MP3s took root because they’re small. When bandwidth and digital storage was a fraction of what is today, it made sense to shrink audio files into something more manageable. Today, though, that excuse doesn’t fly. We have the ability to acquire and store larger, better-sounding files. And we should. And now we might.
The audio quality of MP3s is less than that of CDs. Despite all our technological advances, we’ve been going backwards when it comes to how good music can sound. A new(ish) digital music format called High-Res Audio is starting to make inroads. There’s Neil Young’s Pono system, which is starting to make its way to customers. Sony has a series of High-Res audio players which sound very good. And if you look online, you can find more stores like HDTracks which sell great-sounding files. The big problem for a lot of people is that iTunes can’t handle these files. Your move, Apple.