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Archived - Some of my iTunes Store purchases won't play

If you can't play an item you purchased from the iTunes Store, here are some things you can do:

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Check your computer authorizations

If you've purchased protected (DRM) items from the iTunes Store and you are unable to play them, it is possible that you have exceeded the number of computers authorized to play items you have purchased. If you have already played purchased items on five computers, you will need to deauthorize one of the first five computers so that you can play the content on a sixth computer.

To deauthorize a computer:

  1. In iTunes, choose Store > Deauthorize Computer (your computer needs to be connected to the Internet).
  2. Click OK.

If you've reached your five-computer limit, you have a second option to deauthorize all five at once using these steps:

  1. Login to view your Apple account information.
  2. Click the Deauthorize All.

Make sure that all of your authorized computers are using the latest version of iTunes.

Check shared playlists and authorizations

If you're listening to a shared library or playlist, iTunes will skip any item in the list if your computer hasn't been authorized to play that item.

Check for older audio files

If you're trying to play an AAC audio file that was either not created using iTunes or downloaded from the iTunes Store, the song may not play. Songs you download from the iTunes Store or that you import into your library using the AAC encoder are encoded with the new MPEG-4 AAC format. These types of files will play in iTunes and on your iPod. Older AAC files that you find on the Internet or elsewhere may not play in iTunes.

Check formatting of disc player

If you're trying to play a song on a CD or DVD that you burned using iTunes, make sure that the equipment you're trying to play the disc on is appropriate for the disc's format.

For example, if you burned an audio CD to a CD-RW disc, you will only be able to play it on your computer. If you burned an MP3 disc, it should play on your computer and on special MP3 CD players, but not on standard consumer audio CD players.

Check and repair permissions issues (Mac OS X only)

If you're using Mac OS X, you may have incorrect permission settings on your computer hard disk. Follow these steps to check and repair the permissions:

  1. Open Disk Utility (in /Applications/Utilities).
  2. Select your Mac OS X volume in the left column, then click the First Aid tab.
  3. Click Repair Disk Permissions.

For additional information about Disk Utility and any messages that might appear while repairing disk permissions, see Mac OS X: Troubleshooting Permissions Issues. 

Other issues with iPod play

If an item plays fine in iTunes but doesn't play (or is skipped over) on your iPod, see Troubleshooting songs that skip on iPod.

If you can't copy an item to your iPod that plays fine in iTunes, see Some songs in iTunes won't copy to iPod for more information.

Last Modified: Aug 10, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Aug 10, 2012
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