Found an iTouch!
October 17, 2008 6:38 PM   Subscribe

What can I do with a thrown away iTouch?

A good friend of mine (not me, really!) found an iTouch in the garbage. The glass on it is all cracked up and it appears to have been abused which may be why it got tossed but it's still functional. I'm going to try to replace the glass for her with some plastic and a dremel... but that's not the question. The iTouch has 12 gigs of music on it. Is there any way to get the music off a found iTouch? I realize doing so is of extremely dubious compliance with the copyrights of those songs, so let's assume this is theoretical. I promise not to take off any music I don't own on CD. Cross my heart. Um. Anyway. It's all a bunch of hip hop crap unfortunately.

It seems that , given this particular iPod isn't authorized on my computer that I can't do it, even with third party software. But surely somebody has figured out how? iTunes won't do it for obvious reasons. And I can't copy it manually or with the third party software I use because the iPod isn't enabled as an external device and the enable option isn't available (as far as I can tell) in iTunes unless the iPod is authorized on that computer. But how can it be completely impossible to copy these files when I have access to all the hardware involved? Or is it just a matter of more trouble than it's worth? But it bothers me on a philosophical level that I have this device plugged in to my computer via USB and I can't see any of the files on it except via iTunes.

Secondly and relatedly, once that is done or found to be impossible can the iTouch just be formatted somehow so my friend can put her account on it and sync it with her computer? She has an iPod already but the iTouch is WAY COOLER.

And yes, I believe her that this was found in the trash. It's pretty banged up but I believe I can fix up the case! Then I will be a hero.
posted by Justinian to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
You could get the music off with Senuti without much issue. If it was music purchased on iTunes, you'd need to be authorized to play it on your computer, but it would still play on the iPod just fine.

I'm not so sure you can just replace the glass with plexi or somesuch. It's a touchscreen and needs those parts to work.
posted by advicepig at 6:50 PM on October 17, 2008

You could always have the screen repaired.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:53 PM on October 17, 2008

To amend advicepig... you won't be able to play music that was purchased with DRM from iTunes. But iTunes has both DRM-protected and wide-open versions of much/most music.

Suck the song files off with Senuti. Run iTunes and reformat (initialize) the iPod. Now it's synched with your new computer, which is also now the only one authorized, so it's just like you bought it from the store new... other than the physical condition.

iPods are not authorized to PCs, you have it backwards: the number of computers they can sync with is just limited to five. You can add/amend/remove computers to that list of five at any time.
posted by rokusan at 7:06 PM on October 17, 2008

Having seen someone replace the lcd screen on a video iPod, I second nathan_teske's suggestion that you fix the screen, but do it yourself.
posted by billtron at 7:10 PM on October 17, 2008

I feel like I should repeat that you will most definitely need the screen replaced. Plexiglass doesn't sense fingers the way the materials on the iPod Touch/iPhone do. Here's an article that took apart the screen, so you can see the layers and how complicated it is. Also, IIRC, I heard about people trying to use normal styluses but being unable to because the sensor works with the slight conductivity of human skin rather than pressure like a traditional smart phone.

It's not too clear in your post. Did you try the screen and did it work? If so, I was wrong, but it's probably going to call for a different material than plexiglass to fix it. In fact, I'd probably just get a screen repair at the site nathan_teske suggested, because it's less than half the price of a new iPod. If that's more than you'd like to spend on a gift, someone would probably be willing to go for it on eBay for a decent cost even without the repair.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:25 PM on October 17, 2008

Oh and thirding the above that there's no way you can handmake a replacement TOUCHscreen with generic plexiglas. So definitely factor in the replacement screen (about $60 I think) from eBay, even if you do the replacement yourself. Or $100 for someone else.
posted by rokusan at 8:04 PM on October 17, 2008

Senuti is OS X only. There are Windows apps that work too - what platform are you on?

The first thing I thought of was: jailbreak, install ssh, then SCP or rsync the files over, but the first two steps are hard to do or confirm without a screen.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:36 PM on October 17, 2008

Response by poster: I'm an idiot. Sorry, I am on Windows XP sp2.

mccarty.tim: The iTouch seems fully functional, it's just very beat up with a badly cracked screen. But we can even surf the net on wireless from here.

Thanks for the ebay suggestion.
posted by Justinian at 12:10 AM on October 18, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, Senuti doesn't look like it'll work. As much as I like my friend, I am not installing another operating system for her.
posted by Justinian at 12:11 AM on October 18, 2008

My above jailbreak suggestion would be a bit simpler if you install Samba (I'm not positive it's available), open the share from Windows, & drag the files into iTunes. Anecdotally, though, ssh & rsync are free & work.

Windows programs I found when I was trying to copy media from a bollixed Touch (unsuccessfully, so "one of these might work" rather than "these worked for me"):
* TouchCopy
* Aniosoft Backup
* Tansee iPhone Copy
* Lenogo iPhone to PC Transfer

Oh, & re-reading the question just now: the iPod Touch never presents itself as a USB storage device; it has nothing to do with authorization. Do you have a recent version of iTunes (7.4+?), & what happens when you plug it in?
posted by Pronoiac at 11:49 AM on October 18, 2008

I should read 'iPod touch' right? Or is there some other product out there?
posted by oxford blue at 6:25 PM on October 18, 2008

Response by poster: yeah iPod touch. But that's too much effort to type.
posted by Justinian at 8:04 PM on October 18, 2008

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