iTunes Apple ID and MobileME

What started as a simple task, has completely gone awry.  It was a simple change…but not so simple in the eyes of a big company (Apple) and its support staff.

I started out by wanting to update my iTunes account to use my MobileMe email address.  Upon logging into my Account Settings, I attempted to update my email address.  I quickly noticed there was no longer an email address field.  Instead, reading the helpful hints in between the fields, they explained that the Apple ID and email address are now one in the same.

OK, no problem, I’ll just put my new MobileMe email address ( into the AppleID field.  I clicked submit and received an error.  iTunes was telling me that my MobileMe already had an iTunes account associated with it.  What?!?

To shed some light on this…after going back and forth on several emails, I received the following from an Apple iTunes customer service employee:

Dear Mark,

I have read and UNDERSTOOD everything that you have stated. You want to use the same email address for your mobile me and iTunes account. As stated in a previous response to you, This cannot be done through iTunes. You are allowed to change your iTunes account email address under normal circumstances. The errors that you are receiving are telling you that the conflict is due to your mobile me account. Your mobile me account is designed to automatically setup an iTunes account as a convenience to the customer. At this point and time you have a mobile me account and an iTunes account. You are free to stop using  either account but u will lose access to some of your purchased content.  If iTunes tells you that you must have a different mobile me account email then that is what needs to occur before you can alter your Itunes email.

Note: No wording has been changed; I only used bold to emphasize the very statement I find ironic.  Please keep in mind that I have not posted the entire email thread (yet).  This was a response after about three emails each, back and forth.

My response?

The convenience you speak of is going to cause me and my family to abandon the MobileMe service.  Would you pay for something that you cannot use by the very company that sold it to you? I understand what you are explaining to me, but I do not choose to accept it.  Does it seem like the correct business solution Apple should be serving to its customers? You are asking me to either (1) stop using the MobileME service or (2) throw away all of the media I have purchased through iTunes to date.

I am not putting the fault on you, in fact I appreciate you assisting me.  I realize you are only conveying to me what you have the power to change and correct.  Can I speak with your supervisor or can you ensure this ticket is escalated to the next level?

It is illogical to sell me a MobileMe email address that I purchased from Apple and cannot use with my iTunes account containing all of the media I have purchased to date.

Thank you,

Mark Hurley
<<my cell phone number was here>>

Note: only edited to remove my cell phone number.  I don’t feel like telemarketing SPAM.

First, I have to give Apple’s employee kudos.  This person is still listening to me, although it would be nice to have at least a name to make it more comforting (that’s for another blog posting).  Customer service is not the only thing broken here.  What is broken is Apple is cracking the very wishbone that put Apple in front of me.  Opportunity.

Someone at Apple decided a nice feature would be to automatically generate an iTunes account when you signed up for MobileMe.  That short sited thinking has now cost his/her own company a black eye.  And people think the power of one doesn’t matter in corporate America.

I’m doing my best to leave my feelings out of this, but since I am human, I do have them.  So what do my feelings tell me to do? I want to fly out to Apple and work there until this problem is fixed.  Sounds like a poor attempt at obtaining a job right? No….I’m just passionate enough about companies seeing the viewpoint their customers see to fix it.  I’m not sure my current employer would take me back.  They are another corporation. 🙂

To me, Apple is on the crossroads of customer loyalty and growing behind their capabilities (currently).  This customer service employee could just process my request along with all the others, hit a certain quota by the end of the month achieving a certain percentage of satisfaction and be happy.  But I want to challenge the employee to think outside the box…put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself….would you accept this as an answer?

Sounds funny? Unbelievable, huh? Well I don’t believe that.  All it takes is one person to affect one customer positively…and sell them for life.  That customer may even speak highly of the company and you’ve now gained a spokesperson for the company that if it performs well gives you stock options and/or a bonus annually.  Not bad for an employee among several thousand.

Since I am the customer here, I decide to take the issue to Steve Jobs.  Somewhere between Steve and the outward facing customer service employee, the message of what is important is lost.  It blends and then it is gone.  Thinking outside the box, using the tools provided fades as the sturdy box and script appears next to a computer of what to say, and how to say it.

Even if I don’t get a response back from Steve, perhaps one of those employees outside the box will pick up the email.  And they will do the right thing for me and all Apple customers.

I haven’t yet posted the entire email thread…if you’d like to see it drop me a comment.  Otherwise, I will keep providing updates as comments and/or blog entries.  That is if you care to read them… 🙂



91 responses to “iTunes Apple ID and MobileME

  1. Wow, that sucks, Mark. Note, however, I think I understand your point, but I disagree slightly:

    “Someone at Apple decided a nice feature would be to automatically generate an iTunes account when you signed up for MobileMe. That short sited thinking has now cost his/her own company a black eye. ”

    While I don’t think that automagically creating the account was necessarily a good idea, that’s neither here nor there, really. The /problem/ is that there’s no way to re-associate your media with a new iTunes account. If you could do that, there would be no issue. That’s their failure. (IMO)

    And to whoever responds from Apple…this isn’t a crypto issue. It might be an issue with some particular implementation of the crypto in your DRM (another story), but it’s certainly POSSIBLE to write the framework in such a way that ID/accounts can be switchable. Not to do so is either short-sighted (because no one EVER changes address stuff, right? And no fair talking about the automagic account as a special case. No excuse) or another situation where Apple puts lock-in and product decisions that are easy for them in front of what is best for the customer.

    But I definitely agree in spirit, Mark. It actually sounds like one of the surreal situations we were discussing in a meeting at work today. I kept saying, “this is broken” (actually with more swear words involved … surprise!) and the other person kept pointing out that the process wasn’t followed correctly. The 47-step process, that allows itself to be placed in broken states w/o explaining that to the user, so that requests stay broken for days when everyone thinks they’re ok. That may /technically/ be correct…but I call BS. Daily, at this point. *grin* So trust me, I’m with ya.

    Hope it works out somehow. *waves to Steve Jobs*

  2. Ken,

    Yes, allowing me to associate my media with another iTunes account would resolve this issue as well. I tried that at the suggestion of an Apple employee over the phone, but the iTunes support dept. said ‘not possible’.

    The whole irony here is Apple is telling me I have to keep my old email address around if I want to keep my old content. I could see if I had two iTunes accounts and wanted to merge them (partially).

    But the fact that Apple messed this up because they thought it would be best to auto-generate a new iTunes account for my MobileMe account? I am beginning to wonder if it was about convenience for new customers or to push the Apple store/iTunes. I’m sure having that extra account helps someone get their bonus this year as they increased the total number of accounts! 🙂

  3. Apple Customer Service is stellar! I received back a message from Apple Customer Service that mentioned that while my issue is still not resolved; a supervisor would be taking on my issue and that Apple still would like to work with me regarding resolving the issue.

    Honestly, after letting it sink in a bit more, I more comfortable giving up MobileMe for me and my family. I can make email/data sharing/pics/video all work with a combination of other services the way I wanted to.

    Lets see what happens…

  4. I have run into this exact problem. I have hundreds of dollars worth of purchases on iTunes Store and I would like to start using Mobile Me, but it won’t let me to link it to my old Apple ID or to transfer the purchases under the Mobile Me account. Found your post and I hope that apple will really fix this issue, because it is affecting their most loyal customers. Please let me know if the supervisor gets back to you with any reasonable solution.

  5. o boy, its march 10th 2009 and still not solution, i usually take the jerk approach to in side the box thinking and argues with customer support from itunes and mobile me, with no luck a lousy 10$ credit, and lost hope, i really love the mobile me service just of the fact of seamless synching between my mac, windows and iphone. a service i dont see my self living with out ever since i tried it. for now i got to use two separate account till apple steps up and takes care of their new and old .mac and mobile me customers. ill be waiting 🙂

  6. I have the exact issue. I hope that Apple can fix this issue.

  7. I have the same issue. I am trying to get the customer support person I am chatting with online at Apple to elevate this and all I am getting is use the feedback form. I told him I am not happy and want this elevated to their engineering department to fix this problem.

  8. Have you had any updates on this… I found your post when trying to find an answer to this very problem. It makes no sense to me, I am paying 100 bucks for mobile me yet I can’t associate my new mobile me email with my existing itunes account? Not very convenient

  9. It turns out I have another issue with MobileMe now. They limit the number of emails you can send each day. They are so concerned about spammers using their service that they are crippling my ability to find a new job and keep in touch with friends and network… It’s so ridiculous. I cannot send emails each day and make me wait until the next day to send them. And I am paying $149/yr for my whole family. So I am back to using Gmail which is free!!!

  10. I have the same problem too!! Glad i found your comments, you’ve saved me hours trying to resolve something which is just not possible!!!

  11. Just got my first mac and the very same thing has happened. Thanks, at least, for letting me know before I got really riled up.

  12. Michael Emery

    It’s music to my hears to know that I am not the only frustrated soul out there. Moving my music over to my new MobileMe Apple ID shouldn’t be a problem now that I have purchased the iTunes Plus upgrades, but I am still stuck with a truck load of expensive iPhone apps that can’t be unlocked and won’t move so easily.

    Is it ironic or just plain crazy that Apple are forcing me to keep my Microsoft Windows Live account open (associated with my old Apple ID)?

    All I want next is for Apple to first admit that the MobileMe Apple ID process is not a “convenience” but rather a huge problem, and then, I want them tell me they are AT LEAST working on a fix.

    Microsoft had the exact same problem with Windows Live ID when they launched Xbox Live for the Xbox 360. You couldn’t change your email to one that had an existing Windows Live ID. But Microsoft listended to it’s customers and fixed the problem. You just associate all your content to a new ID. Not rocket science, and even Microsoft can do it!

    C’mon Apple, you are seriously letting the side down.

  13. I have the exzact same problem but maybe worse! I have hundreds of dollars of Apps, music videos and music on my Windows Apple ID account. However, I created account since I got a Apple TV and a Mac mini. I started purchasing songs using my from my Apple TV (not realizing I could not merge). Then I realized I have 2 Apple ID accounts and hundreds of dollars on both of them and I cannot merge them. Now what do I do?

  14. Same problem here. I finally found a solution, that does the the job, but still not totally satisfying when paying ¢99 a year.

    Within the iTunes-Store click your existing account name (email) in the upper right corner, change account info, and change e-mail to your new MobileMe e-mail. Note: Do not change your username (old email) because this unfortunately wont work.

    After doing so you will receive your receipts at your MobileMe account. Can keep your previous purchases still working and don’t need to look at your old email all the time. (Although I should keep it around, just in case!)

    It’s a simple and temporary fix for a major problem, but will do as long as Apple fails to fix….

    Cheers from the Netherlands!

  15. Forgot to mention: My MobileMe ID is floating around, without using it. I don’t need it as my Apple ID that bad, because My old ID is using MobileMe for mail, and my old email is nothing more than a username.

    This solution will only work if you do not use (or already used) your MobileMe ID for (iTunes) purchases.

  16. I had the same issue… I was able to change the contact email address from gmail to mobileme ok, but then when I tried to change the appleid account name from gmail to:
    1. Mobileme email address: “This change is not allowed because that Apple ID is already in use. You can try again using a different name or leave your Apple ID unchanged.”
    2. Mobileme alias email address: “This change is not allowed. This domain name is reserved for MobileMe accounts. If you do not have a MobileMe account, you can get started with a free trial.”
    3. Mobileme email address (without “That Apple ID is already in use. If this Apple ID was created by you, simply sign in with your Apple ID and password. If it does not belong to you, try again using a different name.” This could really just mean that someone else has already registered that name, rather than it being reserved by my mobileme account.
    4. A unique name that I came up with (just name, not email address): Success. At least I have removed the gmail tie this way, but I still have the second mobileme apple id which just seems messy. I would really prefer to be able to consolidate everything into 1 account (itunes, mobileme, etc) – apple is supposed to be simple & seemless!

  17. Same problem, still no solution. Sent an e-mail to customer service today – let’s see what happens. I have seen in other forums that Apple has solved this problem on a case to case basis..

  18. I have this same issue – I got a survey on my recent request to support to have it resolved and I sent them a very direct comment on my take on the service so far. It’s frustrating that something so simple makes life so difficult.

  19. I was lucky enough to research this question before creating the MobileMe account. No matter what, if I try to change my existing iTunes account id to an (as yet) non-exsitant MobileMe account, I cannot do it. The message states, “You cannot change this account to an existing MobileMe email address.” I am sure that at least one of the 7 eddresses that I tried would not have been previously registered. So, iTunes will not let you change an existing account to MobileMe, no matter what.

  20. This issue has been bugging me for a few years too. At one stage I bought some content using a different Apple ID and from time to time I have to remember to log in using that ID to see if there are any updates available. Also moving to a new computer becomes complicated because you have to de-authorise each Apple ID. Why Apple cannot fix this problem is beyond me, it really is a huge flaw, and it’s not just confined to being unable to use MobileMe emails for Apple ID.

  21. Folks I have just solved this issue! I have just spent most of the evening in the same frustration conveyed here, wondering how Apple could have really been so stupid? I think the stupidity actually lies with the customer service response to this problem. Here’s how to solve it… As we all know, it is not possible to change your existing iTunes Apple ID to a MobileMe email address as this email address has already got it’s own Apple ID (for your convenience!). However, what we should have been told is that you can change your existing iTunes Apple ID to anything you want – it doesn’t need to be an email address! You can change your email address is stored separately and can be changed separately to your MobileMe email address. I did this tonight by doing the following … go to, click on support in the bar at the top, in the Browse Support box on the left click the iTunes Store link, in the middle of the screen click on iTunes Store Account and Billing, click on Edit Account Information, click on Edit your Apple ID information. This takes you to My Info login. Sign in and then edit your Apple ID to whatever you like (an obvious one is the name that goes before!), then edit your email address to your MobileMe account address – no problem! Hope this helps and doesn’t make you too cross with Apple Customer Care

  22. RE : Solution posted by Carole; that isn’t going to work. You will still end up with 2 IDs and you will probably end up signing in with the wrong one.

    Your MobileME Apple ID will still be different from the your original Apple ID, no matter how you change your original ID. This is important because your DRM content will still belong to your original ID. You really don’t want to end up in a situation where half of your apps and music are locked to one AppleID, the other other half are locked to your MobileMe Apple ID – otherwise you will only ever be able to use half of your content at any one time.

    This remains a problem that must be fixed by Apple. If Microsoft were able to fix the same problem they had with Windows Live ID, then only lack of interest and motivation are what prevents Apple from doing the same with Apple ID.

  23. Re: Michael Emery’s response

    Yes you will still end up with 2 IDs. Apple have given us no choice in that matter, if we use MobileMe then we all have 2 whether we like it or not – our original and our Mobile Me. And yes they will still be different, no matter how much you change your original ID.

    However, just because Apple were so kind as to create a new MobileMe Apple ID for me doesn’t mean that I ever have to use it! I have two MobileMe email addresses and therefore have two MobileMe Apple IDs and I have no intention of ever signing in to iTunes with either of them! I didn’t ask for them, I don’t want them and I’m not going to use them! So all of my DRM content will still belong to my original ID.

    ‘I started out by wanting to update my iTunes account to use my MobileMe email address.’ This is what Mark wrote in his original post.
    This is possible as detailed above. Credit to Ruben and Caz who solved this first! I wish I had read down as far as their postings when I first found this thread – would have saved me hours of fiddling around and aggravation. I was so excited to get it to work for me yesterday that I fired off my comment without reading all the posts, so sorry for that!

    I appreciate that this doesn’t solve everyone’s problem here (sorry Michael), but if all you want to do is keep the same account and have your iTunes receipts come to your account then it works. I think I can FINALLY delete my hotmail account – Horray!!!

    (Have also since found that I can edit my IDs by going straight to instead of faffing around)

  24. Came here with the same problem, pretty much resolved by Carol (Thanks Carol!!)

    I think the confusion comes because the Apple ID is initially looks like an email address. I changed to a MobileMe account, tried to change my apple ID to the MobileMe email address but it was obviously taken.

    I *thought* I’d tried to change it to a ‘username’, but I don’t think this worked from iTunes. From the MyInfo page I could change it from an ’email address’ to a ‘username’.

    So now all traces of my old email address are gone, my email address for the ID is my new one, and all my purchases are still attached to that original account. Save for absolute panic when I signed into the mobile me account to show a friend my iphone order to find no order there the MobileMe ID can just languish without problem.

    To be honest, I think I’d prefer a username on the account rather than an email address.

    Thanks again Carol!

  25. Unfortunately you have to use an email address when changing your AppleID, it doesn’t accept anything which isn’t in email format. Maybe they changed this recently.

    @Corale – how did you change it to a non-email ID?

  26. I had the exact same issue so I too followed carole’s advice and changed the email address I originally registered (which i no longer use) to a username via the MyInfo page.

    All was fine and it solved the issue for me until a couple of weeks ago… then my apple tv suddenly asked me to put my Apple ID in when I wanted to buy a film through it. The apple tv still had my old apple ID stored (old email address) and was asking me for the new one, as i’d changed it to a username. My username had a space because I thought i’d use my full name… but alas… you can’t enter a space when the pop up text box comes up when you click on the box to enter your ID – there isn’t a space. So it was physically impossible to enter my apple ID! Aha, I thought, if I use the Remote app and control apple tv with that, I can indeed enter a space via my iPhone… it allowed me to do so, but apple tv wouldn’t recognise the space even though I could actually put one in. So… I was forced to then re-log in to MyInfo and thought “I know, I’ll just delete the space in my ID”. Well… now apple don’t allow you to use a “username” it MUST be an email address as Thomas Kitto has mentioned above. Not sure how recent this change is but looks like anyone who didn’t take advantage of the username convenience has is back to square one… And I now have to use an email address for my apple ID which I really didn’t want to use because, Oh yeah, I can’t use my MobileMe ID without the issue in the original post.

    Why don’t apple just let you consolidate accounts if the personal details are identical on both accounts I don’t see the problem.

    “computer says no…”

  27. hi guys, it’s been a while since my last post. Happy to see Carol did find a solution that will work for most of us!

    Off-topic: Unfortunately Apple still did not noticed the problem, instead they continue the inconvenience. iPhone 4 users who create a GameCenter-account are forced to create a, wait for it… NEW USERNAME/ACCOUNT… (again, seriously?)

    It remains a mystery why we are forced to use multiple accounts and usernames for different products from the same company.

  28. unfortunalty, carol didn’t solve it for the most of us, since i can’t change my apple id to anything that doesnt look like a proper email address.

    if i could change it to a simple username, i could remove all traces from my old gmail address and forget about it, move on ahead to my mobile account. but NO, seems apple doesn’t want me to do so, instead they FORCE me to continue to use my gmail account, since it now looks like the apple id is also the email address where the receipts are sent to.

    great job jobs.

  29. update:
    mistake on my part, the apple id is not used for sending mails, i changed my email address to the one.

    then WHY in the hell on earth must it be a proper email address now?

    i still have to login using my gmail address, to access my itunes account, which is just hillarious.

    apple makes no sense.

  30. I agree with algee, unfortunately we seem to be the only two here who aren’t happy about settling for Apples lack of interest in consolidating Apple IDs or at least transferring our existing app DRM rights to our MobileMe IDs.

    The annoying irony is that we actually pay Apple to ensure we can’t use the same simple process that non-Apple mail accounts enjoy. Algee, looks like you and I have done our dash in this forum.

  31. I’m sorry guys. I’m afraid it’s a recent adjustment by Apple that just made it worse. We were able to change it to a non-email username a few months ago. This pretty much did the job for us as far of old-email traces.

    I’m sorry we can’t help you further with this, it’s now up to Apple to solve this problem. I agree it’s a knife in the back to Apple’s most loyal users!

    It’s been almost 2 years since this post was started, and it’s still alive, so let’s hope someone finds a proper solution and post it here.

  32. It’s September 25, 2010 and this morning I had the unfortunate experience of running into this same problem. Thanks to all who posted your info – it verified what I thought was happening. It has not been fixed and all the Apple help folks could say is that it can’t be done and they’ll forward the problem to mgmt. Am not encouraged by Apple’s foray into services such as MobileMe.
    Save yourself some time – if you try to change your iTunes id to a .Me (mobile me) address, and it won’t let you, then Apple hasn’t fixed the problem. My mobileme renewal is coming up in a few weeks. Apple gives me no choice – I’ll be dropping MobileMe. Have never been very satisfied with it anyway.

  33. Jesse David Hollington

    I actually signed up for my iTunes Store account back in 2004, long before Apple was even encouraging people to use e-mail addresses as Apple IDs, and before I even had a .Mac account (I was a Windows user back then 🙂 ). I have therefore always had a simple username as my Apple ID and never had any reason to change it or even give it much thought. I use that Apple ID for everything except for MobileMe — iTunes Store purchases, Apple Online Store orders, product registrations, etc. I use my MobileMe Apple ID for MobileMe.

    I did look into merging it with my .Mac account when I set one up as Apple offered this capability at the time, but because I had actually downloaded a couple of free tracks with my .Mac account (just for testing purposes) it wasn’t possible to merge the accounts due to their being “purchased” content on both. It seems back in those days you didn’t get an iTunes account automatically with your .Mac account, but by actually signing in with mine I had created the iTunes Store account and prevented them from merging them.

    Ironically, it never even occurred to me that a username-only account was an oddity until I tried to setup FaceTime on the new iPod touch 4G. Apparently it won’t take a straight user name for FaceTime purposes — your Apple ID must be an e-mail address — Apple even comes right out and says this in a knowledgebase article on using FaceTime at In this case I’ve simply used my MobileMe “Apple ID” instead of my main iTunes Store one and it works just fine as I really don’t want to risk giving up my plain, non-email address format Apple ID. 🙂

  34. Have this EXACT problem. I have my old email address and apple ID with tons of purchases. Now I opened a mobile me account and cannot smoothly transition my previous apple lifestyle into the new account. what the fk is up with apple? best products, worst customer service of any company.

  35. Well I’m glad (and sad) to find this post. I too am very frustrated with iTunes and MobileMe. Why I stopped trying to fix this is when I had two accounts (mobileMe and Gmail), I ‘redownloaded’ an app I purchased only to find out that I was charged another purchase because I was in the other account.
    Steve Jobs will not get another $ for MobileMe if he fails to see how asinine it is preventing me from moving over to MobileMe is this one issue. I have yet to start using as my email simply because I cannot accept this one hurdle. How can Jobs regurgitate ‘user experience’ as his motivation Drive, but sees this as acceptable? I can say that most people will avoid MobileMe if they knew that this problem will be inherited by every one using iTunes that signs up for MobileMe.
    I am going to twitter this post and maybe if it’s retwitted enough and people refrain from purchasing MobileMe, then they would allow me to merge my gmail ID to MobileMe ID.

  36. Glad to have found this page … apols to Mark but I want to give MobileMe a whirl anyway. Fortunately don’t think I have any purchases associated with my existing iTunes Apple ID anyway, so for me the best approach is probably to re-download the free apps I currently use, using the new Apple ID.

    Where can we report this problem to Apple and get some more attention on it from those with the power to do something?

  37. Diddo – I have the exact same problem: Apple ID with old Earthlink e-mail address. Purchased Family MobileMe account so we’re all Mac-ophiles, sharing my purchased apps, etc – then run into this SNAFU – round-and-round with Apple’s Customer Support without resolution or satisfaction. I was amazed, surprised, and greatly disappointed to find that this is a Known issue for over two years without resolution. Apple: Are you Kidding Me?! A loyal Mac user who has preached to and converted others over the years, and This is what we get???
    Not ready to jump ship to The Dark Side quite yet but… not going to give Apple anymore money or praise to others but Certainly will share this issue and lack of Customer Care or Support with All!

  38. I was sent a link to complete an iTune Support feedback survey. The following are the comments I left:
    I am greatly disappointed by the fact that I can not change the e-mail for my iTunes account to my MobileMe e-mail address, change or merge my original Apple ID (0f 10 years!) with my new MobileMe account, or transfer my purchases to my MobileMe Apple ID. Honestly, if I had known of this conflict prior to purchasing a Family MobileMe account I likely would not have done so.
    And to find out that this has been a known/previously reported issue, that there had been numerous queries and complaints, yet this issue has neither been corrected or made known is an unreasonable disservice to your customers and a disgrace to the Apple reputation that I have known and come to treasure.
    If this issue is to be fixed/corrected I would be willing to continue my MobileMe account; however if it is not I will certainly not renew nor consider patronizing other Apple services.

  39. I’m currently continuing to use my old iTunes account/login email, and since all my email (i.e. to my original email addy) forwards to my mailbox everything works OK – I don’t use my iTunes a/c and continue to use my personal email addy even while using MobileMe email services. Took a bit of hassle to get this to work nicely e.g. on iPhone but seems to be behaving now.

  40. Someone mentioned to me the other day (rumor) that Apple may be working towards resolving issues like these (multiple iTunes ID’s) this year. I haven’t looked or found any claims to see if this is true or not. If anyone else knows???

    Even with this setback, I am still using my primary iTunes account (non MobileME) and believe Apple’s application store is the best.

  41. Jesse R. Castro


    I too have suffered from this very issue. Thankfully, I am a new add to an already existing MobileMe account. I now have until May to convince my wife that this is not worth the inconvenience of having to maintain two accounts and hope I can talk her into canceling the account. Honestly, I can get the same level of service for free or nearly so with Gmail/Dropbox/Free find my iPhone. I had bought into the idea of MobileMe more than anything to support attempts at cloud computing. I didn’t realize that Apple would make it as difficult as possible to be useful. I too emailed Mr. Jobs and sent a complaint in to customer service.

    It’s stupid that it’s 2011, this article was written in 2008 and we are still having to deal with this issue. Stupid.


    • I don’t disagree with your frustration. I also have Gmail & Dropbox accounts, keep in mind that Gmail != MobileME. I’ve come to finally face the facts that Google services are not free, in fact its price is my privacy. Maybe the price of MobileME for my immediate family year after year is not such a bad thing?
      This is how this story started – I was actually trying to convert my iTunes Gmail account to MobileME. The privacy in question was not the only reason, but I had been strongly considering making MobileME my primary email addr.
      Now? Two years later, I am still using my Gmail addr as my primary. I still subscribe to MobileME (for now).

  42. I have been having this problem also. I signed up for .Mac years ago. BAck then you could use just a prefix(username) with no as the suffix. All was working fine until MobileMe showed up. MobileMe created the extra iTunes account.

    One huge issue now is that MobileMe will work for me withboth AppleID’s accessing the same account, partly anyway. If I use just the prefix(username) I can still access all of my MobileMe(.Mac) like I used to, but If I go the Online(cloud) version it will not sync my calenders online, but it will work with all of my macs which sync to MobileMe.

    Both my itunes(AppleID) have the same email address but one account has just the username and one has the on the end.

    Previous to MobileMe I never needed to add to my username. I was able to log into my .mac account with just the username.

    Ugh, so annoying.

  43. There is no way I’m renewing my MobileMe account as there is still NO way to consolidate existing apple IDs. It seems simple, on the account page add all IDs or email addresses and associate them with a SEPARATE username. We all have more than one email, we should be able to use any that we associate with put account.

  44. My solution was to export my entire iTunes library to a “DRM Free” MP3 format and then re-import this into my iTunes library. From there on I started using my new MobileMe address, so future purchases were all covered under the new account. However, I am starting to look at purchasing my music from Amazon, for the very reason that my music will all be in MP3 format and transferrable to any non-iDevices.

  45. @Fuzzy Wuggle
    Hang on the new iTunes music can be purchased DRM free. The bigger issue for me was I had been purchasing iTunes video content (movies/tv shows). Going strong on iTunes now 3 years…lots of content I’m not ready to give up! 🙂

  46. hello..
    i too have just ran into this same problem 😦
    i have never purchased music or videos through itunes, only apps.
    i must have spent over £100 in apps this last few months and to think i`d loose that if i want to use my mobileme email account, its just crazy!

  47. my reply from itunes..
    Greetings from iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Sourav and I am glad to assist you today.

    I’m glad to hear you recently got a MobileMe account, and I understand you’d like to use your new MobileMe account name as your iTunes Store account name.

    It is not possible to merge or convert your iTunes account with or to your MobileMe Account as both are two independent Apple IDs. Each Apple ID must be unique. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

    If you create a new iTunes Store account with the MobileMe ID as the account’s email address, it will be separate from your current iTunes Store account. They will have separate purchase histories, and you won’t be able to transfer purchases from one account to another.

    I want your iTunes Store experience to be as enjoyable as possible, so if you have any questions, concerns, or need any additional assistance with this matter, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email.

    Thank you for being an iTunes Store customer. We appreciate your business.


    iTunes Store Customer Support

  48. Am I the only one that thinks that after almost four years Apple still has not corrected this. I’ve had the same problem since I created my MobileMe account in 2010. *sigh*

  49. Martin Cleaver

    My AppleID has been hijacked – by Apple
    I have had one Apple account ever since buying my first iPod. I have now four iPods and four iPhones in the house as well as two Macs and several PCs. All that time I have used my one AppleID for everything. (The kids also occasionally need it for their apps.)

    Yesterday I found out that I could start using “Find my iPhone” for my iPhone 4, but for some reason when I tried it, all I got was the message that my email address annex Apple ID account name could not be used for the “Find my iPhone”. “The email address has already been verified for a different account.” That’s weird. I only have one AppleID and one email address.

    So I added a second email address I have for work just to enable to “Find my iPhone”. But apparently to FIND your iPhone you have to LOSE your email address/AppleID. So now my AppleID has apparently acquired my work email address as its name and I can’t change it back. No one can explain to me why. I also have no idea what an AppleID actually is. I am not supposed to share it – even with relatives (the children) – but they don’t have credit cards, so I have to.

    How many computers/iPods/iPhones can I have on one account? Is there a limit and if so why? How does one communicate with Apple? I haven’t even started on the problems one can have with a Google account, but will Apple please solve this issue first?

    The bottom line – according to a very amiable Apple iTunesStoreSupport staffer who wanted to help – “Your email had been already used on your account and Apple identifies this as an Apple ID. This is the reason you are not able to change the mail.”

  50. Martin Cleaver

    BTW – Google has the same problem with a Google Account and a Google Apps account 😦

  51. Hey I have a big problem..I change my apple I’d in order to get my mails ever when I am going to upload sOmething from the itune store I can’t because my old apple I’d is save n somehow I can’t change it .. How can I change it?

  52. Wow. Why is this Apple ID stuff so complex?
    I have my first Apple device – an Iphone 4. I have an ITunes account which I use to download apps. I currently don’t have a MobileMe account.
    I would like to use the Find my IPhone app.
    Could anyone advise me on what to do next, please? I don’t want to go headfirst into some of the problems experienced above.
    Tks 🙂

  53. Things are afoot people. In light of yesterday’s news I decided to see if there may have been any movement on this front and logged into:

    Interesting, it now lists my 2 email addresses; my original Gmail one as AppleID, and my MobileMe one as primary email address. It also allows me to merge them together, but unfortunately not the right way. I would have to merge (whatever merge does) to my Gmail email address instead of the other way round. I am going to carry on trying options.

    May or may not help, thought I would mention anyway.

  54. One interesting thing is that with MobileMe being upgraded to iCloud you get the situation that your MobileMe account will become your iCloud account. But the iCloud account is also needed for for all the new Music Syncing stuff so you’ll also need your iTunes account. So time to choose which AppleID to upgrade to iCloud:

    1) Your iTunes account (lose all your MobileMe stuff like the email address and syncing)
    2) Your MobileMe account (lose the ability to play music)

    I would be surpirsed if it would be possible to work with 2 separate iCloud accounts on one device (iPhone).

    • Jesse David Hollington

      Everything is a bit unclear right now since it all came out and even the stuff that’s been released to general consumers is still in “beta.” However, it would appear from everything I’ve seen thus far that using two iCloud accounts for different purposes shouldn’t be a problem, especially with the music stuff.

      In fact, all of the “iTunes in the Cloud” stuff appears to be handled through the iTunes Store and App Store apps and doesn’t have any direct connection to the other iCloud stuff for mail, calendar, contacts, and so forth. In fact, even with 4.3 multiple family members and others with multiple iTunes Store accounts can simply log in to the “Store” apps using the appropriate account to view/download prior purchase history. I imagine the only thing that might be affected by the “main” iCloud account would be syncing of newly-purchased content automatically, which probably doesn’t support multiple accounts.

  55. Martin Cleaver

    I don’t want TWO iCloud accounts! I can barely cope with one (alongside my Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, etc accounts)

  56. Just started a new round with Apple support due to iCloud announcement.
    So far, same round robin. The lamest part is that my support person didn’t know about iCloud.

  57. I just found a rather good article regarding the use of two IDs….
    You will be able to setup your account for the iTunes store separately of the iCloud features. I believe this may work for me, but I’ll wait and see this fall when IOS5 comes out.

  58. On the one hand I’m glad to see I’m alone.. me too I have hundreds of dollars of iTunes purchases on my existing email account, and I can not transfer them to my account because the geniuses at Apple haven’t figured out a way to make this work.

    One the other hand I’m starting to get worried about Apple !! All that imagination & success, and they already start thinking like Microsoft!! Isn’t that how you start to decline?

  59. Its no big deal anymore as i see it with iCloud. your old login (gmail) used as your apple id for purchases and iCloud and your mobile me email linked in to iCloud.

  60. ok so here’s my situation…maybe someone can help? I had an Itunes account (hotmail) then I bought the mobile me account. Now somehow I have both the hotmail and show up on my iphone4 when I make purchases and I wasn’t paying attention and ended up buying music on my mobile me account…fine they music still plays on my phone, but it wont upload into itunes now. Anything I buy on my itunes on my mac will upload into my iphone….if my phone gets wiped will I be able to get my mobileme music back?

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