International iTunes - Skirting the Rules

An artist I’m in love with is unavailable from the iTunes Canada store :frowning:

I’ve read online that it is possible to buy an iTunes USA Giftcard and then gain access to the songs in the american catalogue. I am unclear on is what happens when one hits ‘REDEEM’ in itunes. That is, because I’m not able to create an American iTunes account, does one simply not need an account when using a giftcard?

Hopefully this query abides by the SDMB rules, I’m simply trying to circumvent a dumb corporate policy, and not any law or anything.



I took the jump and ebay’d the gift certificate…the plan worked like a charm!


  1. Install the latest version of iTunes. You can download iTunes (it’s free) from the Download iTunes webpage. If iTunes is already installed on your computer, check your version and update if necessary.

  2. Open iTunes.

  3. In the Source pane (on the left side of the iTunes window), click iTunes Store.

  4. In the upper-right corner of the iTunes Store window, verify that the button says “Sign In.” If this button displays an email address instead, click the button and then click Sign Out.

  5. In the QUICK LINKS window in the right-hand column, click Redeem.

  6. In the resulting screen, enter the 16-digit code printed on the back of the card (it starts with an “X”), then click Redeem.

  7. In the resulting screen, create your new iTunes Store account. You will have the option to enter credit card information; if you do not wish to do so, click the None button on the Payment screen.

  8. Once you’ve successfully redeemed your gift card, the credit amount will appear next to your account name in the upper-right corner. Each time you purchase items, iTunes will deduct funds from the credit until it’s depleted. If a pending purchase exceeds the credit amount, iTunes will ask you to enter a credit card number. You do not need to re-enter your gift card number to make multiple purchases.

Cool. There are a lot of things that it would be nice to access from across the border. You’ve solved a minor problemo in my life. Thanks.

If I had seen this yesterday, I’d have told you it’s possible to create itunes accounts in the U.S. and Canada, although I believe you need U.S. dollar credit cards and Canuck credit cards.

Is there a way to do this if you already have an iTunes account? I’m an American who has seen things on the UK itunes that aren’t available here. I wouldn’t know how to access UK iTunes from within iTunes though - I’ve only seen the catalog online.

I did it by creating accounts with two different email addresses.

jackdavinci: Barbarian has the right idea. You would simply need to get a 2nd e-mail address (just make a temporary gmail, hotmail, or account) and plug the UK gift card into that. iTunes will happily permit you to authorize your computer to seamlessly listen to music downloaded from both accounts in your library.

I’m just wondering how to get my iTunes application to think that it’s UK iTunes instead of USA iTunes. I’ve seen that certain songs are only available on UKiTunes from looking at the website, but I’m wondering how to access those songs from the iTunes application itself…

oh thats simple, I’ve taken a quick screen grab to illustrate…

See here.

Basically at the bottom of the splashpage (first page that loads when you hit ‘iTunes Store’ in iTunes) is a little pull down menu that allows you to switch the store you’re visiting.

good luck!

Thanks! I hadn’t noticed that :smiley:

I didn’t have any gift cards, but I have both US and Japan credit cards, so I was able to set up two accounts that way. I’m not sure why I bothered since I’ve never actually bought anything through iTunes. Once you set up both accounts you can toggle between them with the menu mentioned earlier. It’s probably not even technically against the rules considering that you have to have currency appropriate for that market, either a gift card or a credit card, to buy the files.

Japan has long gotten extra tracks on records CDs that aren’t available in other markets. Full albums here are expensive, about twice the cost of US releases. From what I’ve heard, collectors outside Japan have often sought out Japan releases so they can get those extras. Ironically, I’ve seen import versions of albums for sale here, probably because they are a lot cheaper than the domestic version. There don’t seem to be as many extra tracks as there used to be; I’ve seen a bunch of recent releases that are identical except for price and the inclusion of translated liner notes.

You can buy Japan iTunes prepaid cards from
It’s an online store that sells gift cards, game cards from Japan.

When I got an iPad before they were available in Canada, the iTunes App Store also did not want to let me in from Canada. I went down to the local Shoppers Drug Mart and bought a prepaid Visa card (in Canada, Canadian dollars). Apparently you can put in whatever address you want, and the VISA process will validate any address. I created an account in iTunes and put a USA address and was buying apps within a few hours of receiving my iPad.

Later, when the iPad was available in Canada, I also created a Canadian app store account. The only downside to this is when I update apps, even free ones. some are one account and some are on the other. It will make me switch accounts in order to update.

I hear Itunes has a large selection of Zombie rock…