As an aside from my recent Radiohead post, I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to sow seeds of discontent in our hearts. Amidst the hype and reviews of In Rainbows stirred a mild controversy — audiophiles were up in arms because Radiohead had the audacity to release their album in MP3s encoded at 160kbps. Never mind that most people paid nothing for their download of In Rainbows: How dare Thom Yorke and company defile our sensitive ears with inferior aural tones!

After looking into it a bit, most people seemed to be saying that unless one is a serious audiophile and/or has a high-end home stereo, there is not much of a difference between importing songs at 160 or 192kbps (or even 256kbps). I tested out this theory by importing the same song at different bitrates and, sure enough, I wasn’t really able to detect any significant differences.

But that little seed of discontent — everyone knows that 160kbps is the moral equivalent of stealing from grandmas — has already been sown in my heart. You see, I had been importing my songs at 160 in blissful ignorance but, suddenly, this was no longer an acceptable ethical option. For awhile, I sat there staring at my iTunes library, angry at these MP3s smirking back at me with their inferior sarcasm. Granted, my music library is not as vast as some claim (does a person even have time to listen to 50,000 song?) but it would take forever and a half to re-rip all of my CDs. But if I don’t, then I’m a bad man.

Perhaps this little discontented episode merely reveals my own strange, neurotic tendencies — but sometimes it doesn’t take much for us to begin grumbling, complaining, comparing and generally grousing about. The grass is always greener… isn’t it?

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Even further aside, can anyone explain to me the runaway popularity of “I Can Has Cheezburger“? A couple months back, Wired was wondering the same thing. Well, perhaps it is not mine to question but just to enjoy the photos of cats mowing the lawn with invisible mowers and kittens infected with disco fever.

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