Some consumers lost parts or all of their music libraries when they upgraded to the latest version of iTunes and Apple has provided a fix and five free song downloads for consumers who had those issues.

Five complaints in the database and many more on Apple's Web site describe the frustration of losing songs, videos and movies previously purchased from Apple, when consumers upgraded to iTunes version 7.7.1, released July 30.

"Most of the music I have purchased online from Apple's iTunes Store has been deactivated," wrote Martin of Suisan, Calif. "I have purchased approximately $140 dollars worth of songs and videos from iTunes Store, which currently is worthless due to the fact that iTunes will no longer play any of them."

Consumers said files on their iPods and iPhones was also deactivated and rendered useless after they upgraded.

"I went to download a song and was prompted to upgrade to the newest version," wrote Dione of Northridge, Calif. "I did. What a huge mistake! All of a sudden my iPod was wiped clean of all my purchased music."

The problem was a result of the software not re-authorizing the purchased songs after upgrading to the latest version, Apple spokeswoman Randi Wolfson wrote in an e-mail.

"This problem could affect playing back purchased music or videos or launching applications on iPhone or iPod touch," she wrote.

To fix the problem, consumers must follow these steps:

1. Deauthorize your account, by choosing "Deauthorize Computer" from the Store menu in iTunes.

2. Select "Authorize Computer" from the Store Menu in iTunes, and re-authorize your account.

3. Try playing any one of your purchases from this account.

4. Resync any iPod or iPhone containing purchases from this account.

To apologize for the glitch, Apple is offering five free song downloads to consumers who contact iTunes customer support and complain about the problem.

Apple today announced the latest version of iTunes, iTunes 8, as part of its regular fall announcement of new products.