Originally Posted by Bobby_A
Okay, I see what you're saying. And it makes perfect sense to me.
Just throwing my 2c in here in case it's worth anything to you.
After reading various audiophile sites, when I finally decided to rip my CDs, I ripped them in a lossless format. (This was expressly for listening on my home system.)
Because I was led to believe that lossy and lossless were two wildly different propositions, I actually maintained two separate libraries--one for lossless files, one for lossy--and would switch between them depending on to what I intended to listen. There is overlap between the libraries.
(FYI, I use iTunes, which opens to whichever library you last used. I'm sure that
will open another audiophile can of worms.)
One day, after just turning everything on and going about my business, a track got my attention because the quality seemed so high. I checked, and it turned out to be the lossy library. I realized then that I couldn't tell the difference between either codec.
Now, I know there are people who swear it matters, but remember, there are people who will swear to any unprovable nonsense in audio.
I also know that there are certain artifacts found in lossy files that trained listeners (or the hearing impaired) can identify. But I don't believe that's most of us on this forum. Certainly not me. If you understand how lossy codecs work, then you know that the concept is to eliminate sounds that are out of the range of human hearing or are masked by the other content in the file. I think it works.
That said, I do think there is a good reason to rip your own CDs in a lossless format, even if you can't hear the difference.
If you are ripping your own CDs, it only makes sense to rip them in a format that could be considered archival, the same way you would preserve negatives if you were taking pictures on film. You don't know what might happen to the CDs, so it only makes sense to have a mechanism for duplicating them. (Is this an argument for ripping in WAV?)
But for listening purposes, I don't think it matters (assuming the lossy rip is at a high enough bitrate), and it would certainly be helpful for portability.