Found iPod--how to track owner?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by TandEsMommy, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. TandEsMommy macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2009
    I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place, but other than working my iTouch I am not familiar with this sort of thing.

    I have confiscated what I know to be a stolen iPod and am trying to figure out how to find the owner. I Googled and came across a thread here that mentioned finding the email address used to download songs from iTunes to contact the rightful owner. I see that some of the songs were downloaded from iTunes but I don't know where to look for the email address associated with the download. I don't anticipate Apple being of much help due to privacy concerns, and the police aren't going to put more effort into this than I am willing to, so I'm looking for any advice on how to track this owner. There are no contacts or photos, and the kid that stole the iPod changed the display name and put some pirated tracks on it, but didn't bother to take off the old tracks (the pirated are hip hop and pop, the "legal" tracks are REM, sting, etc). I also googled the serial number, the inscription on the back, and tried the sites I could find that let people post their stolen iPod info.

    If I have no options left, I will turn it over to the police, I would just prefer to exhaust all of my options before doing so. The inscription says "Daddy enjoy while you surf and work out Love xxx and xxx", which is why I want to find the owner so badly--seems like it would have more sentimental than intrinsic value. Any guidance you can offer is appreciated.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I wonder if Apple would be able to help. It seems when I plug in an iPod into my computer, iTunes knows the serial number of the iPod. And since my iTunes app is linked to my account, it might be reasonable to think that iTunes and the iPod somehow "match" to each other, or know that they sync together.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if Apple will readily give out someone else's information to you. I suppose you could email them the serial number and see if someone could contact the owner.
  3. mj1903 macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2005
    This should be fairly easy.

    If you copy one of the purchased songs off the iPod and into your iTunes and then select "Get Info" after right clicking on the song you will be presented with the email address of the iTunes account.

    Hope this helps.
  4. omegaphil6 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2002
    Fort Myers Florida
    If the ipod Touch has the App Store on it, open it and select to download a free app... at this point if the owner has ever used the app store it should prompt you for the owners iTunes Store password. right above the text input field will be the email address of the said itunes store account. Give it a shot
  5. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    If the owner reported it stolen, turning it over to the police may help them get it back.

    When my wife's nano was stolen, we reported it & provided the serial number. The officer who took the report said the info would be entered into a nationwide database that (hopefully) any police department would use to id stolen goods. I don't really know how widespread the use of the database is, but it sounded good!

    Anyway, I wonder if Apple could help. If the owner registered it, Apple would have contact info associated with the serial number of the iPod. There's no way they would give that info to you, but would they contact the owner for you and pass along the message that you've found their iPod?
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Apple store genius bar should be able to contact the person who registered the device.
  7. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    Kudos to you for working so hard on getting it back to the rightful owner. If I ever lose my iPod, I hope someone like you finds it!

    Makes me think that there should be some easier way to get contact info onto the iPod, that can't easily be changed w/o wiping it. Most people wouldn't have a clue how to get this info to track someone down.

    I had my kids iPods engraved with their email addresses for this very reason...

    I hope you find the owner...
  8. TandEsMommy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2009
    It's not an iTouch, it's a Nano. I wish it were an iTouch, that's what I have and having the App store would definately make it much easier.

    I spoke to Apple and they took my information and are trying to contact the registered user and have them contact me.

    As for the police, I am an Air Force cop and we don't have access to the database of SNs you mentioned, nor do we have any report filed on base for this iPod. So my options are to work this on my personal time or turn it over to Honolulu PD--as I said, I'm betting I'm willing to work harder on this than their already-overworked officers are, so hopefully the owner has their contact info updated with Apple and I can get it to them fairly quickly.

    I've tried copying the music into my iTunes, as someone suggested, but the music on the iPod is showing all grey and won't let me select it, only right-click, and then I can only view song information.

    Thanks to everyone who had any suggestions. We are an iPod family, and I can only imagine how upset I would be if mine disappeared. I thought I lost my old Shuffle when they first came out and I was irritable for two days until I found it. This poor guy is probably feeling terrible, especially with the engraving. I'll let y'all know what happens
  9. mj1903 macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Grab my software from my signature (it's free for 200 uses) and copy across a song using it. You'll then be able to view all the information.
  10. TandEsMommy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2009
    Wow, how cool is that? Thank you for that.

    So Apple did get in touch with the owner, and they emailed me and have their iPod back. Plus we got information on how it was stolen and think we can use it to help bust a few kids on base who have formed their own little theft ring. Thanks everyone for the help, my office is going to be using some of the tips I found here to help build evidence against the ringleaders. HAGD :)
  11. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    Fantastic. Nice to hear a story with a happy ending... :)
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That's what I would say. They can probably hook it up to a diagnostic and find the iTunes Store account info on the device. If any of those songs have DRM, same deal applies.
  13. sir Mudkip macrumors member

    sir Mudkip

    Aug 25, 2008
    Adelaide, Australia
    Sir, Its people like you that make the world a better place.

    Very well done
  14. mj1903 macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Great to hear!
  15. OldLadywithiPod macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2008
    This story make Old Lady's day!

    Plus now that I know that found iPods are sometimes returned by wonderful folks, it's given me another reason to shell out the money to replace my 2G Nano to something manufactured in this millenium. :)
  16. titaniummd macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2009
    On the iPod

    Click on Settings, About and look up the Serial Number. Then contact Apple and see if you can send it to Apple or see if was reported stolen.
  17. Dudeman486 macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Great Story! It's always nice to hear that there are good people in the world, trying to help out those unfortunate enough to have lost something important of theirs.

    I have a related tip. When the ipod is plugged in, you can see the music that is on it, correct? Well, if there is purchased content, and you can see the song information, you can view the itunes account used to purchase it. Go to "Summary," and it's under "Purchased By" and "Account Name."

    Provided the owner has bought media that is on the ipod, you could track down their email address, and even name, by that music, thus having a method to get in contact with them.
  18. andrew050703 macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2006
    Portsmouth, U.K
    the method of looking for song info really works - within half an hour of looking at the song list I had the owner's name, email, facebook page, work address & phone number! Isn't the internet amazing :D

    The owner was so pleased when I rang him, and I would encourage any iPod finders to make every effort to trace the owner
  19. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    My parents found an ipod on a plane in europe a few months ago. I initially tried the serial number technique but didn't get very far and eventually gave up.

    I will try the song technique, hopefully it will be more successful.
  20. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2008
    It worked!

    One lost iPod will be on it's way back to it's rightful owner by later today!

    Thanks Macrumors community.
  21. Mmitche macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2014
    Well done dudeman486!!! I found an iPod 2 days ago and using your method of checking song info, I've just made contact with the rightful owner!!
    It's on its way back to him today!!! Feels good......
  22. myrtlebee, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014

    myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    This thread is four years old and "dudeman486"'s last post was in 2012. He is not reading your comment.

    Edit: Oops, I'm sorry, make that 5 years.
  23. michael31986 macrumors 68040

    Jul 11, 2008
  24. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Cool story, but in confused. What's an iTouch?
  25. jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    It's short for iPod Touch, obviously. ;)

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