October 27th-2008 Update: Celebrating the 3rd aniversary of this post with an advice from one of my readers, John: try to retype all of your iTunes account information, that worked for him.
September 11th-2008 Update: It seems that the iTunes 8 update has resulted in a number of people experiencing the 5002 error, related to updating of iPhone Apps.
Please check this thread on the Apple Forums for possible solutions: Topic : ITunes 8 Upgrade Results in 5002 unknown Error when trying to update Apps
Some of my users has been kind enough to provide possible fixes to the issue:
July 1st-2008 Update: A regular trick when you have strange errors on Mac OS X, is to perform a “Repair Disk Permissions” using the “Disk Utility” application. You should also try this if you encounter iTunes error 5002. Thanks to David from Macnyt.dk for making that suggestion.
May 15th-2008 Update: The most recent comments points to a problem with missing credit card security codes, so please review your iTunes account information.
April 2nd-2008 Update: It seems that a recent update to iTunes has made this error much more common, look to the bottom of the comment-stream to get the latest.
There’s no clear solution to the problem, but re-registering with iTunes Music Store, and/or contact iTunes can,sometimes, fix the problem.
April 4th-2008 Update: Concensus is building around something we’ve been focusing in on for a while, that is DON’T EVER USE saved shopping carts. Due to an error in iTunes, you’ll get the 5002 error, if a product you’ve added to the shopping cart, is removed from iTunes Music Store, before you go to check-up.
iTunes Music Store seems to revise their catalogue a lot, especially tail-coating a new product launch, this is why it seems to be related to new versions of iTunes.
This blog-post is, by far, the biggest driver of traffic to my website, and if you read the comment-stream, you’ll notice a lot of frustrations, Apple, PLEASE recognise this problem, and FIX it – I’ll teel it in words you MIGHT understand: YOU’RE LOOSING BUSINESS!
Kim Bach, April 2nd and 4th 2008
I recently made my first purchase on iTunes, but I kept getting an error 5002 when trying to authorise my PowerBook. After trying again and again I gave up on it, and sent an e-mail to Apple Support, and they promissed an answer in 72 hours. Two weeks later, still no answer, so I turned to the support pages in iTunes Music Store, and there’s no useful information on error 5002.
When all else fails, FGI. So Googling “itunes computer authorization problem 5002” I found a promissing thread on MacNN Forums.
The user who started the thread on the 19th of october, finally solved his problem today. His solution was to shorten the name other computers on the subnet can use to access the computer. This setting can be changed by going to System Preferences/Sharing (in Danish: Systemindstillinger/Deling). After changing my computername and subnet name, I was able to authorise my computer with iTunes and listen to the audiobook I purchased.
I suspect that quite a few users have this problem, since the installation procedure of Mac OS-X allows you to enter whatever, ridiculously long, computername, and mine was indeed very long.
But I’m NOT impressed with the (lack of) support I got from Apple iTunes support. They MUST have heard about this problem before, so why the solution isn’t featured on the iTunes FAQ, beats me!
I wrote iTunes support to let them know about the solution, I really hope they return with an answer.