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Why 24-bit/192kHz music downloads make no sense

(by Monty and the Xiph.Org community)

Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple's Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of 'uncompromised studio quality'. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young's group several months ago.

Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.

If you just said 'Whaa?', you may want to read the whole article.

It's fairly long... but hearing, perception and fidelity are complicated topics. Shysters and charlatans exploit that nuance (and misunderstanding) to bilk unsuspecting consumers of their money, all the while convincing them they're paying for 'quality'.

Anyway, happy reading and comments welcome!

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Re: If digital is better . . .

You're not the first person to assert that there should be extended tests. I'm pretty sure I know what the results would be from a BAS style 'insert an A/D/A into the loop' test would be, but there's no harm in doing it...
...just the time....

In any case, some folks are talking about setting up a week-long listening demonstration and test at SXSW next year. No idea how serious they are, but I'm seriously considering it.
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