'95 GMC Sonoma whining noise in drive

A girlfriend just bought a '95 Sonoma HighRider. The truck looks really nice and has most of the bells and whistles, but it does have 196,000 miles on
it. Everything seems to work ok except there is a whining noise that only happens when the truck is put into gear and changes with RPM. The tranny fluid was a little low when she got it here, and the dipstick is VERY rusty. The fluid does not look quite right nor does it smell quite right. It doesn't smell burnt though. I am comparing this to the look and smell from my 2000 K2500 454 old body style pickup, and I only have 44,000 miles on my truck. Is this a sign/sound of the front pump going out? She is having a mechanic friend do a VIN lookup to see if there are any outstanding campaigns or TSB for her to take care of. TIA
-- Wendy
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