Audio nerds: 24-bit/192kHz distribution is better right? Nope:
Monty at xiph.org:
Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple’s Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of ‘uncompromised studio quality’. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24/192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young’s group several months ago.
Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.
There are a few real problems with the audio quality and ‘experience’ of digitally distributed music today. 24/192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24/192 as a magic bullet, we’re not going to see any actual improvement.
See this fantastic video for a walk through of why stair stepping is a total myth. (Yes you should still record and produce at 24-bit, due to headroom for not worrying about clipping. but mastering (a properly centered mix) to 16bit doesn’t lose anything).