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iTunes upgrade has users griping

update Apple plans to update new version of iTunes 5 to address installation glitch.

update A new version of Apple Computer's iTunes software released last week appears to be giving many iPod owners headaches, according to reports from across the Web.

Complaints about the new iTunes 5 surfaced over the past few days on numerous blogs and discussion boards, including the company's own discussion board at Apple.com.

Apple acknowledged the problem and said it's working on an update.

"Apple is aware that a limited number of customers are experiencing issues with installing iTunes 5," the company said in a statement. "We're working to resolve this and expect to have a software update early next week."

iTunes is a desktop computer program that comes with the iPod music player and allows people to transfer music to the device. It also represents Apple's first big foray into designing software that works with Microsoft Windows.

People have reported a range of problems with the updated program, while others said the software works fine. Among those reporting problems, many say that trying to install the program causes their computers to crash. Others report that once they install the program, it won't transfer music purchased at the iTunes Music Store to their iPod, deletes playlists, interferes with other programs or generally wreaks havoc on their computers.

"What's worse, rolling back (to a previous version) can be difficult or impossible, and Apple's lack of official recognition or public response regarding these problems is driving many users up the wall," Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People for Internet Responsibility, wrote in a letter posted online.

Several contributors to the Apple Discussions forum claim Apple customer service representatives have acknowledged the problem. "I called Apple re: iTunes 5 upgrade and was told they're working on a fix for it," James Robinson, Jr. wrote in a Tuesday post. "They said iTunes 5 definitely had a bug in it."

Yet it's unclear how widespread the problems are or what's causing them. In any case, the call for help on Apple Discussions highlights how attached people have become to their iPods. Subject lines on the board include: I feel like screaming!!; i Tunes v5...causing severe stress!!!; Help! Need to find my music!; and HELP i miss my ipod/itunes!!!.