Finally DRM-free songs are available on iTunes. I only had 10 songs out of 500 that could be upgraded to the new DRM-free format which I promptly paid the $3.00 to upgrade all of them. The songs are still AAC format (m4a vs. m4p) with higher 256 kbps bitrate. I didn’t notice much change in quality, but for the first time I could play a song purchased on iTunes in Banshee (of course I needed gstreamer-plugins-bad from livna). At least I didn’t have to burn the songs to CD, then rip them again in Linux.
Yes I realize I could just buy the CD and avoid the whole issue, but I really like the instant gratification of clicking the BUY button and having the music NOW!