I just downloaded the Slumdog Millionaire soundrack for $8.99 and it came automatically in Plus format. The files themselves are considerably bigger than the average previous iTunes download and the quality is quite nice. Most importantly, however, there is now a “create MP3 version” selection when you right click on the song.
iTunes Plus is now standard and free for most music.
As you see here, right clicking on an old iTunes song gives you a warning. Clicking on this song simply converts it and plays a sound – no rigmarole. My only hope is that there will be a conversion or DRM stripping system for older music.
This is decidedly a breath of fresh air and will actually put Apple in a position to compete with the burgeoning Amazon MP3 store. It looked like most of the newer music was already iTunes Plus compatible and I wonder when they’ll drop the Plus nomenclature and just call it iTunes.