In terms of sound quality, phonograph records are better than CDs which are better than MP3s.
I'll never be able to agree with that. Every last one of the hundreds of LPs I've had exhibit the same thing - I can hear the 'hiss' from the needle in the groove. Now, with older CDs, I heard the 'hiss' of the original master tapes because they were in analog. Never mind the fact that, no matter how carefully you handle an album, you will always eventually get popping anc clicking from dirt and other imperfections. You need perfect storage conditions or the LPs will warp - and even a slight warp ruins a song.
When I buy a CD today, the first thing I do is rip it to my hard drive. I keep the bit rate as high as it will go. But I find it amusing that people still argue over sound quality when their ears can't hear many of the aspects of it. Heck, teenagers found a ringtone for phones that almost everyone over 40 CAN'T HEAR. Mine tried it out on me once and I could *barely* hear a clicking noise and my hearing is still pretty damn good. CDs sample up to 40khz, if I remember correctly and we can hear only into the 20s.
Yeah, if you're talking about an MP3 with a 128kbps bitrate, you CAN hear the difference. No argument there. And yeah, you're losing information. But I listen to music in the car, on the street, in a room that is NOT a recording studio, etc. In most of those places, a 320kbps MP3 will be indescernible from any other recording.