I am about to embark on creating a digital music library. Right now I have nothing - no music on the computer, no hardware/software to transfer music from hard-drive to stereo receiver. I am getting an Ipod for Christmas. I have a very limited understanding of the software and methods for creating music files on my computer. I am somewhat familiar with the lossy compression format for MP3's and AAC, and the lossless compression format of FLAC and Apple Lossless. I should note that I have both a PC and a MAC available for use.

My music sources would be ripped CD's and downloaded from itunes or Amazon, etc. Assume that hard-drive storage space is not an issue.

I have a couple questions.

First, If I want to play the music over both an Ipod and my home stereo system (through Squeezebox or Apple tv), will I need two separate libraries on the computer, one lossless for the stereo and one lossy for the Ipod?

How will the lossy compressed files sound on the home stereo, if I use the 256kbps itunes+ format? Is itunes+ an acceptable alternative to lossless for playback on the home system?

Is there any way to download lossless music files?

Thanks in advance.
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