When my computer was stolen in early January, all of the songs on my computer - enough to fill about three quarters of my 20 GB iPod, were also stolen. I still have most of the CDs, but I figured the downloaded music was a loss.
But it was still on my iPod, so I could still listen to it. But my iPod was acting weird - not working when it was supposed to, freezing mid-song, and just not being itself. I took it to the Genius bar, the Genius made some not too smart suggestions, and then whispered "If you google iPod Rip, you'll find the unsupported software to get your songs back into your iTunes library."
Once I'd replaced my computer, I did just that. But the software wouldn't load right, and then my computer wouldn't recognize my iPod. Now I had a half full iPod and couldn't change, add, or delete any songs.
My 15-minute phone conversation with tech support this weekend wasn't too helpful. After proclaiming that the tech had never heard of the error message I was getting, he suggested restoring my iPod to the factory settings.
He confirmed for me that this would indeed wipe out all of my music, but countered with the reminder that everything was backed up.
"No, it's not," I explained. "My computer was stolen two months ago and all the backup went with it."
He told me to email the iTunes support staff, tell them how my computer is probably living a happy second life in Mexico with its thief, and ask them to restore my downloaded library. He warned that it was a longshot, but he said I should try.
So I did. And today I got a response from Emily at Apple. She is my new very best friend, and she helped me get back 80 of the 90 songs that were stolen in the great computer (and camera, and keyboard) liberation of 2008. So please excuse me, I have to update my iPod.
Put This in Your Ears, Update
7 hours ago