I cut 1/4 too, and magstripe. I've recorded to 24 track analogue, and I worked sound on the first digitally recorded TV show. I've operated ProTools workstations recording, editing and mixing in 24 bit. I've been around the block a few times.
I posted a track that had been encoded over and over. Now, once I've ripped to AAC, I don't know why I'd ever have to transcode even once. The same file that works great on my iPhone is small enough to email, and it also sounds perfect on my main home stereo. But that's not even the point. The point is I reencoded that file *ten* times. Do you know what ten generations would sound like on a 15 ips quarter inch tape master? Or a 2 inch 24 track master that had been bounced back to tape ten times? It would sound like crap.
The fact that AAC 256 VBR sounds as good as lossless is great. The fact that it can be encoded ten times and still sound good means that it can do anything a normal person would want to do with his music. No one can disagree with that on the basis of listening to the track. All of the disagreement is based on the theory that the reduced file size is somehow degrading the sound in ways that you can't hear.
I don't listen to music with theories. I listen with my ears. AAC is all my ears need. Now someone may have less music in their library, and may have the luxury of archiving as CD disk images, WAV files, FLAC or other jumbo sized files. But those files don't sound any better than my AAC files. No one *needs* to rip to lossless.
P.S. I don't personally know a lot of pro photographers to know what they shoot, but I do know that sports photographers definitely shoot JPEGs. They want their camera to recover from each click as fast as possible, not shuffle redundant bits to the drive in their camera for a few seconds between each shot. I believe Ken Rockwell shoots JPEGs exclusively. JPEGs are used in prepress PDF files too.
Edited by bigshot - 6/25/12 at 12:34am