The Internet has been going back and forth over the past few weeks on the topic of high-quality, uncompressed digital audio files. It’s always been a sensitive subject, mostly due to terribly uninformed, so-called “audio experts” muddling the waters with their biased opinion. However, things got considerably worse after Pono, the Kickstarter project famously endorsed by Neil Young, was successfully funded a few days ago.
Fortunately, Christopher Montgomery has written a terrific (and scientifically accurate) article over at Xiph.org to set the record straight and explain why this obsession with uncompressed digital music is mostly nonsense:
I was also interested in what motivated high-rate digital audio advocacy. Responses indicate that few people understand basic signal theory or the [sampling theorem](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_theorem), which is hardly surprising. Misunderstandings of the mathematics, technology, and physiology arose in most of the conversations, often asserted by professionals who otherwise possessed significant audio expertise. Some even argued that the sampling theorem doesn't really explain how digital audio actually works. Misinformation and superstition only serve charlatans. So, let's cover some of the basics of why 24/192 distribution makes no sense before suggesting some improvements that actually do.
I’m a Telecommunication Engineer, so I’ve known the sampling theorem on a first-name basis for a pretty long time. It’s the foundational rock of all signal processing; our understanding of it is what makes digital technology even possible. The fact that some people who call themselves experts would argue against it goes to show just how incredibly uninformed they are. I’m grateful someone has taken the time and effort to explain this issue properly.