I think most people would notice sound quality differences between codecs and bitrates, it's just that most people don't care. Especially when you're constantly exposed to bad sounding music. I made some samples below so you can hear the difference yourself, and if you can't, well that sucks. All samples were ripped into iTunes from the original CD using the individual compressions. They were then trimmed down in Garageband and exported as AIFF files. 64 kbps AAC (roughly XM quality) 128 kbps MP3 (what most people listen to) 128 kbps AAC 224 kbps AAC (bitrate/codec I use) You can't correct someone on an opinion. I've never once implied that my opinion is fact. I am not going to follow every single opinion I type on the internet with "in my opinion" or "imo." The difference between what you and I do in debating is that I lay down an opinion and then offer up evidence to back it up (debate). You lay down an opinion, and when I disagree with you, immediately you start looking for ways to attack me or say that it's just my opinion. Again, I don't think most people care. I know I don't care, because I use Apple devices for almost everything. For most users of the iTunes store, DRM is transparent. I thought I read somewhere that you're 49.