At least once a week I get asked about transferring iTunes music from one computer to another, but recently someone said to me:
“My sister bought a bunch of episodes of Gossip Girl and some other shows on iTunes. I’d like to watch them on my computer, too, but I don’t want to buy them again. How can I get them onto my computer and iPod?”
I told them they’ll be able to watch them on a computer, but they won’t be able to watch them on an iPod.
“Because the iPod is linked to a specific user or account. And the music and video files are linked to a specific user or account. So once iTunes sees the account attached to the video file doesn’t match the account attached for the iPod, it will refuse to transfer the file.”
“How does it know?”
“There’s no easy way to explain that, but, trust me, it won’t work.”
“Well, how do I copy them to my computer?”
Find the files on your sister’s computer. Typically the videos will be in the “My Music” folder on the hard drive. In that folder there is an “iTunes” folder, then a “iTunes Media” folder, and lastly a “TV Shows” folder. Inside that folder you’ll find folders for all the shows your sister bought. You can just copy these folder onto a CD, DVD, or external drive, and then copy them onto another computer. You can copy them to the same location on your own computer. Or you can have iTunes import them.
When you try to play them, iTunes will tell you that you’re not authorized to play them on your computer. At which point you will need to enter your sister’s iTunes account information.
“And, no, you still won’t be able to play them on your iPod.”