Checked the new DRM-less iTunes Plus (256kbps mp4 files) out for the first time. Noticed that the top two albums in the New Age genre are mine, and 4 out of the top five singles. Nice.
After Jon and I compared the quality of AIFF, FLAC and mp3 (at 320kbps) a couple of weeks ago and found no obviously perceptible difference between them, I decided to discontinue AIFF files in our ListeningLounge. They will be available to those people who bought songs or albums in the past for another month. I see the LL getting quite a bit larger over the coming months and this will save a lot of space – almost 800MB per album – and bandwidth. We will still serve better quality than iTunes Plus for less money: we will continue to give you the choice of 128, 192 and 320kbps LAME encoded mp3s for a buck per song, while iTunes sells the 128kbps file for 99 cents and the 256kbps file for $1.29. Looking at the LL download stats confirms my decision as well – downloads of the 128, 192 and 320kbps mp3s outweigh the 256kbps mp3 and AIFF files by a lot.