International iPod and iTunes Store use


Q: I recently purchased an iPod in the US along with some iTunes vouchers. I have iTunes installed on my PC and whenever I select the iTunes Store I am automatically directed to the U.S. store, saying I am unable to purchase from the UK site. I cannot use my credit card to purchase from the U.S. store as I do not have a U.S. bank account or credit card, and iTunes vouchers purchased in the shops over here can only be used on the UK iTunes site. This means I cannot purchase any music from iTunes. Is there any way around this?

International iPod and iTunes Store use

– Danielle

A: The problem in this case is that you have likely set up a U.S. based iTunes Store account when you redeemed your iTunes vouchers that were purchased in the U.S.

As you’ve noticed with the iTunes vouchers available in the UK, these are country-specific, so the vouchers purchased in one country can only be used on the iTunes Store for that particular country.

Once you have created an iTunes Store account in a given country, it is generally tied to the iTunes Store in that country, and all subsequent purchases made through that account are therefore restricted to that particular country’s iTunes Store and its terms of service.

The simplest solution to this problem is to create a new iTunes Store account on the UK iTunes Store, using a different user id and password and your UK address and credit card information. The simplest way to do this is to manually switch iTunes over to the UK Store using the drop-down list found at the bottom of the main Store page (scroll all the way down to the bottom):

Switching away from the U.S. Store will automatically log you out, replacing your U.S. iTunes Store userid that normally appears in the top-right corner with a button simply labelled “Sign In”


International iPod and iTunes Store use

Simply click the “Sign-In” button, and iTunes will provide you with a dialog box asking you to either sign up for a new iTunes Store account, or log on to an existing account.


International iPod and iTunes Store use

Simply choose “Create a New Account” and fill in your UK address and payment information when prompted to do so.

Note that even after you’ve done this, the purchases you’ve made from the U.S. Store will continue to be valid and tied to the U.S. iTunes Store account, and in fact you can log in to either account simply by clicking on the Sign-in button in the top-right corner (which will normally show your account name when you’re already logged in).

You can determine which account was used to purchase a given track simply by selecting the track and choosing File, Get Info. The “Summary” tab will show the name of the account that was used to purchase that particular item.

Your iTunes library and your iPod can support music from both iTunes Store accounts without any difficulty, and the only thing to keep in mind is that if you ever move or copy your iTunes library to a new computer, you will need to authorize both accounts separately in order to play all of your purchased music (you can authorize additional computers by selecting Store, Authorize Computer from within the iTunes application and entering your iTunes Store userid and password—simply do this once for each account).

Q: We are planning to purchase an iPod for our teenage daughter. Can an iPod purchased in the U.S. be used in Europe? Since we will be living outside the U.S. would it be better to buy the iPod in Europe?

– Allison

A: Basically, other than power adapters and charging requirements, there are no issues with buying an iPod or any iPod accessories in the U.S. as opposed to buying them in Europe.

None of the current models of iPod include external charging accessories any more, so even this is not an issue—the included USB cable will charge the iPod directly from your computer and therefore has no specific external power requirements beyond those of your computer itself.

Of course, if you’re planning on buying separate power adapters you should obviously be aware of the differences between North America and Europe in terms of power connections and requirements. Apple’s own power adapters are actually internationally compatible in terms of the electrical components, but the plug-end needs to be changed for the sockets in different countries. Apple provides a world adapter kit with the plugs for different countries, but alternatively a simple cable can be used such as the one shown in our FAQ.



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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.