Today, Apple has released iTunes version 7.2 which includes the iTunes Plus feature. The iTunes Plus feature is the DRM free tracks from participating labels (currently only EMI). The DRM free tracks cost 30 cents more ($1.29) and are encoded at a higher bit rate (256 vs 128).
If you are excited to be able to get DRM free AAC tracks from iTunes to put on your portable music player, you will need to make sure that your portable player supports the AAC format. If you own an iPod, a Sansa, or a Zune then you are good to go.
I think that this will help get the AAC format into more players, because iTunes is the largest digital music retailer in the United States (if not the world) and if companies want their players to sell, they will need to ensure compatibility with the iTunes store. However, to really be effective, Apple needs to get more labels to offer DRM free content.
Update: I just downloaded the Single of the Week from iTunes which is “Ooh La” by The Kooks, and I have it playing in Banshee on Linux. This is totally cool and it means that I can buy stuff from the iTunes store again.