Q: I am part of a Mac Family. I have a Mac, as do my wife and daughters. We also have several iPhones, iPods, and hopefully soon, some iPads. We also have some of our own music that we have purchased on our own iTunes accounts. I am curious if the 5 machine limit extends to iPads like it does for Macs?
A: No, the iPad is handled for authorization purposes in the same manner as an iPod or iPhone—there is no limit on the number of iPods, iPhones or iPads that you can sync your content to.
Note however that as with iPod and iPhone devices, you are limited to loading content from five separate iTunes accounts onto a single iPad. This means that if your family has more than five separate iTunes Store accounts and you share purchases between yourselves then you may not be able to load all of the content onto your iPad beyond the first five accounts. This restriction is not unique to the iPad, however—iPod and iPhone devices have had the same restrictions for years, so it’s likely you would have encountered it by now if it was of any concern.
Keep in mind also that any music purchased from the iTunes Store is now free of any restrictions and can be transferred to any number of devices or iTunes computers. Only music purchased prior to early 2009 that was not purchased in the “iTunes Plus” format carries any kind of copy protection.