What Matthew is saying is spot-on about "ignore that a name "looks like" an email address. Your apple ID can be a non email address like mine having no @ but can also be an email "looking" address that is no longer functional.
Any @me or @icloud or @mac are "DNA" as far as apple is concerned however in some (all?) cases @me @mac @icloud are aliases to whichever is the primary ID.
Since apple considers any apple id with any of those domains "permanent" like DNA. I did hit a snag the other day when I couldn't set the "tagged" email eg. email@example.com but was on the iPhone so hope that's a bug with mobile version of the site. I've used that many times.
There is no real "need" to merge IDs. There is a belief out there that your current purchase ID has to match an obsolete one. This is not the case. So I recommend orphaning old addresses and use the current iCloud ID as an @icloud/me/mac for the iCloud ID then use the old ID for iTunes.
Then set the primary email for the ID associated with the store like this:
OK, here's what I'm trying to do. I have an old Mindspring account as my iTunes ID that I'm paying $6 a month for. Trying to kill it. The only other account I have (and the ones where I want all my stuff going) are mac.com, me.com, icloud.com. I don't want a gmail account just for iTunes (I just won't check it - but I do have things that are subscription that autobill). So am I just SOL on this? I get that I can log in under the @mindspring.com email forever, but I'm also worried that at some point I'll need to do something that requires an email be sent out, whatever, and that account will be dead. Similarly, I don't want to make an additional email account, which I will then also have to check, get spam at, etc, just for iTunes. Is that really the only option? BOOOO Apple if so. Hopefully there's something I'm missing but this sounds like I'm stuck here. This is why I hate being forced to use an email as a login!
I was in a similar position, and here is a solution that is working great for me (given the obstacles).
I had an old email that was also my Apple ID/iTunes account ID. Then I switched my primary email to an @me.com address. As you know, Apple does not allow users to switch an old Apple ID to a new @me address.
But there is an easy workaround that lets you drop your old address:
Go to https://appleid.apple.com and click on Manage ID. Then change your primary email address to the one you want (in my case it was @me.com). This way, all correspondence will be sent to your correct email address. And going forward, your Apple ID will simply be your old email address.
One way to look at it is to not see your Apple ID as an email address, but as a name that happens to *look* like an email address.
Also, just to be sure, I went into my iTunes account, via the iTiunes app on my Mac, anc changed my emaill address there, too. It might have been redundant, but I wanted to cover all bases.
Since making this change, I always receive emails to my current, active email address. In addition, I now always use my @me.com address to sign in. (Yes, you can sign in to Apple ID/iTunes using either address. But after you sign in, your account name will still show up as your old Mindspring ID.)
Let me know if that helps. Good luck!
It won't let me change my email to my Mac.com address; it might be because I also have an apple ID under that account. Does that make sense? I don't need to merge them and I think there was a reason I intentionally had them separate (maybe for iTunes match so I had a clean slate when I started that). I think it's telling me I can't use the Mac.com address because that one is already linked to an apple ID.
You should be able to change your primary email address (not the ID itself) to anything you want.
Did you try changing the Alternate Email Address to the mac.com one?
In my case, my @me.com email was already associated with my old Apple ID email, but I was still able to make the @me.com email my primary address.
And you are right, you cannot merge IDs.
Yes - it says "mail address is already verified for another Apple ID." Which makes sense; otherwise it would be like merging them. The only thing I can think of is changing the email for my mac.com Apple ID to something bogus, and then changing the email on this to my mac.com, but I'm worried that I might have someting I would miss not getting on the mac.com Apple ID.
Fraud prevention is the most likely reason for not allowing changing of apple based apple id.
As pointed out you can change your associated email to another and just use the old "mindspring" email as the userid. This is only a problem with apple associated ids.
You used to be able to use "tagged" email as a workaround. I have an @me address that coincidentally has the same exact pre @ as my iTunes and primary non-email apple id.
Tell me *that* is not silly!
Anyhow since I couldn't merge but I don't use @me email anyhow I used
firstname.lastname@example.org as my primary email address. I'm not sure if you can get away with tagged email on apple servers but I was not allowed to use a tagged email on my iphone to make tue change "please enter a valid address".
It's quite clear realized there really is no need to allow merging of ids. It creates a far larger problem than it solves. For every problem we can think of there are five we can't.
Since five uid allowed on an iDevice you can simply "orphan" an old id. Put in your current email as the primary email (tag of needed) then if you want a clean one-spot id for iTunes and iCloud just use the new apple based id for new purchases.
Julie: I have used the "bogus" solution wih positive results to move around non-apple email addresses instantly I fact.
(Literally use +old) then emails for that account deliver to name+gmail.com
I can't guarantee it'll work but when email non-apple it's worked for me.
Andrew - the problem is I need to get emails about things happening on my account. And it won't let me change the primary email on the mac.com Apple ID. I don't have gmail and since I don't use it I would effectively be sending all of my account emails to dead space, if that makes sense. If Gmail were an email address I used, it wouldn't be an issue. But I don't want more email accounts. I don't have another "domain.etc" to send it to. Mac.com/me.com/icloud.com is the only thing I check, and that's one of the reasons I'm closing out this additional account. I don't want to orphan the account I've been using for years, since iTunes music store first opened, and that has all my subscriptions on it. Does that make sense? I work for myself so I don't have work email, etc to send to. Again, I don't care about merging. I just want to be able to access this account. Say I forget the password on this Apple ID - then they can't send me a password reminder, and maybe I can call them and jump through 100 hoops to get it fixed, and maybe I can't.
I appreciate everyone's effort in suggesting solutions, and I don't mean to sound as if I don't!
You described your issue very well. And I feel your pain.
I am curious about one thing, though. You wrote that you got a message that said, "mail address is already verified for another Apple ID."
That seems odd to me, since you are trying to associate it with your current ID. Is there a chance that at some point you set up *another* Apple ID and associated the @mac email with it?
Sorry, thought I had explained that. I have two apple ids. One @mindspring.com and one @mac.com. So yes, there's a certainty that I set up another. There are two. I don't know if I even intentionally set up the second one or if it was automatically created when I got mobileme or when I was trying to futz around with someone else and I probably didn't have an overt intention to create a separate apple ID account. My Apple ID used to just be a simple name without the email address but then that wasn't enough. I can log in as @mindspring.com or @mac.com and they are separate accounts. But since I can't transfer my purchased/subscribed content from @mindspring.com to @mac.com, the issue arises (I don't need to merge as I mentioned but it's because I can't that I need to manage this another way).