Thursday, February 26, 2015

iTunes Cloud videos not showing up? Maybe you're over the device limit Apple is now enforcing.

Recently Apple revised their US family sharing policy … "… up to 10 devices per account, only five of which can be computers … Not all products, including In-App Purchases … eligible for Family Sharing. “

Recently I think I ran into the policy limits. All of our family devices use a single iTunes account, but I’ve not run into trouble before. I think Apple has changed more than the Family Sharing policy. I think the new limit applies to wise old timers who’ve always used a single iTunes ID for the entire family (though everyone has their own iCloud account).

There’s no error message, instead my son’s iPhone 5 simply failed to show our Cloud video resources (TV/Movies). It would only show what was on the phone.

This happened after we introduced an i6 to the family. Emily doesn’t want anything bigger than a 5, so she got my 5s. Most importantly #2 finally got rid of his dying 4 in favor of a fairly fresh 5. 

Except the 5 wouldn’t show his Cloud video. They simply weren’t there. Signing in and out of the store did nothing.

So I pulled his old 4 out of the reserve bin and logged out of iTunes there. A few minutes later the videos showed up on his 5.

Looks like we went over the (new) limit. Turns out it’s not simply for Family Sharing, it’s for devices associated with an iTunes account.

In our case we have 6 active iPhones, 1 Apple TV and 3 Apple computers. We seem to be right at the 10 device limit, so #2’s old 4 pushed us over the limit.

It’s not documented but the iTunes App Store account information now provides some info. According to Account info we had 4 authorized computers and 10 devices. The device detail list provides some policy information:

Screen Shot 2015 02 26 at 10 45 36 PM

There’s no additional information on the 4 authorized computers. I know of 3 and an Apple TV. I could reauthorize them all and reauthorize but that’s a bit of a pain.

Interestingly the 10 devices includes 2 computers (should be 3) and doesn’t include the Apple TV or my own phone! It does, however, include several devices no longer in use. I removed all of those, but I needed to figure out why my new iPhone 6 wasn’t on the list.

Poking around with Apple ID on my own phone I saw this: “Enabling Automatic Downloads … or downloading a previous purchase … will associated this device with your Apple ID for use with iTunes in the Cloud”. So I launched a video and updated an app on my iPhone 6 Sure enough, I now show up on the list.

So we are again under the limit — for the moment. Buy some iPads though, and we’ll be in trouble. I think we’re done buying iOS devices for a while. We need to stay under the limit. The limit is likely to fall; the RetinaLock [1] screws are tightening…

… patent pending 2040) RetinaLock™ (Palladium Inside!™). The RetinaLock™ prevents any access to DRMd material by control of visual inputs. BrainLock does the same for auditory, tactile, and olfactory inputs. BrainLock Enhanced™ (mandatory upgrade 2045) makes it impossible to consider any action that would circumvent the workings of the BrainLock™ (thereby ending the trickle of death sentences related to violations of the DMCA amendment of 2043). 

[1] Incidentally, Google couldn’t find that 2005 blog post. Duck Duck Go had it #2 on the list.

Update 2/27/2015: I wonder now if the syncproblems I saw four months ago were related to bugs with Apple’s implementation of this device cap.

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