Fjan11 writes "Steve Jobs just announced that starting next month on you can buy higher quality 256Kbps AAC encoded DRM-free versions of iTunes songs for $1.29. Upgrades to songs you've already bought will be available at the $0.30 price difference. Currently EMI is the only publisher participating, accounting for about 20% of the songs available." There's also reports from Reuters and ABC News. The deal excludes the Beatles. You can also read the official press release from Apple if you still think this a late joke; this story confirms earlier speculation.