I am only 23 years old, so obviously I was not around druing the Beatles hayday. I also passed on the Beatles re-birth during the early 90s that people like my older sister for example got into. Now, as a ameture musician (sax player) wanting to pick up the guitar, I am looking for some music to learn by/from, and I know that the Beatles pretty much defined a genre and would be a good source to learn from. So, to actually get to the question at hand... I downloaded some beatles songs to decide what albums I want to buy (hey RIAA pay attention here, people use MP3s to make a purchase decision, not to avoid purchasing) and I noticed something odd. I have, as hand-me-downs, several Beatles LP's and my sister owns several Beatles compilation disks. Now the LPs I own are not a good comparison, and I dont have access to my sisters disks b/c she lives in california. Any way, several of the songs I downloaded are on the Beatles 1962-66 compilation 2 disk set which I was considering looking for second hand. Many of the MP3s exhibit some kind of distortion. There is almost a sibilance. "S"es almost break up and crackle. I dont know if this because the recordings are old or if its the MP3 compression or what. Given my purpose, I will probably buy the disks anyway, and now that I'm older, I enjoy and respect the music so I wouldnt mind owning them, but I cant help but wonder, if distortion is the recording or the MP3s. All the MP3s I used for sampling were 128kbps. Any thoughts?