Transferring iTunes music between countries

Q: I am trying to transfer my iTunes music to my friend’s computer. Most of the music is downloaded from my own record collection. However, there is also some purchased music from iTunes. I live in Italy and am therefore registered with iTunes Italian Store. She lives in the UK. Having done this transfer once we find that she is always directed to the Italian site, which is not what we want.

I want to let her have my library—without the purchased music if
necessary—in her own iTunes library, and for her to have her own iTunes account with the UK iTunes Store. Is this possible, and if so, how do we do it, please?

– Paula

A: If you are simply transferring non-purchased iTunes content between two distinct libraries, the iTunes Store should be completely irrelevant, as iTunes doesn’t base anything in the iTunes Store off of the content already in your library. The same applies even if you’re transferring recent, non-protected iTunes Store purchases; these tracks do contain information identifying the account used to purchase the content, but iTunes generally doesn’t pay any attention to this information except for the purposes of transferring purchases back over from iPod and iOS devices.

Dealing with older, DRM-protected music is a slightly different story, however, since you would need to authorize the other computer for your iTunes Store account in order to play this content. Note that this doesn’t mean you need to leave your computer actually logged into that account, however—merely that you need to use the Authorize This Computer… option found on the Store menu in iTunes. In fact, you can have a single computer authorized for more than one iTunes Store account, even from different countries.

On the other hand, if you’re transferring the entire iTunes library, including all of the database and other internal files, the other computer will basically inherit most of the same settings, including your preferred iTunes Store country. This will cause it to default to using the same iTunes Store, but you should be able to easily fix this simply by signing out of the iTunes Store, using the Sign out option on the Store menu in iTunes, and then signing back in with an Apple ID from the store that you actually want to be using. Again, there is no requirement to remain signed in to the iTunes Store with the same account that the music came from.

The only exception to this rule is when using iTunes Match. If you have subscribed to iTunes Match, you must remain signed into your iTunes Match account in order to continue accessing the iCloud based music library. You will still be able to play local content when signed in with another account, but your cloud-based library will become inaccessible and changes made to your library will not sync with iCloud until you sign back in with your iTunes Match account and go through the process of re-enabling iTunes Match.

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