Are multiple accounts possible?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by anewman143, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. anewman143 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    Just got my wife a new iMac...she and my kids share an AppleID. I have my AppleID and have the VAST majority of our music collection linked to my AppleID after downloading through iTunes match.

    So - here's the question. When I set up her new iMac, can I authorize her Mac to use both her AppleID AND mine? Or do we have to pick one? If we must choose, I'm inclined to pick mine since it would be easier to re-purchase the relatively few purchases that she made on her account that the multi-thousand songs that I have associated with mine.

    Additionally - can her iPhone be associated with MY AppleID for purposes of music access in the cloud but HER AppleID for purposes of gamecenter, etc.? How about my kids iPad minis? Can they continue to use her AppleID for gamecenter, but mine for iTunes Match?

    Any ideas would help - I work out of state, so I have limited time to get her set up properly before I get yelled at for doing it wrong <grin>


  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Sharing a single ID is easy, provided you separate out the addresses with iMessage and the like. Nothing more annoying than echo messages cause the same addy is turned on in two places.
  3. awair, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    awair macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2011
    I would qualify that, to state WAS easy. It is certainly possible, and is even recommended by Apple in certain circumstances.

    The difficulty arises because Apple keeps changing the features and users need to be careful and consistent about how each device is setup.

    My personal recommendation is that each person, including children (they may grow up one day), should have their own Apple ID. This should be the primary Apple ID on any given user's personal device - you do not need to use this device for purchasing anything.

    The primary ID allows iCloud data/document use, Backup, Find My Phone and a couple of other features unique to the primary ID. The current features seem to change with each version of iOS & OS X.

    The primary ID can also then be used for FaceTime & Messages.

    Any other ID can be used for content (Music & Apps, etc) subject to Apple's enforcement of it's stated 5-device limit.

    There are stated policies about restrictions on ID switching, but in practise this has never affected me. I'm fairly sure that there are sophisticated algorithms checking for abuse, while permitting 'ordinary' switching.

    Use of the ID is setup inconsistently which adds to the confusion. During initial setup of any device, the Personal ID should be used - this allows restoration of accounts & data. This account information then appears under the iCloud tab of System Preferences.

    Adding a second Apple ID, for any data application, is completed using 'Accounts'.

    Installing content is via login to the App Store or iTunes Store, and doesn't necessarily result in any Account data being populated. It is this ID that is restricted to 5 devices.
  4. anewman143 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2008
    OK - so it does seem possible. Here are more specifics...need some real hand-holding here since if I screw it up, she-who-must-be-obeyed ( wife) will get VERY testy with me.

    I work out of state and have a large media collection connected to my AppleID. My wife and kids share her AppleID...some songs purchased, but NOT a ton. Just got my wife a new iMac. Kids have our older Macbook's and each of our two daughters have iPad Mini's.

    So - when I set up her iMac, the goal is to have her iTunes library linked to all of my media (I'm bringing it to her on a portable 2TB drive). Once I link her iTunes to "my" music, it will presumably ask for an AppleID - that's when I put MY info in...right?

    In the meantime, the kids have already been playing with their mini's for months...if I get them each their own AppleID now, any progress stored in the cloud previously will be lost...right? I don't think it is a HUGE issue for them...and since each has recently received an iTunes gift card, it's easy enough to set them up their new AppleID's and use the gift cards for them.

    Here's where I have a few more questions - the 5 device limit. I have my iMac and Macbook Pro, plus an iPhone and iPad. That's 4...I don't mind disconnecting my iPad from the list because I rarely use it for media that takes it down to 3. My wife's new iMac makes 4, and her iPhone would be 5 (she likes music when she exercises).

    Give that the kids will have their own brand new AppleID's on their iPads (once I figure out how to do that), they would not be able to access any of the media anymore, since 5 devices would already be defined...right?

    I know this sounds like a kinda is...but what do larger families do to get past the 5 device limit??

    Thanks for really specific advice...I am going back home this weekend to set up the iMac for my wife and want to be able to get it right the first time (he said very naively)


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