If you haven’t read Apple’s press release head over there and do that right away. I’ll wait.
The gist of this whole thing is that for 30¢ more than a “normal” iTunes song, you’ll get one at twice the encoding quality with no DRM restrictions on it. That means your music will sound better (especially on a good set of speakers) and you’ll be able to move it around, convert it, and play it on just about any player. I can’t stress how huge this is, guys. To me, this is the announcement of the year, if not decade.
Many people don’t realize how bad DRM is, and certainly haven’t thought of how bad it could become. Think of it this way: with DRM, someone else owns the key to your filing cabinet full of music you paid for. True, they might be trustworthy, but do you really want to risk that? But now that DRM is being stripped from the music, the key is being given back to you. If you start voting with your dollars now and start buying the DRM-free, higher-quality tracks, the other record labels will get the idea and follow suit.