FunkyRes wrote:Don't even get me started on audiophiles.
CD quality is as good as the human ear can hear, this has been demonstrated with several double blind studies using a variety of equipment, yet audiophiles (including Steve Jobs) are convinced that "high definition" audio is real.
Strictly speaking, this isn't quite accurate. You are dropping data, even if by necessity, so your signal isn't as pure as if you are standing there. Now, 44kHz is enough to accurately reproduce 22kHz, which gets you above the "hearing threshold" for most people, but it drops most of the harmonics above that. It's those extra harmonics that contribute to timbre and "richness" - and is why a lot of people think MP3's sound "tinny" (MP3 compression tends to kill the higher frequencies)
A much better solution is 96kHz, which allows sampled frequencies up to 48kHz. This gets you the audible range plus the first order harmonics. It's not that much more expensive, and sounds a hell of a lot better. Beyond first order harmonics, and you really are in audiophile land. Unfortunately, it would double data rates, which is why we didn't do it in the past. A 70 minute CD would become a 35 minute CD.
That said, most people aren't listening in the environment where this would be noticeable anyway. If you are in a car, for example, a cassette tape is probably sufficient.