> Well encoded MP3s can sound virtually indistinguishable from the original CDs in blind tests, even for earlier and well-mastered music.
Indeed. There was a test with musicians (classic and modern), studio technicians, and "just" music lovers. Double blind test, top notch studio, and all that. The result was that no one can tell mp3 apart from CD quality if the bit rate is sufficient (IIRC 256 already suffices, 320 most definitely).
There was ONE exception, a guy who could tell what is what above statistical error: he was deaf on one ear and his hearing on the other ear was severely limited (due to an explosion, IIRC). He described the artifacts of the mp3 encoding as some sort of "breathing".