Can't force quit iTunes


Hey, found this forum recently, I have been searching the archives quite a bit for a few questions I have, but wasn't able to find this...

I am running Panther (10.3.9) and iTunes (4.9). I quit/restart iTunes quite frequently on my daily use of my computer. Sometimes I have my iPod connected sometimes not.

I often try to quit iTunes, the window will close, but the arrow stays under the icon on the dock. The computer runs fine, I can do anything I feel like, except anything with iTunes. I click on the icon, and the iTunes menus appear in the upper area of the screen (dunno what that's called), but no iTunes window will come up.

I try force quitting, the menu pops up right away, and choose to force quit iTunes. Nothing happens. I click the button, no spinning beach ball or anything. It just ignores my command.

I can't restart or shut down my computer when this happens. I just have to hold down the power button, which I don't think is the best way to shut it down :(

I have had this problem for several months, with probably 3 different versions of iTunes.

Anyone have a suggestion where to start? I do not want to lose my library/ratings info if possible!
ok-- I made a little progress in diagnosing this problem.

As long as my iPod is mounted, I can quit iTunes without a problem. Apple-Q shuts down the program just fine.

My problem occurs when I update my iPod, then unmount it, then try to quit. So my temporary solution will be to never unmount my iPod with iTunes; just with Finder once iTunes is closed.

Anyone have similar experiences?