Back in February I reported on an essay by Apple head Steve Jobs on the major labels’ need to stop messing around with DRM, accept that there’s no such thing as a hackproof file format, and start selling digital music files without trying to tell consumers how they can use them. Today Jobs and EMI announced that they’re going ahead with plans to sell DRM-free AAC files through the iTunes store. As a bonus, the files will be encoded at a higher bitrate than past iTunes offerings. The downside is that they’re priced 30 cents higher than the normal, DRM-crippled tracks. And no, the Beatles still aren’t on iTunes, at least not yet–I’m sure Jobs has devoted no small amount of brain power to making the catalog an iTunes exclusive.

The CNET article mentions that the press conference to announce the deal included a performance by the Good, the Bad and the Queen, which seems like a weird choice for an event where you’re trying to get people excited. The band is really good, but mellow-inducing to the point of catatonia.