cokemaster: All the MP3's imported into Itunes generally stay as MP3 files.
Are you saying that tracks purchased from the iTunes music store get downloaded as MP3s?
The files are MP4s using the AAC.
AAC is NOT Apple's format. God it annoys me when people say this.
AAC stands for Advanced Audio Codec and was developed by DOLBY. Apple only use this format for audio files in iTunes and wraps them in MP4a. This is the same as DivX not owning AVI. AVI is a wrapper for a number of codecs with DivX being just one of these - WMV is another incidentally.
FairPlay, Apple's DRM, is then applied to the iTMS bought files to satisfy the music industry's fears.
Incidentally, ripping a CD into iTunes doesn't apply the DRM to the files.
Thanks for explaining all those subtleties Lowdedwookie, it is much more complicated than I had imagined.
No doubt there must be software around that UNDOES Apple's DRM wrapper, but in searching for and downloading such software, you are opening yourself up to all sorts of spyware, viruses etc.
It seems like Burning and Ripping is the way to go, but what puts me off is needing to install yet ANOTHER on-line music software suite.
Since I installed Digirama's software a few days ago, WMP keeps saying "Some of the media file licences in your library need refreshing in order to maintain availability" or words to that effect. Even though I told WMP to Refresh the Licences, it kept on saying that every time I started WMP. So in the end I told it to Naff Off and "Don't ask me this again".
I have no idea what this is about because all my downloaded tracks still play OK but I never saw this message until I installed Digirama. Has anybody else noticed this?