Having compared MP3's to raw CD's, I've started to rip my CD collection into lossless FLAC format. I understand that the ceiling for CD's is basically 44Khz/16 bit. I've heard a lot of talk about sampling to 96Khz (or higher) and 24 bits. Is there any advantage at all in doing this with CD's, or is it basically just a waste of space?
I've also heard some talk about DAC's that support higher resolutions as well. Again, if the source files are 44k/16 bit, aren't these advanced DAC's overkill? What advantage am I going to enjoy from these as opposed to piping my music directly from the iMac mini digital port to a converter and TOSLink, then to the AV receiver?
Maybe there's some logic to all these higher sample rates and DAC's and so on, but to me, it feels a bit like reserving a hall for 500 people even though only 80 are coming to dinner. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
On a side note, is there a source of music files--maybe other than original masters--that are beyond the sample rates of CD's? I have downloaded a copy of Dream Theater's A Dramatic Turn of Events in 24 bit FLAC, but I'm wondering again if this is overkill--re-sampling CD-quality sound at a higher rate just for the heck of it.