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iTunes Computer Authorization Issue

Posted on 2013-12-17
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Last Modified: 2016-06-05
Have an iMac that had to be factory reset.  Made a complete backup with Time Machine prior so have all original system and data on external drive.  Reset the mac to OS X.8.5  after wiping the drive using Disk Utility/Apple Restore and it worked perfectly.  Then after restore, used Migration Assistant to restore all user data that was backed up.  Opened iTunes and all content is present, including playlists, play counts, etc.  Have reauthorized the mac in iTunes.  However, of over 400+ AudioBooks, I am not able to play the content because the "mac is not authorized", meaning that a different Apple ID, Audio.com, or other account credentials were used when the content was purchased.  Using iTunes Get Info, I can clearly see what Apple ID was used to purchase the content and is the AOL screenname from years ago.  Problem is today AOL screennames are no longer validated through the iTunes store and I am unable to reauthorize the mac to play any of those purchases.

I have access to AOL account so I know the credentials.
I have access to Audible.com account so I know the credentials. When I log into audible, I see only 30+ purchases so I know the library did not all come from Audible directly even though each of the books begins with 'This  audio book is presented by Audible.com, audio that...' so I know they are Audible content.

If I was to use Migration Assistant and choose to migrate all apps, all settings, all users, etc., instead of just concentrated folder selection as I did, this would not be an issue so that tells me that somewhere, there is a file that ties to this mac and contains all the credentials needed to play DRM content previously purchased with the AOL screenname credentials.
I need to find that file and restore it.

I do not want to revert the mac back to before reset as that is counterproductive and defeats the entire reasoning for resetting to begin with.

Even Apple is not able to help because they claim the authorization process has changed so greatly that they have no way to regrant the purchases for 400+ audiobooks where not all of them came from the iTunes store, and obviously only 30+ came from purchases directly with Audible.com.

Audible.com did provide assistance to get the 30+ reauthorized and playing without problem.  That leaves over 370+ audio books that will not play.

Can anybody point me in the right direction to restore the entire iTunes data without reverting to going back to the old drive image?
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Question by:tchancev
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Expert Comment

by:WorldTechMS
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You could restore your old backup to a VM (Virtual Machine) Like VMWare Fusion or parallels.

Then you can get your audio books from your old iTunes and import them into your new install.

WorldTechMS
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by:tchancev
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@WorldTechMS: Thank you for that tip. However, the issue is not to do with getting the audio books as I have all of them restored.  The issue is that the mac computer is not authorized to play the books so I need the file(s) that pertain to the computer authorization restored.
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tchancev earned 0 total points
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Found the solution and wanted to post it for all to know.

The solution requires these steps:

1) You need access to the original hard drive contents. In my case, my latest Time Machine backup.

2) You need to show hidden files in order to find and copy a preferences file.
a) Open Terminal
b) defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true (hit enter).
c) killall Finder (hit enter).

3) On backup drive, browse to /volume/Library/Preferences folder and find the file named
com.audible.data.plist.

4) Copy that preferences file to the current /volume/Library/Preferences folder.

5) Quit iTunes (if open), and relaunch iTunes.

6) Try to play the protected audio book and when prompted to authorize, enter your credentials. This process may seem unnecessary but I learned that the plist file contains the credentials to validate against.  Without the file present, iTunes could not validate.  With the file present, it could.

7) Do not forget to rehide files.
a) Open Terminal
b) defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles false (hit enter).
c) killall Finder (hit enter).

Bottom line, all 400+ audio books are now playing on the restored Mac!

Hope this helps someone else along the way...
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by:Kyle Santos
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I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for tchancev's comment #a39742903

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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by:tchancev
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Why is this question being classified as abandoned?
I asked the question, it had a response from one member that was not really relevant, and then I actually figured out the solution myself.  And I posted the solution as a comment for the next member that might come across the situation.  No, I do not want the question marked abandoned.  It should be marked answered by me.
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