With Apple and EMI announcing “higher quality” (256 kbps) DRM-free music on the iTunes store at a slightly higher price, one might wonder whether the difference between the two can be heard at all.
Are iTunes’ Premium Downloads Worth It?
Probably not. Studies have found that as long as you’re using high-quality encoding software, music compressed to a bitrate of 128 kbps or more is “transparent”—in other words, most listeners can’t distinguish it from CD quality.
I have a pretty good idea what your response to that will be… :)