Now, i'm going to say right out - the subject i'm about to rant on is highly controversial. The field of digital audio is much too polluted with ghost stories, common misconceptions and outright bullshit. I am also going to say right out that by no means i am an expert in that field, and by no means i assume that i can't be wrong. However, i am in such a position of having knowledge and view of things from a number of perspectives.
The following article is a collection of musings based on this article by Roger Nichols and this piece by John Vestman.
With all due respect guys, for the most part this is complete bullshit.
First, let's take a look at Vestman's piece. Leaving jitter issues aside for a moment, this guy seems to genuinely believe that 1-to-1 perfect copy of the file is somehow not identical to the source? Moreover, i would say that in the digital domain there is no such thing as "original file" and "a copy" - they are identical! They are both original! They can't be different because it is the same file, they are effectively the same data, down to the last fucking bit!
I can understand why this shit even comes to their heads. These guys are audio engineers. They are used to analog, they are used to physical, they are used to how things work in real world. They are used to the fact that two pieces of the same hardware can be different, they are used to the fact that two copies of vinyl are not necessarily identical, hell, they are even used to the fact that digital copy from a digital tape might not be the same as the source.
However, guess what, these things, while they might be operating in the digital domain, in fact are analog. The digital tape is analog media, modified to hold digital data. CD's are not analog media. Hard drives are not analog media. They are digital media. And while it is possible for digital copy of analog tape to be different from the original, it is not possible for digital copy of digital media being different from the original. The copy is either identical, or it is not a copy. This is what audio engineers usually don't know, and this is exactly what we, programmers, do know. We programmed the thing, goddammit, we know it is perfect, because in binary world it is either perfect or it does not work.
I might agree that playing the same data from different source (IDE harddrive, FW harddrive, CD) could sound different, but this has nothing to do with the media. It might have something to do with the noise of CD player, or different head position during listening (comb filtering effect), or maybe speakers picking up different noises from wires, but it is certainly not the media itself. No CDR's can have "