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Obviously I don't know what you kids purchase now or will in the future. But I don't think I would be too far off target in thinking their musical interests as teenagers and yours will be different.

Today "burning" stuff from iTunes is not a bad idea. But Apple's latest PCs do not have optical drives and frankly I do not expect future one to either with one possible exception. I expect optical disks in 5 to 7 years to about as common as 3.25 inch drives are today.

I don't understand you comment about iTunes match and keeping track of music. iTunes keeps a record of all purchases (music, iBooks, App, movies, etc.) associated with each Apple ID. I have never heard of any issues about Apple "losing" purchases. Both my wife and I have had to "restore" to Factor Condition iPhones over the years. Apple has never lost a single item we purchased - in fact until I figured out how to stop it, I had the opposite problem. Things I had purchased and deleted from my iPhone were Restored and I had to deleted them again!

No you are alone in what you are looking at. I just happen to have seen a few parents at the local Mac User Group facing the "What do I do now?" deal as they try and sort stuff out when multiple folks use a single Apple ID. (This is pure speculation on my part - but it may be related to the deals Apple cut with the record companies and/or DRM which is very complicated stuff.)

The other extreme when a person created a second Apple ID is just a trouble some. One person had an Apple ID an iPod back before the first iPhone. Later that person bought an iPhone and created a second Apple ID - not knowing he could use the previously obtained Apple ID. Now they have a large number of items (both music and software) that has been purchased on both Apple IDs actually on a single Mac. It is a real PITA to get updates because they have to login with the ID they used for the original purchase to update.

Maybe for your situation a single ID is the best approach, but folks need to appreciate the implications which frankly I do not think Apple does a very good job of presenting to customers.

One way I sort of understand all this related to the difference between a Land line and a cell phone. Generally speaking Landlines were one for a family - because it was tied to a house. But cell phones are much more a personal item -- tied to an individual. In fact I really am not aware of situations where multiple people share a single cell phone. I am sure it exists, but I have not run into it in my circle of people.

One thing you might consider is asking Apple. 1-800-My-Apple

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