It’s now less than a week before thousands will have new iPads (s aapl) in hand(s), and while we know quite a bit about the new slate there is one question that is still unanswered. No doubt many of the new iPad owners already own iPhones, the numbers alone indicate that is likely. That means that many of us will already have a device (iPhone) that is linked to our iTunes music library. How does adding a second device (iPad) impact that association?
I am probably not alone in that hundreds of the purchased songs in my iTunes collection is infested with DRM. I only buy DRM-free versions since that option became available, but most of the oldest songs in my collection are hobbled by that nasty DRM. The collection is sitting on my iPhone just fine, and since the device is linked to my iTunes library it works just as it should. When I add the iPad to the mix it is not clear how (if at all) that music will work on the iPad.
Sure I can disassociate the iPhone from the iTunes library once I get the iPad, but that doesn’t interest me. I don’t envision the iPad becoming my giant iPod of choice, the iPhone works well in that role. But I do want to put the collection on the iPad so that I can play the music should I desire. It’s only fair that I be able to do so, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one who will want to do it.
So how exactly is this going to work? Is the DRM scheme that iTunes uses going to prohibit new iPad owners from playing music on both an iPhone and an iPad? I certainly hope not, it would be unfair to spend big bucks on an iPhone and then an iPad, only to find it impossible to link them both to my iTunes account at the same time.
UPDATE: I’m hearing from users who say this should work just fine, as long as you don’t want to have separate libraries on the two devices. Adding the iPad should work, as long as the same user and library is synced to both. Thanks everyone who jumped in quickly.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):