songs. Not sure if you're supposed to, but nothing will stop you... I do it all the time. You can't upload them to ringtone websites, or filesharing sites. But yeah, you can burn them. I recommend though, unless she will listen to the CDs, say, in the car afterwards, using CD-RWs for one batch of songs at a time and then reusing them, to save the CDs that would otherwise be wasted. They're slightly more expensive but if she has hundreds of songs, you'll save the money you would've wasted on CD-Rs.
posted by SputnikSweetheart at 8:16 PM on November 30, 2008

the problem is the DRM on the songs which requires the computer to be authorized to play the songs. the easiest way to do it is just to transfer the songs to the other computer and authorize it for the account. if this is not what you want there are a couple alternatives. the easiest way is to burn them to an Audio cd that won't have the drm; this limits you to about 25 songs max per cd so if you have lots of songs to transfer it could be a pain. second is to use some kind of itunes drm removal tool than just transfer the files normally.
an MP3 type cd with the files on it before removing the drm will require the other person to have the account authorization to play the songs.
posted by humanawho at 9:31 PM on November 30, 2008

I would just authorize her computer to play the songs; you can authorize up to 5. Make an agreement between you that you won't change the password or whatever, so you will both have access to these songs in the future. Create new individual accounts for each of you for future purchases. A given computer can be authorized under any number of accounts, so it is no problem for both existing songs and new songs to be played on a single machine.
posted by kindall at 10:02 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sorry Rokusan, you can't burn MP3 CDs of AAC protected (iTunes purchased) songs.

Um... I didn't claim that. I said "via CD", meaning burn them as audio CDs and re-import. That is the usual and normal method. Other people suggested data CDs.
posted by rokusan at 4:27 AM on December 1, 2008

Best answer: E-mail Apple support and ask them what can be done. They are quite helpful in my experience. I erased my entire library once (oops) and they re-enabled everything for download. They might refund the tracks as gift certificates or transfer them to another iTunes account.
posted by public at 6:10 AM on December 1, 2008

Response by poster: Well, I took public's advice and e-mailed Apple support. Turnaround for a response was +/- 4 hours. Here's the relevant part of the rather cordial response I received from the representative:

For your former wife to be able to play her purchases on her new computer, she will need to be able to access the account, "***@***.com" in order to authorize the purchases that have been downloaded. This means that she will need to have access to the password.

Because of this situation, my recommendation would be to remove your billing information from this account, and leave it open as a joint account so that all three of you can authorize your purchases. You can then create your own accounts separately so that your billing information is not accessible and further unauthorized purchases cannot be made.

Here are instructions to delete your credit card information from the iTunes Store:

1) Make sure you're using the latest version of iTunes. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple website at:

Note: Installing the latest version of iTunes will not affect your library or any items in your account that you haven't downloaded.

2) To launch iTunes and be taken to your Apple Account Information page, click this link:

(If you are not already signed in, you will need to enter your iTunes Store account name and password and then click the Account Info button to sign in.)

3) The Apple Account Information page will appear. On this page, click the Edit Payment Information button, which is the second button from the top.

4) On the Edit Payment Information page, select "None" from the list of credit card types. This will delete your billing information.

5) Be sure to click the Done button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

Once this second account has been created, playing your purchases from both of these accounts will be as simple as authorizing your computer to play these items.

It looks like this solution will work... my main concern was making sure she did not have the ability to continue charging songs to my credit card while retaining access to the songs she already had. Thanks to everyone who responded to my question!
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 6:24 PM on December 1, 2008 [4 favorites]

Apple support for the win. Impressive.
posted by rokusan at 7:39 PM on December 1, 2008

« Older Please help me ID and care for this plant   |   New Jack City Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.