I don't normally post in this section of the HTF. So forgive me if this topic's been discussed. And I suspect it has been. I saw on the news that the San Francisco and New York Virgin stores are closing. Reasons cited was the increase in downloads from iTunes and Amazon. The sales figures have overtaken the sales of CD's. Record stores are closing up, I miss Tower Records! An analysts interviewed for the news story, which was on the local San Francisco ABC affiliate station I view, felt the music industry has been on the decline for a long, long time and this is no surprise. I can't recall exactly what he said, but it was that music sales are like the razors and razor blades. The real money is the products related to the music and not the CD or music itself. What got me to post about it was a concern that I've seen for many years. The younger kids are happy and love the convenience of iTunes. They buy the music, or single song and download from the convenience of their home. And they interviewed a very young girl in front of the store who loves it. I think that's cool too. I have 4 iPods and rip CD's at no less then 192 and will raise that shortly to a higher rate. But I am thinking that if downloads are the future, this whole generation won't care or know what full resolution music sounds like. I'd been tinkering with my audio system recently and some friends came over to compare the sound of SACD, very well mastered Steve Hoffmann CD's, and lossless music files from an iPod to my pre-amp and a laptop to my pre-amp. We were trying to see if Lossless was comparable to CD's. I prefered the CD's mostly, but the lossless wasn't bad. So the question is, if downloads become the future, what chance do we have of getting high resolution music files from iTunes of other vendors? Or full files at CD quality. Maybe it's already possible today. I don't look for these things myself. And to add to that, the unfortunate tendency for modern studio engineers to bump the dials when mastering music today. This leaves no dynamic range. What's so good about the Steve Hoffmann CD's I recently discovered was how much better they sounded. They are not shrill or boomy. They are tight and smooth and balanced. I'm by no means a huge CD collector of music, but the ones I do have, I like to enjoy in it's best form as possible! And I've been considering the purchase of an SACD player, but those discs seem very limited to what artists are on them. For the time being, I suppose Amazon and some B&M stores will continue to sell CDs for a while.