If you’re still using DRM’d audio formats, you owe it to yourself to check out Ogg Vorbis. It’s not just a pretty name anymore. The FSF has set up the PlayOgg.org website to promote Ogg Vorbis (audio) and Ogg Theora (video) as high quality media formats unencumbered by patents and restrictions on your rights. There is also a great article on Ogg at Wired.com for Windows and Mac users. The article explains how to get Ogg support in iTunes and how to rip to Ogg Vorbis. I use Grip and oggenc on my Linux desktop to do all my ripping. I use Amarok on the desktop and laptop as my primary audio player.
Years ago I started to rip my CD collection to MP3. I quicky switched to Ogg Vorbis after experimenting a bit and discovering that I could get much higher quality audio files at about the same file size by using Ogg Vorbis. My wife bought me an iAudio X5L about a year ago, since it supports playback of Ogg files. Unfortunately, the iPod I bought her recently doesn’t play Ogg. I’m tempted to install RockBox on it so it will play Ogg files, but maybe I will wait at least until the warranty expires.
I may actually give Rockbox a try on my iAudio X5L. While I’m pretty happy with the X5L, the user interface is far from intuitive. Perhaps even counter-intuitive. The sound quality is great and the battery life is incredible.