Charles would like to record a radio station he likes and is looking for proper software. Leo recommends C. Crane's Witness Plus Digital MP3 Recorder-Player or Applian's Replay Radio Subscription Service.
Charlie wants to rip his CDs to a memory stick. Should he partition it since it's 128GB? Leo says why not just get a smaller one? Or, better yet, rip the CDs into higher quality. If he's going to do it, do it once. Charlie should rip the CDs into FLAC, which is a lossless format, and preserves 100% of the CD quality. MP3 doesn't do that, neither does AAC. FLAC is identical to CD quality. Use that for archival storage and then he can convert down from there to a USB drive.
Kevin wants to know if HD audio is like HD video as far as clarity and resolution. He thinks that with cheap headphones, nobody is really going to tell the difference. So is it worth it? Leo says that David Pogue stated that HD audio is 'snake oil,' and it takes some training to hear the differences.
Pete is interested in hi-res music. He wants to download FLAC music and convert it to Apple lossless. Leo says you can do that, but remember that the MAC tops out at 96 Khz, but the iPod can't play it because it's not that high, nor does it have the CPU power to process and playback hi-resolution audio. You need special hardware to play back high resolution audio. Leo says that iPods were designed for mp3s, but they can play back Apple's lossless compression at 48K x 24 bit.
Yvette has a USB key with music on it and she wants to play it in her car. Leo says that some cars come with USB options, but Yvette will probably need a third party head unit radio that will support that. Or, she can get a small computer that plugs in. Satechi mades the Soundfly, an MP3 player that supports USB drives. It comes with an FM transmitter built in.
Neil Young is developing a player and audio format called Pono. It's 192 khz/24 bit. Leo says that's a lot of detail and data there and it's likely to be indistinguishable from analog recordings. Scheduled to launch next year. Young says that as a musician, he believes we aren't getting all the information that live performance, or studio gives us.