with a little bit of time and effort, monkey's audio lets you have "the best of both worlds" as far as quality, restorability, and ease-of-use is concerned (sorry, that should be the best of three worlds!). i like the fact that monkey's audio files sound great when played back from my desktop's soundcard into my home hi-fi (denon amplifier and speakers, the good quality of which i think speak for themselves). by keping back-up copies of monkey's audio ape files on a different hard drive (either as straight copies from one drive to another, or imaged with powerquest drive image), you can be certain of bit-for-bit quality restorations, should the drive with your original wavs fail.and monkey's audio is easy to use, follow the suggested routine for compressing your files (high and extra high are perfectly acceptable for those of you with audophile ears), and you won't go wrong.thanks to monkey's audio and media monkey (as my audio player) and some spare hard-drives, i'm in the process of re-ripping my cds and re-building my music library to replace all my 64-bit mp3s. some cds will have to be "begged", "borowed" or "stolen" again to do this, or else just left as 64-bit mp3s if ican't get hold of the originals cds again, but from now on, monkey's audio and media monkey will be" the way to go" as far as building up my music library is concerned.here's my suggested routine for using moneky's audio as a tool for archiving all your music, whilst enabling great quality playback with media monkey. i agree it is perhaps "overkill" given that i use three hard dtives, and keep copies of both wavs and ape files on them, but whenever was prevention never better than cure?hard drive 1/master music library. all cds are (will be) ripped onto here, and stored as wavs. i use a combination of cdex or media monkey to rip cds as wavs, but any other propriety programme which keeps wavs as 1440 will be fine. once the wavs have been copied to hard drive 2 and had the monkey'saudio treatment on hard drive 2, the original wavs are winzipped,and stay on hard drive 1. this hard drive is periodically "imaged" with poweerquest drive image onto hard drive 3, as a back-up which can be easily restored, should hard drive 1 ever fail.hard drive 2/music library processing. wavs from hard drive 1 are copied onto here (just straight copying of the files) and processed by monkey's audio. once processing/compression is complete, the wavs are deleted, and the ape files are the ones which will comprise my music library. copy the processed ape files onto another hard drive, so that you have them as backups to restore from, should hard drive 2 ever fail.hard drive 3/music library (media monkey as my music player). this is the drive on which all my ape music/ media monkey playlists will reside. if you ever need to create an audio disk for a friend and they can't play ape files, well just go back to hard drive 2 and uncompress the monkey's audio ape files back to wavs, and then use whatever mp3 programme you want to creat an mp3 disk or audio disk so that windows media player (for example) can play them with. hey presto! a routine that i'm finding works for me. hope this helps. for a free programme that some would say "does eaxctly what it says on the tin", i think you'd be hard-pressed to find anything else that offers so much in terms of security. no problems so far, and i think providing you keep your wits about you, and regular backup (straight copying to elsewhere or via an "imaging" programme), you should be able to enjoy your music for many years to come!