@Ian Ferguson and other 'why does it matter?' ppl
It matters because of progress - microprocessors are getting faster, hard drives are getting massive, cheaper and have much higher data densities, but increasingly consumers (and worryingly, DJ's), have taken 320k mp3's as a 'standard,' and it's totally unnecessary, and it is bloody iTunes fault.
Even with fairly crap headphones, most people would pick up on the substantially lower quality vs a CD, and why have lower quality if you don't have to? It's like going to the supermarket and buying the reduced, minging looking strawberry's over the pristine lovely ones, for the sake of a couple of quid. Admittedly, it doesn't really matter when you're on the bus or walking down the road - but it is a mobile format, and because iTunes, Napster et al all offer crap mp3's, people think it's fine - thing is, it could be so much better. FLACS will end up being the standard, people just need educating really? Or is that me being an arrogant f*ck?
I'm a sound engineer, and more and more "DJ's" (and you'd know a lot of them, I'm not talking about your Disco Dave's) turn up to gigs with laptops crammed full of crap 320k mp3's. When you play said crap mp3's thru a £25k+ PA, unsurprisingly, it sounds shit, particularly when A/B'd with the same song on CD. The fact that the 'quality doesn't matter' and 'you can't tell the difference' argument is seeping into pro audio is scary stuff I reckon.
@ el Reg - dynamic range compression has nothing to do with mp3's, come on. That's down to crap producers, and the endless loudness wars that they enter into.
Mines the one with the RTA in the pocket, and 'crew' on the back. Fire, to burn the mp3 player of anyone that tries to play them thru my PA.