iTunes Match and Separate Apple IDs

Last night, Apple launched iTunes Match and iTunes in the Cloud in a number of countries, including Italy. Here’s my coverage at MacStories about the launch.

I was really looking forward to trying iTunes Match, so I hit Subscribe the moment I saw the option available on the Italian store. These days, I only use Rdio to listen to my library or just about anything I want, but I was eager to finally try Apple’s service to convert and “cloudify” my old music library.

I should have remembered that, unlike the iMessage and FaceTime setting panels on iOS, you can’t set up a separate Apple ID specifically for iTunes Match. On iOS, the “Store” and “Music” panels inside the use the same Store account, with no option to use a different Apple ID for, say, iTunes Match.

For me, this is a problem, as the Apple ID I’ve been using in the past four years – the one with all my App Store purchases – can’t be configured with iTunes Match, and the ID I am using in Italy for iTunes Match doesn’t obviously have the purchase history of account #1.

To make matters worse, once you associate an Apple ID with iTunes Match on a device, you’ll be unable to use Match, auto-download, or download past purchases with a different Apple ID for 90 days:

iOS Match

I know, I am in the minority. Apple wants users to rely on a single ID for everything; yet due to the evolution of the App Store over the years, new services launched and rebranded, and the fact that it’s so easy to create fake US accounts to enjoy lower prices (and redeem codes before they went worldwide), it appears Apple knows people have been struggling with at least two accounts on their devices. In fact, there’s quite a bit you can do with multiple accounts on iOS.

I’ll be keeping my iTunes Match subscription, listening to my music collection and new releases on Rdio. Here’s to hoping iOS 6 will let us enable Match from a separate Store account, or at least bring the always-rumored Apple ID merging options.


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