Spotted in Rob Fahrni
To be clear, the stuff I have on my Toshiba Gigabeat sounds bad as well. It's not just an Apple thing. It's the low-quality-for-the-sake-of-drive-space that's the problem.
Rob is complaining about the quality of CD sound compared to mp3 (AAC, etc) files. That's kind of funny, because CDs have been criticized heavily over the years by audiophiles as a bad experience. You can get downloaded music with much higher bit rates than what CDs hold, but that's kind of beside the point: most of us aren't audiophiles.
This reminds me of the old "Beta was better than VHS" thing. What people forget about that is that VHS allowed for longer record times - watching half of a movie just wasn't that interesting, regardless of the video quality. The same thing applies here: being able to cart around an entire music collection in your pocket is a whole lot easier than carrying CDs or, gosh forbid, LPs.
The market has voted, and values the convenience much, much more highly than the quality. A large part of that is simply this: life isn't a concert hall, and most of the time, music is something in the background.