Can lastfm locate my mac?
November 30, 2006 11:25 PM   Subscribe

My computer was stolen, I used lastfm...is this a long shot or not?

Okay, so a week ago house was robbed and my computer was stolen. I had lastfm installed to log my songs.

Tonight I was on my myspace(shutup) where I have a little box from lastfm saying my most recently played tracks. I saw a song that I don't recall every listening to...so I click and go look at my recent tracks. There is a lot of activity on the 24th and some on the 29th. I haven't had my computer since the 20th. (This is a loaner computer and I have neither my music on here, nor iTunes)

Is there ANY way that this can help me? That whoever stole my computer is listening to my music and lastfm is logging it?

I know nothing about computers or internets or ip addresses or anything...so be gentle, but tell me if this is a shot in the dark or if this can maybe help me out somehow...
posted by thisisnotkatrina to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Is there ANY way that this can help me? That whoever stole my computer is listening to my music and lastfm is logging it?

You could always tell lastfm that your computer was stolen and that you would like the IP address your account was accessed from. They will definitely have logged this info.

Then provide the police with that IP address. They can then find out, from the ISP, whose account that is. I assume that you have reported the theft to the cops.

Lastfm might not provide you with the IP address without some kind of legal order to do so, but you never know.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:47 PM on November 30, 2006


You should definitely contact last.fm, then the police. This is actually a common way to catch computer thieves - I've heard several stories in which someone was running the distributed.net client, and was able to locate the laptop because it was still doing work and sending it to distributed.
posted by helios at 12:02 AM on December 1, 2006


Why do not contacting the police first of all? I don't think lastfm gives out IP addresses to everyone.
posted by donut at 5:35 AM on December 1, 2006


... and btw, lastfm's FAQ says that they are rotating their server logs frequently. That means the information could be lost, if you're you don't act fast.
posted by donut at 5:45 AM on December 1, 2006


Ask that the logs be maintained and tell them that you will get authorization from the police to obtain the IP addresses ASAP. That way the data will be maintained until you can get authorization to see the IP logs.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:35 AM on December 1, 2006


Best answer: The police aren't going to put together a subpoena to get the ip address and track down your criminal. Just ask last.fm, the cops can't give you any sort of authorization to read a company's data. (They don't control us!)

I'm pretty sure you'll need to do most of the detective work. It's YOUR last.fm account and if you provide them with enough information to verify that it belongs to you they out to be willing to disclose the IP address. It's not proprietary or even private information, and it's being disclosed (ostensibly) to the account holder, thus no violation of privacy to worry about.

Getting the ISP to disclose the identity of the customer who had that IP will probably require involving the legal system. Fortunately, if you've done the legwork and have the IP address I expect you'll have a significantly easier time getting the legal system and the ISP to work with you.

Good luck!
posted by polyhedron at 8:13 AM on December 1, 2006


I'm pretty sure Last.fm is a British company, which means getting a US police order may not do you much good anyway. Just ask them nicely.
posted by nasreddin at 10:08 AM on December 1, 2006


Make sure to post an update on Metatalk if you get this solved!
posted by cellphone at 2:00 PM on December 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I posted an update on metatalk....
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 5:31 PM on December 12, 2006


MeTa.
posted by russilwvong at 5:43 PM on December 12, 2006


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