I got the idea from the fact that the article totes the wonders of connecting an iPod to a home theatre. It's like saying "military intelligence", ya know? Hooking up a cheap mp3 player with expensive, shoddy recordings does not give a good experience. It's mediocrity at best. I know most Americans are quite comfortable with low standards, but I'm not.
"pretending that they can actually hear and appreciate sounds outside of the hearing range of most normal people."
Not that, I am alluding to the quality of the sounds. Audiophiles other than those you mention can easily tell the difference between 128/192k and 320kvbr. The difference is pretty blatant. The ambiance of the song, the tightness (and existence) of the bass, the clarity of the high end are so very obviously distorted at the lower bitrates. Sure, with iPod's puny headphones it doesn't matter, but since (I'm assuming) most people who use iTunes buy that music to also listen on their home system or car stereo as well, the utter lack of quality of 128/192k is horrendous. Especially for the price charged! (If one buys garbage like 50cent, they don't know what music is in the first place, so I guess they are excluded)
I have 5000 songs @ 320vbr and I'm still under 30G. I can fit my entire collection of Floyd on one CD for my car. (taking out some of the songs I don't like anyway.) Making mixed cd's gives me enough music to go on a 3 hour road trip on one disk. (Can't wait for in-car DVD mp3 players that don't have the 7" LCD) I'm very particular of the music I own though, I don't rampage p2p and just download everything in sight and then say I have a great collection. Besides the fact that most of the music is utter shit, it's at (you guessed it) 128k! What a waste.
You say iTunes has that feature 'built-in' since one of their most recent versions? Wierd, it's been a 'feature' of every software music player on the market for about, oh, I'd say the last 7 years. Is this another one of Apple's "innovations"? You can't buy songs at that bitrate, can you? I forget if the iPod itself can even play that bitrate with vbr...non-drm infected. If I remember, the first few versions of the iPod could not. Or should I say, would not. Deliberately.