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Using several iPods on one computer

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Q: My wife and I each have an iPod, which we both use on one computer. My two sons and my niece have also used our PC to load music onto their iPods. Recently, my brother purchased an iPod and tried to use our PC to load some music, but unfortunately it would not register on our PC. We have been told that this is due to the fact that you can only have 5 iPods registered on one PC. Is this correct, and if so can you tell me what happens if one of the people who have registered iPods on our PC purchase a new iPod and want to load up more music from our PC?  How do we remove the registration of old iPods that we no longer need to use on our PC?

- Gary

A: Actually, there is no limit on the number of iPods that you can use with a single iTunes library. In fact, you can even connect more than 5 iPods at a single time, provides you have sufficient USB ports for all of them. The five-device limit has to do with the number of computers that can be authorized for a single iTunes Store account, and only affects protected music that is purchased from the iTunes Store with a given account. Further, there is also a limit of five different iTunes Store accounts that can be used on a single iPod (ie, if you have purchased music with five different iTunes Store user IDs).

If your brother is using a newer iPod model, you may want to ensure that you have upgraded to the latest version of iTunes. You can check the specifications for each iPod model at Apple’s product pages, but basically the new iPod models officially require iTunes 7.6 as a minimum version. Recent versions of iTunes should notify you of this, but older versions may simply not detect the iPod at all. This is especially true of the iPod touch, since it uses a completely different synchronization method that was simply not available in older versions of iTunes.

If you are using a current version of iTunes and the iPod is still not appearing, you can try normal diagnostic procedures such as connecting it to a different USB port, using a different USB cable, or even trying it on a different computer if you have one available.

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