I could probably argue all day about the merits of audio quality and how it’s been generally deteriorating over the years because of radio and compression formats (MP3, etc.) that have become common place.
My friend Ryan Provost sent me this link: http://crave.cnet.co.uk/digitalmusic/0,39029432,49303980,00.htm
While they have a disclaimer in there indicating that it wasn’t meant to be an objective, scientific test, the writers clearly are confused about how compression algorithms work.
The bitrate is definitely not the only thing to consider — AAC+ is far superior than the first generation codecs (MP3, Vorbis, etc.). I won’t say that I’m as experienced with Vorbis files as I am with MP3, AAC, or AAC+, but I wasn’t impressed the first time I heard it.
Moral of the story: Think before doing any sort of test and make sure you’re testing the right thing and understand what the results mean.
Oh yeah — and put those MP3s away!