60 Responses to How to have a US iTunes account on your iPad, iPhone, Apple TV

  1. Marshall says:

    And I thought marrying an American wasthe easiest way. Will remember this for the future…

  2. I could be wrong but I believe that what you’re describing is copyright infringement. Same as if you just torrented that stuff yourself (apps notwithstanding).

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      When I buy a US gift card, apply it to my US account and buy apps from the US iTunes store is it copyright infringement when I do it:

      A: standing in the San Jose Apple store B: roaming the streets of San Francisco C: In New Zealand

      Is it copyright infringement for me to use the applications and media bought using method A while I am in New Zealand?

      I’m buying US licensed content using US money from a US store, and then consuming it anywhere in the world. How is this different from getting Amazon to send me a book, cd or DVD?

      At the end of it all we are trying to legitimately buy content, and we are paying real money to do so. Any domestic content provider that complains about this clearly does not have consumer interests at heart, but are trying to protect… something.

      We’d prefer not to have to do this, but the only alternative is to torrent media, crack our devices and enter the dark economy.

      • Koz says:

        > We’d prefer not to have to do this, but the only alternative is to torrent media, crack our devices and enter the dark economy.

        Yeah, that’s kinda my point. If you’re going to commit copyright infringement you might as well not do it for free…

        • Tom G says:

          As an international traveller, and and out of 12-16 countries a year and having a significant portion of my time in the states, how does your theory of copyright infringement stack up for me.
          I will use my US account when I am it he US, download to my device, when I am in the hotel on their WIFI and then story it for, I don’t know, my plane flight to Beijing.
          When I return to Sydney and see that the same TV show that I downloaded in LA ($0.99) costs me $3.99in Australia and the server that the media comes from is from the same server in the US.
          Lance has a very strong point, people are legitimately using the systems that Apple have put in place.
          If apple want to play games with their consumers, their consumers will no doubt develop a syndicalism view of their offering and walk.
          If you look at every dynasty through out time, and the tech sector is no island here, you will see that his sort of protectionism/defense strategy is exactly the sort of scheme that will bring them undone, IBM in the 1980 is a classic case, Sony PS and now apple.
          You have to remember that it was apple and U2 that started the whole content de-protection.
          Koz, I hate to say it but I think your narrow mindedness is outa date and supportive of a tyrenical juganaught that pretended to be one thing to gain power and switched feet to hold onto that power.

    • Simon Lyall says:

      Actually since he’s giving a fake address and country I think it counts as fraud.

      It’s like getting a fake student ID in order to get discounts he’s not entitled to.

      Or perhaps signing up to a library in a town you don’t live in by giving a fake local address.

      Real criminal offenses.

      • Lance Wiggs says:

        When I was in the USA I was staying at an address. I purchased the card from a store. I was in the USA when I purchased the app.

        Now I travel to New Zealand, purchase another app using the credit from the card I purchased in the USA. How is that fraud?

        • Simon Lyall says:

          “. Rob says to use the address of a large hotel in the city of your choice – and don’t use a famous address like 1600 Pennsylvania in DC.”

          That doesn’t say “use the address of the US hotel you are staying in” .

          If you are providing correct details then you are okay. If you start providing frauduland addresses and other details then you are commiting fraud.

          It appears Itunes allow US residents to purchase (and use) content when they are outside the US. However that doesn’t mean that people overseas can pretend to be US residents, give fake addresses and then say they are above board.

          “But it’s not fair that he can do it and I can’t ” probably won’t impress the judge.

        • Lance Wiggs says:

          which judge will that be? one in New Zealand? One in the USA? It would certainly make an interesting test case, and it would be a foolish media owner to bring it to court.

  3. Dylan Bland says:

    I’ve created a US iTunes account this way and it works a treat. I now have access to many more movies, tv shows, CDs etc. It all works perfectly and syncs across all my Apple devices. Recommended!

    • Mike Roberts says:

      Dylan/Lance, when you say media syncs across all your Apple devices, do you mean you first had to wipe your non-US content to do so? It sounds like you get content from multiple accounts onto every device – I didn’t know that’s possible.

      Background: I have an iPhone 3GS plus Apple TV currently with an Australian Apple ID. I am getting an iPad next week from a friend in the US and will try the above tip for buying through a US account. However I was concerned about fragmenting my collection of media so I’m interested in how you get media from multiple accounts onto one device. My previous experience if I sync’d anything to iTunes with a different Apple ID then iTunes would tell me it needed to wipe everything that already existed.

      • Lance Wiggs says:

        You do need to sync to one computer, but that computer can have multiple iTunes accounts on it.

        When I got the iPad I first used the US account I created in the Apple store to get it going and download apps. I added the NZ account when I connected it to my little laptop, which is not my primary sync machine. When I returned to NZ I connected the iPad to my main computer, and first followed the prompt to copy all the US apps across to that, authorising the US account for the computer along the way. Once the copy was done I then did the erase-and-resync option, and voila, everything was there – all my iPad apps along with my iTunes songs & videos and my iPhone apps.

        • ubercurious says:

          Just so I’m clear – I have a US iTunes account having lived in the US every since iTunes’ inception. I have recently returned to Canada, and was given a Canadian iTunes gift card that can only work in the Canada store. Based on what you’re saying, if I create a Canada iTunes store account, buy content using this card, and authorize my computer to play that content, when I switch back and login to the US store, my computer will allow me to transfer content from both stores to my iPhone with no hassle? And to play on that machine with no hassle once both accounts are authorized for that computer?

        • Lance Wiggs says:

          Yes that will work. You are in a very similar situation to me.


  4. Ari says:

    An alternative approach is to buy an iTunes gift card through ebay and signup using that :)

    • Mat says:

      Strongly discouraged actually, many iTunes gift cards sold on eBay are actually counterfeit, as the algorithm used to generate iTunes gift card numbers is known. If you use a fake one, it will appear to work but sometime in the future Apple will terminate the account, wiping out any content you bought with it. So it’s a bit of a lottery really.

  5. Juha says:

    Seems like an extraordinary amount of trouble to go through. You Apple fanbois are hardcore in your devotion.

    • Ragnor says:

      Indeed, there are plenty of tablet form-factor options coming out in 2010 that will be running Windows 7 and possibly Google Android.

      iTunes can take a hike imo.

    • Mat says:

      Hardly about being an Apple fanboi Juha, just wanting to get content as legally as possible without having to wait the ridiculous length of time Sky Television, TVNZ and MediaWorks expect us to while they decide how they want to screw the consumer today. In fact, it should be considered evidence to copyright owners that even when the content isn’t legally available in their country, some people don’t resort to BitTorrent, and still go to inhuman lengths to actually *pay* for content they consume. If they could get that through their collective skulls… well.

  6. When Rob sent those instructions the other day it changed my world. I have a useful Apple TV now, and am consuming iPad apps galore. It is a slight pain managing the two accounts as if you have any apps on your iPhone/iPad that you downloaded through a NZ store account, any updates will need to be downloaded through that account. Eventually I will move full time to 102 North End Avenue, New York.

    Another tip, be careful which state you choose as your new home in the US. Some states tax digital downloads. See http://news.cnet.com/The-tax-man-cometh-after-iTunes/2009-1022_3-6059914.html

  7. lawgeeknz says:

    Copyright infringement?! Fraud?! What FUD. A legitimate, paid for, piece of material is being accessed so where is the infringement, let alone damage/loss to Apple – if anything, it is benefiting by people buying more material.

    At best, a breach of Apple’s t’s & c’s … maybe (I haven’t checked).

    Just on the authorisation point that Lance raises, remember to de-authorise any old computers that you had an account installed on before you junk them. With the 5 computer limit, it can be a real hassle if you get to the limit and no longer have the computer you need to de-authorise (see here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1420)

    • Simon Lyall says:

      It’s not legitimate. The Video (say) is licensed by the copyright holder for Apple to distribute in certain countries (not including NZ). Lance is telling people to fill out fake details in order to get access to that content that they are not entitled to.

      Lets say the bar around the corner had a special discount for students. If I filled out told them I was a student (which I am not) in order to get half price on beer and used a fake ID card to prove I was a student am I committing an offense?

      After all the bar is still getting paid for the drinks and it’s perfectly legal for me to drink them.

      What about if I’m only 17 and my ID card says I’m 19? Now I’m guilty of drinking under-age, am I also guilty of “obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception” ?

      I really can’t believe that filling out fake details in order to get something is 100% legal.

      • I think you’re missing the point here, Simon.
        Let’s say a bar around the corner had a special discount for say, white people. If I told them I was white (which I am not) in order to drink for the same price as the white folk and used a fake ID card to prove it, am I committing an offense?
        Which is the greater transgression: “obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception”, or post-codal discrimination against those of us not lucky enough to live in the land of superior apps?

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      You can do a deauthorise-all once a year (I think) and reauthorise each device. I’ve done it before.

  8. lawgeeknz says:

    Whoops sorry, got caught by the bracket at the end of that link, which should be http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1420

  9. Dylan Bland says:

    Look out, here come the fun police, putting the interests of faceless offshore companies ahead of their own!

    We live in a global economy and this kind of thing is a reality that wont go away. If anything, media companies should be happy these work arounds exist so honest citizens can pay for their content instead of just stealing it.

  10. Chris says:

    Oh dear god thank you for this. I’m now salivating at all the content options. Won’t be leaving my house for weeks.

  11. Chris says:

    Can someone explain how it all sync’s together with appletv, ipad, iphone etc? Let’s say I have my NZ itunes account where I’ve been doing everything until now. I’ve just signed up my US one and I’m waiting on the gift codes. When I purchase stuff on the US itunes store (movies, tv shows etc) what is the best process for getting that to my iPad and Apple Tv etc? Is my itunes library just one entity that sync’s content to all my devices no matter where the content has come from?

    • Mat says:

      The Apple TV will play any content on a device which it is linked to via Home Sharing, no matter which account bought it, and the iPad will sync all iTunes accounts (and authorise itself) on a PC or Mac it syncs with. Just be aware it is a pain in the ass to update apps from multiple accounts on a single iPad because it will ask for the password, claim you can’t make purchases in the current store and swap to the other one, then abort whatever action it was doing until you hit update again. Small price to pay, though.

  12. Richard says:

    Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.

    All these “that’s illegal”, “that’s fraud”. *sigh*

    1) It ain’t illegal (which kinda makes any further points redundant). Coz even if I put a fake address, I am not defrauding anyone OF anything. Using a fake address isn’t a crime (no its NOT fraud, because for there to be anything of the kind, there has to be LOSS). With that said, Lance is correct – using a hotel address means its 100% safe.
    2) Even if (1) above is wrong (which it isn’t), then no company in their right mind would challenge a genuine customer paying money for a product in this way. Would be a major PR disaster even for Apple.

    Good on you Lance. Keep it up :-)

  13. Mike Roberts says:

    Confirmed: I was able to create a US iTunes account and use a $10 Maximum card to also get paid content for the iPad now (although to get it through I needed to respond to fill out a secondary form from Maximum and wait 12 hours, plus take a call from Paypal confirming if I’d really bought it). I used a fresh iTunes install on a new laptop though, so I am yet to try any kind of merging for my existing iTunes account which my iPhone and Apple TV use. I think I have the same questions as Chris above!

  14. Steve Adams says:

    Brilliant! Thanks lance, had been trying to figure this out for the last week.

  15. Ben says:

    Still waiting for any response from Mediawob 48+ hours after payment. Worried.

    • Chris says:

      Mediawob took 72 hours with mine, it’ll come they are just really slow. I used maximumcards.com and they email it instantly (literally).

      Ive been downloading tv shows and movies and its all been syncing to my iPad and apple tv without a hitch – absolute bliss.

    • Chris says:

      Sorry maximuscards.com that should be.

  16. Pingback: Question: Can I use an iPad in New Zealand? « Ben.geek.nz

  17. Andy says:

    Waited a good few days to hear from mediaWOB and the code the’ve sent me doesn’t work! what the hell? Anybody else had this?

    I’ve got a US account for the iPad, and it tells me that “The code you entered is not recognized as a valid code .”

    what the sh*t! have emailed mediaWOB but i suspect they’ll take some time to get back to me…

    • Ben says:

      Are you redeeming the code on your computer or iPad? Either way, triple-check that you’re logged in with the correct account.

      On the iPad this is under “Settings -> Store”. It can change depending on where you were logged on when you last synced (I think).

  18. Pingback: Ethan Rose » REVIEW: iPad

  19. Pablo Harris says:

    The best place to go is TuneZip – http://www.tunezip.com. Not only can they set you up with a iTunes account if you can’t create one yourself, but they offer the most options – $10, $15, $25 and $50 credit vouchers/gift cards at really reasonable prices, and their service is FAST (24 hours for first purchase, instant delivery for subsequent purchases).

  20. I have some iTunes account (not any gift card) want to sell:
    Once you buy the account, you will no longer look for ‘TOP FREE’, you will go to ‘TOP PAID’ application
    There are 3 kinds of account:
    – $300 in account: price is $39.99
    – $450 in account: price is $49.99
    – $600 in account: price is $59.99
    After received account, you can change your pass anytime as you wish!
    Anyone interesting, PM me or email to sharapeachez[@]gmail.com
    All payment made via Paypal.

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      Now that is amazing – this person is offering iTunes accounts complete with large dollar amounts in them. This the the scam that was used to inflate sales of certain iTunes products, which were eventually caught.

      The accounts full of money and sold for pennies on the dollar are loaded using stolen credit cards.

      go away scammers. and blogspot – what about switching that blog off.

  21. Marc says:

    Thanks Lance,

    I wanted Dragon Dictation but it was unavailable in NZ. I now have it thanks to your help.

    Where is the harm in getting a US account? Just makes Apple more money.



    • Kelly says:

      I wanted the Dragon Dictation as well and managed to download it but when I go to sync it with my phone it keeps automatically unticking in the apps folder in itunes, and consequently doesn’t show up on my phone. Any ideas?

      • Oliver Jones says:

        I agree with you. Apple receives revenue. The artist receives revenue. Who loses?

      • Rhys says:

        Kelly did you download dragon dictation with a different iTunes account than is on your iPhone? If you do that, you need to make sure that *both* of those accounts are “authorized” in your iTunes. Apps will only be syncable if the account you downloaded with is authorized for that iTunes plus the account on the iPhone is also authorized. This is different than simply logging them in.

        • Kelly says:

          OK so I downloaded Dragon again via my iphone and not itunes and it asked me to authorise which I did and it all seems to be working fine. I guess i did it right then. Thanks very much for your help Rhys. Much appreciated

  22. Oliver Jones says:

    Visit http://itunescodes.net. They have US iTunes code(s) and they deliver very fast.

  23. Joao says:

    Our problem in some European countries is that the are not in original version, for us the only way of getting it is to do this, I don’t think it’s fraud. If it is I’ll wait for someone to come to my place and tell me that i can’t buy a movie from the US and will be arrested for that :)

  24. Pingback: The Daily don’t « Lance Wiggs

  25. Shout says:

    Thanks for this tip! Definitely going to give it a try because:

    I think it’s ridiculous that we have to pay almost double that of the U.S. prices for Apple products in countries like South Africa from our Apple Stores, only to discover that there is an iTunes apartheid against us when it comes to legitimately buying apps, moves, books, etc.! How unfair is that? If you’re going to deny us 50% of what makes Apple Apple, then charge us 50% of the price for the devices!

  26. Stu says:

    Breach of Ts & Cs, at best yes.

    I think they would get you under the clauses regarding export. “You may not use or export or re-export any Content or any copy or adaptation of such Content, or any product or service offered on the Site, in violation of any applicable laws or regulations, including without limitation United States export laws and regulations.”

    Legal jurisdiction is: “You agree to the personal jurisdiction by and venue in the state and federal courts in Santa Clara County, California, and waive any objection to such jurisdiction or venue. The preceding provision regarding venue does not apply if you are a consumer based in the European Union. If you are a consumer based in the European Union, you may make a claim in the courts of the country where you reside.”

    Void where prohibited by law. Which is the loophole. Not fraud.

  27. Pingback: Hey MPAA – so where can we buy Boy online? | Lance Wiggs

  28. Katka says:

    Hello hello :) I just browsed through this thing very quickly but I think I have the same problem. I bought my phone in the states but then moved to Europe and now whenever I want to download or update something (even free apps) it does not let me…it gives me a new contract that i have to agree on and that says that I can’t download outside the US. Can I somehow solve this issue? Like change the account…give them my czech account or whatever? I dont wanna get in trouble and pay some fees…

    • Katka says:

      Pleaaaaase,help meeee….does anyone know what can I do??? Would creating another apple account help? I am getting desperate… :(

  29. Carolyn Compton says:

    Hi, this sounds great. How can I watch “iview” app in New Zealand? Its an Australian app with content from the ABC, catch up television. My kids are addicted to Pepa Pig and the Octonaughts on ABC2. Its such a great tv app.

  30. Pingback: Vaughan Rowsell » Using an all US Apple ID in NZ

  31. Thanks Lance for posting this… did not know you could even create a US account before reading this. Been hanging out to watch ESPN’s 30 for 30 series which you annoyingly can only see once a week on Sky TV.

    Re comments above, I have no problem ethically with this workaround. Apple and the content producers are getting paid for consuming their content. Plus Sky TV gets to keep it’s monopoly in New Zealand and the content publishers, i.e ESPN and Turner Broadcasting get to extract maximum money from content syndication to buyers like Sky.

    Of course, it would be better for users if you could simply by with New Zealand peso’s, but I digress…

  32. Pingback: The content conundrum and NZ fibre | Unreasonablemen.net

  33. Robbie says:

    I love my US iTunes acct, have had one for about a year. I have never purchased so much media (books and tv shows) in all my torrent streaming life. How can me actually paying for things I used to download illegally be a bad thing for anyone. I refuse to be geofenced. I refuse to wait for our pathetic media to ever pick up the less than main stream shows I like. I refuse to buy a kindle or Kobe when I already own an iPhone. Apple TV, if I buy this in NZ will it automatically stream content from both NZ and US iTunes acct?

Comments are closed.