Problems transferring purchased content to iPod

Q: I recently purchased some new songs on iTunes and when I try and connect my iPod to download them it says that my computer will not allow me to put them on there. I am using the same computer that I used to put the rest of the songs on there…I don’t know what to do. I can open up my iTunes and play the songs on my computer but I can’t put them on my iPod. Please help me!!

– Sarah

A: The most common cause of this problem is that your computer has not been properly authorized to play your purchased content, and therefore iTunes will not transfer these tracks onto your iPod. Even if your computer has been previously authorized, sometimes a hardware upgrade or an iPod software update can affect the ability for this to work properly.

You can re-authorize your computer by selecting Store, Authorize Computer from the iTunes menu:

Problems transferring purchased content to iPod

Enter your iTunes Store account name and password, and iTunes will RE-authorize your computer and report how many computers are presently authorized on your account:


Problems transferring purchased content to iPod

Note that if you are simply RE-authorizing your existing computer, this count should not increase, as iTunes should already recognize your computer as having been previously authorized. However, if you have recently made a significant hardware change to your computer (such as replacing the main system board), it is possible that iTunes may see your computer as a “new” computer and use up another authorization. This should not be a concern unless you have already used up all five of your permitted authorizations, in which case you can go to your iTunes Store account and reset all of your authorizations to zero once per year.

If your computer has been successfully authorized and these tracks will still not transfer to your iPod, the other possibility is that you have reached the account limit on your iPod itself. Your iPod may only contain purchased content from a maximum of five different accounts, so if you have loaded purchased content onto your iPod in the past from other computers and/or other iTunes Store accounts, this may affect your ability to authorize your iPod for any additional content that you have purchased with a sixth account. To resolve this, you will either need to remove ALL of the content purchased with one of these other accounts, or perform a “Restore” on your iPod to erase it and return it to factory settings.

Finally, even if you are not at your account limit, a “Restore” is still the best final step if you still cannot get your music to transfer onto your iPod, since this will return it back to its original out-of-the-box settings and you will be starting with a clean slate.


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