using one itunes account on two computers to purchase apps

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Jimbobjoe, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Jimbobjoe macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    Is there a way to "sync" apps purchased - without having those apps on the device?

    For example - I have a primary computer which I sync my device with. I have a second computer at another location I sometimes browse itunes with and purchase bought or free apps - without having my device with me - for use later.

    Is there a way to get to my primary computer and say "download all apps purchased with this itunes account, regardless of which computer they were purchased on?"

    I know I can repurchase that specific app, and I get a message saying its already bought and we can re download, but is there a way to just download them all in one shot without having to repurchase each one?
  2. dtblaze macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2010
    Nope, you can only sync it with one. You can erase it on the other comp if you wanna add files.
  3. Jimbobjoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    Sync is probably the wrong word. I don't intend to attach my device to the second pc, just the first. I only use the second pc to browse the iTunes store and purchase apps.

    Currently I can get those apps on the primary pc by repurchasing them individually. Don't have to rebuy them as iTunes pops up with a message I've already purchased and can just redownload. Just thought there must be a way to get them in one shot, rather then reordering them individually.
  4. BlueCat57 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    iTunes Libraries

    The info about the store knowing that I already purchased the apps on another computer was a good bit of info for me.

    I have several computers and several iPods with several Apple IDs and several iTunes libraries.

    Since everything is stored in the local libraries it is a challenge to keep track of what is where. I've seen instructions on how to link the libraries and there is home sharing.

    I've also figured out that each user ID on a PC creates a new iTunes library.

    This is getting messy. It would be much simpler if it was all stored in the cloud instead of on the local computer.
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Apps downloaded on computers are stored as "ipa" files in the following location:
    ~iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications

    Above is for Windows, it might be slightly different on a Mac, but it's the same general idea.

    Just copy the ipa files onto a flash drive or something, take them back to your main computer, copy them into the above directory on the main computer, then drag them into iTunes.
  6. Jimbobjoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    thanks for the idea but I was assuming there was a way to just "populate" all apps purchased on an itunes account.

    hoping to avoid the effort of syncing them individually, or remembering to copy them to a flash drive. doesnt seem like its possible though so Ill just continue on as is.

    I did find I can look at a list of apps purchased on all computers from my preferences - so at least I can get an accurate list to use to remember to redownload.
  7. ShinyDren macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2010
    Ambitoysterous, USA
    Home Sharing inside of iTunes might work for you (if you have not already tried it). It is supposed to be able to sync new purchases between computers. Here is Apple's page with instructions:

    "iTunes: Understanding Home Sharing"

    Hope this helps some
  8. X2thaP macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2010
    Yes, just use, if possible, the built-in option to share your library. This way you can connect iTunes from one PC/Mac to another. Then you can browse the other PC/Mac, go to the apps section for that PC/Mac and in the bottom you select to view only things outside of your existing library. Now you select all and drag the selected list over to your PC/Mac's library in the left column in iTunes. This way you want get messages that say you already have the file and so on, just copy the ones you don't have yet.

    That's it. I use it to sync my iMac and MacBook. Works really well.

    I do however have one issue with this, nothing bad or anything, but I can't figure it out...
    When I do the synchronizing/copying like this and I take a look inside the folder (on my Mac) where the files are stored (Mobile Applications folder inside iTunes folder), all the apps that were just transferred have these really weird names. An example: Uno is normally called uno.ipa or uno 1.9.8.ipa for example, right? Now when transferred, this same file on the other Mac is now called UQJN.ipa ... :confused:
    The file works perfectly fine and gets recognized with all the correct info and all, but I wonder why the names get so screwed up. It makes it harder to back-up a certain app, which I do sometimes if there's an update that turns out to be worse than the old version. (I know you can always right-click and select to show in finder, but still.)

    Anyone else noticed this?
  9. Jimbobjoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    So I tried the home sharing thing but I dont think it will work for me - as Im trying to "share" my home computer and work computer with the same device - in two different locations.

    There has to be an easy way to connect one device to two different computers, without having to lose the apps on the device each time, doesnt there???
  10. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    You can create separate folders, iTunes. I was helping a friend and they have two iPods using the same account. Both do not contain the same Apps. But all apps were purchased with the same account.

    Basically one of the iPod did not download some the Apps.

    When you have a different iPod, it will back up that iPod.

    To separate them, you have to create a iTunes user/folder. Remember iTunes is basically a program. On the Mac you Click Alt + Itunes to create a new folder. Name that folder whatever you want. Then sync Apps to that folder. This way your Apps page only has the ones that are on that ipod.
  11. Jimbobjoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    I think you are answering the opposite of what is being asked here. How to easily use one device on one itunes account, over two different computers - one at work and one at home.
  12. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    lol you're right.

    Can you just not sync it. deselect the box?

    I get what you're saying..before I got my 4G I use to sync my 1st Gen on my Powerbook and my MBP. And then I also had it sync'd at work. When using both, just sync on the main PC.

    Like I said, you can create two iTunes folders, and use one to sync and use one to play.
  13. Jimbobjoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010
    Well - the point is i purchase apps on both computers for one device. So syncing to both computers but one device and one library would be ideal.

    See op.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You can have your iTunes folder on dropbox or on an external that you take with you.
  15. BlueCat57 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    One Size Fits All, No Custom Tailoring Allowed

    The iTunes/iPod experience is designed based on the fact that the vast majority of people have ONE computer and ONE iPod and that only ONE person uses that iPod.

    Any deviation from that scenario will result in rapidly rising blood pressure, cursing Steve Job's mother and unsavory gestures directed at your ONE computer in the hope that Mr. Jobs will see them.

    If you are using Home Sharing or any other Apple product be sure to verify that the ACTUAL file has been copied and/or backed up physically to the computer you want to use it on and that you can find and open it. I've run into a couple of different situations where to all appearances the file had been copied so I deleted it from the original location only to discover that all that had been copied was a pointer to the original location and possibly a temporary copy of the file which was deleted when the original was deleted.

    Of course the explanation is that this is to prevent piracy, etc., etc.

    As to the original question of this thread the answer is NO! As far as Apple is concerned their assumption of 1 computer, 1 iPod, 1 user is the way their products should be used and that is that. If you want to customize your experience or use them in a, from their point of view, unorthodox way, then buy some other brand of products.

    Hmm, and I didn't have all that much caffine today.:D
  16. BlueCat57 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    Are you sure?

    For some reason I don't believe that this can be done. I'd try it but I'm afraid that I would loose all my files.
  17. BlueCat57 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010

    And can anyone explain why ties up my PC and IE8 whenever I visit it? It takes forever to load, and I can't do anything else on my PC while I wait.:confused:

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