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Before I left work today I downloaded a rental movie in iTunes then copied the m4v to a USB key and took it home to watch. However I now can't play the file on my home PC: iTunes asks me to authorise my computer to play films purchased on my account, then when I enter my password it tells me my PC is already authorised but doesn't start the movie. Pressing play brings up the prompt again. Deauthorising and reauthorising the PC acted the same.

Does this mean the rental is tied to the machine that downloaded it, my work PC? I did not start the movie there - I simply downloaded it then copied the file. The FAQ, which I had't read beforehand, says:

If you download a rented movie on your computer: You can transfer it to a device such as your Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or iPod if it’s a standard-definition film (movies in HD can only be watched on your computer, iPad, iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th generation), or Apple TV). Once you move the movie from your computer to a device, the movie will disappear from your computer's iTunes library. You can move the movie between devices as many times as you wish during the rental period, but the movie can only exist on one device at a time.

It doesn't discuss moving films between computers. Is that possible? The disappear bit does make me think the ITMS remembers which device the movie is officially on. Is there any way for me to recover this, or will I have to watch the film at work? I rented HD and only have a 2G iPod touch so I can't copy it to that.

Thanks. Both machines are PCs running the latest iTunes, 10.1.1.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Without using an iPod that supports HD movies then no. You are correct in thinking that it is tied to the device Apple thinks it is on.

Source: See Update at the bottom

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Thanks - that article's a good read. To expand on that a bit, that link says there is a trick you can use by cancelling syncing a movie to a device - but as Samuel says since it's HD I don't have a device I can sync this to. –  Rup Jan 23 '11 at 0:30

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