While Apple’s iTunes have attempted to regain some cred by offering DRM-free songs (for 30 cents more), it’s probably not helping matters that eagle-eyed industry watchers have already uncovered the fact that Apple is embedding the buyer’s personal information in the track data. Of course the real question is: Is 30 cents worth a jump from 128 kbps to 256 kbps?
Slate‘s Scott Blaszak offers this video illustrating the difference between the two bitrate levels.
Interestingly enough, Slate’s Explainer posits that most listeners can’t distinguish between the two bitrate formats, but I know for a fact that I can tell the difference in audio quality (mostly due to my audiophile obsession with headphones). Indeed, I’m one of those bastards who insist that vinyl sounds better than CDs (’cause it’s true).