Originally Posted by Heinrich S
I've heard some people say that copying music on to their computers alters the sound quality of the music.
Is this possible?
Depends how the copying is done. But this is another of those "People say the darndest things", There can be grain of truth, but the general rule is no changes except intentional changes.
Copying music files done the simplest, most obvious way by using the desktop file management utilities doesn't change the files. Change even one bit in a computer file, and the results could be catastrophic.
Can copying a CD be done easily bit for bit without altering the music?
Yes. I've done this and checked it out technically pretty thoroughly, and bit perfect copying CDs is again the default, the simplest, easiest, most obvious thing.
And can music be ripped in such a way that it does alter the sound quality?
Yes. For example if you rip a CD to a low bitrate MP3 this changes its sound quality. But, if you rip to a .wav of FLAC file, then there are no changes to sound quality.
With CD you know for certain the source is unmodified and still in the format it was released to the public, so it would be nice to be able to rip all my music without changing the sound quality of the music.
Not only is it nice, its the way that it is generally done.