Backstage: iPod, iTunes 4.7.1 problems on OS X?

A couple of weeks ago, we had our first report that something might be amiss with the newest iPod Software Updater and/or iTunes 4.7.1: a reader mentioned that his iPod shuffle had died after running the update, and he was able to return it to an Apple Store and get a replacement. Amongst other things, he noted that his computer would no longer recognize the shuffle no matter what he did.

Since then, we’ve seen other reports of similar problems – and been experiencing some of them ourselves. My own PowerMac G5 is now having serious problems recognizing any iPod I connect to the machine; sometimes the operating system sees one, other times it doesn’t, and most frequently iTunes refuses to recognize that any iPod is connected to my machine. The problems began when I connected an iPod shuffle and ran the Software Updater, but have become more widespread.

Now there is a significant chance that iTunes and/or other applications (notably iPhoto) will randomly lock up and become incapable of termination by either Force Quit or Terminal. When this happens, the Mac can’t be shut down or restarted without using the machine’s power switch, and in one case, all access to the Internet was locked out with the exception of instant messaging. Discussion threads on Apple’s web site confirm that other people are having similar problems. What about you? Any solutions?

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