TapConfused by Apple ID

To operate Apple equipment effectively you need an Apple ID—but the whole process is very confusing. You can login to your account in at least three places:—

They all require the same id and password but each one gives you different information and there doesn’t seem to be any way to manage the account from one place or even to move from one to the other.

But I am also confused about the concept. Are we expected to have one ID (account) each or one per family? If the former then I can’t see how we can take advantage of the offer on the app store to purchase things once and install them on multiple devices. We were better off under the old family-pack idea. What happens if some of the machines (e.g. an iMac) have multiple users who also have personal devices?

If, on the other hand, we are expected to have one per family then what happens when the kids move out (or more extreme cases like divorce)—how can they take their music and apps with them?

What if you buy/inherit second hand equipment; can you transfer the registration? And what happens if you inherit music/apps—after all they would be regarded as an asset on the estate? Or if you marry? I am reading that Apple will not merge accounts.

Does any of this really matter?

Update: 10 August. Some notice is being taken of this problem. A new development is that an Apple ID can only be associated with 10 devices (including computers) at any one time and there must be a 90 day moratorium between switching of Apple IDs on any device.

Update: 8 Sept. Another well though through commentary.

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