iTunes download formats?

After digging around, I can find NO INFORMATION in iTunes Help on changing format for downloaded music from iTunes Store - is it fixed at AAC and 128kbps? HELP?
Ag insider logo xs@2xknownothing
The AAC files downloaded from iTunes Store are DRM protected and therefore, cannot be converted to any other format within iTunes.
More digging. Sidssp is correct about DRM protection of standard iTunes files. Also, Apple has introduced another download format called "iTunes Plus" that downloads AAC files in 256kps format that are not DRM protected.

The good news is these "Plus" files definitely sound better than regular 128 kbps AAC files (but still not Apple "lossless" or AIFF level of content), and cost the same 99 cents as regular songs. You can find the link to the iTunes Plus page in the Quick Links box in the upper right hand side of the iTunes Store's home page.

The bad news is that only 90 albums of the iTunes inventory appears to be available to download in this new higher quality format. Apparently all other iTunes titles are currently only available as 128kbps AAC files. This is probably not a big deal if you principally download songs for use on your ipod. For use on pretty much any home HiFi system, I think you will notice a significant drop in quality compared with redbook CDs, or better.

I like being able to download individual songs. Are there other Internet venders that sell a wide selection of individual song titles available for download in higher quality/larger file formats (WAV, AIFF, lossless or similar)?

RE protected files?
Simple just burn em to CD and reload at the lossless codec.

you might want to recheck that price point of the 256 ACC files... I was charged 1.30 for the PLUS files. OR maybe I should yell at ituens... course they don't often listen to folks without MACs or IPODS.

I do have to say in their favor, that they did allow me to redownload over 1000 files for free. Once. Just once. I was very grateful for that although the redone files still did not cover the whole loss... but it sure did help a lot. I've since burned/backed up to DVDs.

In fact, recently I went to download something I had lost or misplaced and was notified about 100 + files I had previously downloaded in the 125 AAc format were available in the 256... and was given a one time upgrade price of about 27.00. so I opted to do it.

one reason was i saw I had lost about 20 or 30 files that were in the list itunes provided me from their list of my previous purchases... so for 30 cents to obtain a replacement, and a better quality at that, I went for the deal.

RE: higher res downloads
Linn offers some from their website... John Atkinson makes mention of another website too in an article he did on music servers... I'm sorry I can't remember exactly which article but I did remember the Linn part. The other was not a common named site IMO.

I would think pretty soon higher res downloads will be available... or should be available from any number of sites offering 128 downloads now. The only caveat I'd think would be the biggest portion of the cherry picking public (like me) might well not opt for the added price/quality in the long run. natuarlly I'd prefer some lossless downloads other than symphonic & operatic tracks. that would be super IMO.
Here is what I do know:

Amazon also offers 256K downloads. They are in MP3 format which is supposed to be a little lower quality than Apple's codec but they sound decent to me. They also will play on any machine whereas iTune's won't. Apple has by far the larger catalog but Amazon's prices tend to be a little better, at least on albums.

The Apple+ tunes at 256k are now $.99 each and are DRM free.

DG (Deutche Grammophone?) now has a big catalog of their classical material in 320k MP3 format online.

Walmart has some at 192k (others at 128k) for 89c but their catalog is weak and much of it is wma which does not play on Ipods. Besides, Walmart sucks.