Filtering content by iTunes Store account

Q: My iTunes library on my Mac contains several apps and songs that were purchased by my ex-wife with her Apple ID account. When I attempt to play some of these songs or update these apps, iTunes prompts me for her Apple ID and password, both of which I don’t know.

Is it possible to identify all items in my iTunes library not linked to my personal Apple ID so I can remove them?

Filtering content by iTunes Store account

– Chris

A: iTunes does not provide you with any simple way to do this directly, since you cannot add a column with the purchaser’s information nor use it as a criteria in a Smart Playlist. However, as a Mac user you can take advantage of the Track Down Purchases AppleScript available from Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes.

This script supports the latest version of iTunes and Mac OS X and you can install it in the iTunes scripts folder and run it directly from the Scripts menu in iTunes. Installation instructions are included with the script download. The script will go through a selected set of tracks, placing them in separate playlists by either the name or the Apple ID of the purchaser; you’re prompted to choose one or the other when you first run the script.

Note that the script only acts on content that is currently selected or displayed in the iTunes window, so if you want to analyze multiple types of content, such as music and movies, you will need to either re-run the script for each category or create a master Smart Playlist that includes everything in your library.

Once you’ve finished running the script, you should end up with a new playlist in your library for each group of purchased items. You can easily clean out the items you no longer want by going to that specific playlist, highlighting all of them, and holding down the CMD key while deleting them—this removes them from the library, rather than merely removing the entries from the playlist.

Unfortunately, the script does not work with apps as iTunes handles these a bit differently. There’s no easy way to track these down en masse, but unlike media content, it shouldn’t be as difficult to deal with these on a case-by-case basis as they come up for updates unless you’re really dealing with a huge number of apps in your library.