Originally Posted by fastnoc
Good question, and the result is the reason I won't use iTunes.
When you purchase from iTunes you do not own the song. You get 5 activations of that song. Let's say you download from your pC. then you set your ipod to download songs. That's 2 activations.
Now lets say over the next two years you spend 500 bucks on 1000 songs. You mix them between your PC and ipod. Great.
once you get to 5 activations, meaning hardware, you're done. If you're at 5 activations and your PC dies and you lose those 1000 songs. You set up your pc again. You'll find that you have to buy those songs again. you just lost everything you gathered in the last couple years. So you think, OK no problem I'll just copy them from my iPod to my PC then I'll be fine. No dice. The files have licensing information in them. you can't copy them back to the PC. you'll have to pay for them again. Even if it's the same exact PC you're putting them back on and had to rebuild or re-install Windows, it's still another activation. Meaning if your machine needs windows installed 5 times you will not be able to use those songs again on it.
I highly suggest NOBODY use iTunes to buy music they intend on keeping, because again, you do NOT own that music. You own 5 activations of that music. Buy your music from a service that gives you full ownership so that won't happen.
That's not true
. If you keep your files backed up, you will not lose your music and will not have to pay for it again, just like any other non-subscription music service.
You won't be able to download the songs twice from iTunes, especialy to a different computer. But if you burn the library to DVD, put it on an mp3, or heck, e-mail it to yourself (as I did when I bought the new computer) then the songs are still yours.
There is a five-machine-at-a-time authorization limit, but if somehow you manage to have four machines authorized, you just go in and deauthorize the ones you aren't really using (presumably the prior computers you had). Putting music onto an iPod, cell phone, cd, or anything else does NOT count as an activated machine.