New owners of the iPod Touch (either the first or current generation) or the iPhone may have been surprised to discover that the devices seem to lock in an iTunes account. Whatever computer syncs with the iPod Touch, that computer’s iTunes account is represented on the iPod, and there’s no way to change it internally.
The “Settings” menu on the iPod is useless, as is the settings menu inside iTunes. It’s a point of contention with iPhone and iPod users, as it seems to take away an unnecessary and easily implemented feature on the iPod without any real reason.
Unfortunately, the only way currently to change your iTunes account on either an iPhone or an iPod Touch is to plug the iPhone into a computer that’s using the correct account and sync something from it. Usually, the “syncing” will happen automatically when iTunes detect that some sort of iPod is attached to it, so you’ll simply need to plug your iPod in.
If the computer you’re syncing with doesn’t have the right account information, you can change this by hitting the “iTunes Store” option under the “Store” menu to the left side of your iTunes screen, then clicking the sign in name in the upper right hand corner. iTunes will prompt a menu that lets you enter different account information. Be sure to do this before connecting your iPod or iPhone, as unless you do multiple syncs, the account information won’t transfer over otherwise.
It’s admittedly very frustrating that the iTunes account can’t be changed on the actual iPhone/iPod Touch, since there’s a quite competent keyboard already on the device, and the App Store and iTunes Store both prompt for a user’s password before downloading any music, video, or applications, even free applications, anyways. Hopefully, it’s something that Apple will address in a future update.
Ostensibly, the lock-out occurs to prevent unauthorized access of a user’s iTunes account, though it’s unclear why an iPod Touch or iPhone would be less secure than a standard Windows or Macitosh computer. It may also be designed to protect DRM-protected mp3s that belong to one account from playing on the iPhone or iPod, and if that’s the case, Apple may repeal the account lock-out soon, since the store appears to be headed the way of DRM-free mp3s (though videos will take a bit longer to make the DRM-free jump, if they ever actually do).
For the time being, iPhone users have nothing to do other than the quick plug-and-fix method, though, and that seems unlikely to change for a while.
Do you have any tips, gripes, or comments about changing the iTunes account on an iPod Touch or iPhone? Post in our comments section below–maybe Apple will take notice.