Q: If you go travelling around the world but want to add purchased songs to your iPod whilst away, what is the best method? If I set my iPod to manual mode before I leave, can I then download iTunes in an Internet Cafe and use it to make purchases from the iTunes Store and transfer them onto my iPod?

– Stephen

A: Subject to restrictions that you may encounter in some Internet Cafes with regards to downloading and installing software, this method should work just fine, and is probably your best option if you are not travelling with a laptop computer of your own.

For purchasing music from the iTunes Store, however, there are a few points that you should pay careful attention to, since you will essentially have to log on to the iTunes Store with your userid and password and authorize any computer that you want to transfer purchased content onto your iPod from.

The first and most obvious consideration is to be sure to avoid leaving behind any purchased tracks or iTunes Store account information. Some Internet Cafes use “volatile” user profiles where your settings are wiped out anyway as soon as you log out of the computer. Others simply use shared accounts, and you may end up leaving your iTunes library behind when you leave. Ensure that you do not select the option to remember your iTunes Store account information, and you’re best to erase your iTunes library (via Windows Explorer) and empty the trash before leaving that particular computer if it’s a shared user profile.

The other important consideration, however, is that you deauthorize a computer after you leave it. Purchasing tracks from the iTunes Store and transferring them to your iPod will require each computer you use to be authorized for that iTunes Store account, and you may not have more than five computers authorized for the same iTunes Store account at any one time. If you forget to deauthorize a computer that you’re no longer using, you could quickly reach your five-computer limit. You should be especially diligent to do this before logging out of a computer with a volatile profile, since depending upon the configuration of that computer, it’s possible that you wouldn’t be able to DE-authorize that computer and it would still count against your five-computer limit.

You can manually deauthorize a computer in iTunes by selecting Store, Deauthorize Computer from the iTunes menu, and entering your iTunes Store user ID and password.


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.