My question is simple:
When choosing iTunes Plus as the import format for CDs, iTunes Plus files are being described as VBR, and show up as VBR in the iTunes library. However, imported iTunes Plus files are supposed to be the same quality as purchased iTunes Plus files from the iTunes Store.
Yet purchased iTunes Plus files from the iTunes Store are not showing up as VBR.
Somebody can help me out on this one?
As you (and Jowie) have discovered, Apple is not consistent in the meaning of "iTunes Plus."
For tracks purchased from the iTunes Store, "iTunes Plus" means 256 kb/s Constant Bit Rate. However, in iTunes Import settings, "iTunes Plus" means 256 kb/s with Variable Bit Rate.
It has been this way for several years. I doubt your fellow users can explain why; it is simply inconsistent usage by Apple.