Has iTunes, etc. impacted your listening habits?

Long before there was MP3, or at least long before I knew about it, my only real choice for music was to pick a disc out of the collection, throw it into my player of choice at that moment, and press play. Want to hear something else? Take the old disc out, put in the new one, etc.

But since I've burned my entire collection (minus non-hybrid SACDs) into my computer, I find it's just so damned EASY to press play and hear it through the mediocre desktop system. No changing discs, file through every range of song, artist, genre, etc.

Now, I don't have those lovely audiophile listening sessions on the big rig quite as often. And when I do, I'm listening to those non-hybrid SACDs that aren't on the computer.

Solution? Upgrades, baby! Get that main system back to where it's just so thoroughly compelling that the little ol' Dell just won't cut it any more.

I suppose I could have invested in wireless solutions to beam those wireless tracks to the big rig, but somehow I'm not covinced that it's a fully matured tachnology/too expensive right now/limited capability/I can't totally give up the 5 1/4" discs/whatever the hell else I'm worried about.

Has anyone else had their listening habits impacted by the MP3/iTunes revolution?

Not mine but every other person in my house. Wife and two daughters listen almost exclusively to ipod (some through speaker system) or car stereo.
One of these days I'll get one as they laugh at me if when we travel and I carry my discman.
Itunes has impacted my listening quite a bit, since I work more than I am home. I have a pretty nice setup at work, Quad Intel MacPro/30" Monitor connected to project headamp/sennheiser 600's and a panasonic xr50/b&w 602. I can listen all day at work to my lossless files, and the sound is really good. When I get home, I listen to my main system but end up missing the ease of selecting music vs. digging through my 8 224 cd binders finding the disc I want. The random function allows me to revisit cd's I have not listened to in a long time. My next step is to add a iTV to my main system.
Moral victory: for the first time in eight years, I actually started a thread that people thought was worth responding to. I'm one of those guys who thinks only *other* people's threads will turn out to be popular. :-)
A couple of points of clarification for anyone who hasn't explored the option of putting your music on a hard drive.

iTunes and mp3's don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. iTunes is an application that runs on either a PC or a Mac and is used to organize and play music files. Those files can be in any of several formats, including AIFF, the same files that are on your CD's. You can also manage mp3's or several other file formats but the choice of quality and file size is entirely up to you.

In the same way, the iPod and mp3's don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. It's possible to store and listen to many different file formats on the iPod, from uncompressed files identical to the originals on your CD's to highly compressed mp3's. Again, it's your choice, based on what kind of fidelity you require and how much music you want to store in a given space.

And, it isn't necessary to have an iPod to use iTunes. iTunes is the tool you to load music to an iPod but it works wonderfully well on it's own to play music through any of the devices recommended in the posts above.
Good post, Sfar! I'll add a bit more for those who might want to understand a something more about the various formats. As Sfar points out, you can have a verbatim copy of the information on the shiny silver discs placed upon your hard drive in AIFF or WAV file formats. You can also use a lossless compression format like Apple Lossless which takes up half as much space yet (arguably) does not loose/alter a single binary digit of information from the full file version.

When you choose to rip your files in a smaller, compressed format, such as mp3 in its various manifestations, you are compressing the information into a smaller file with fewer bits of information to describe the same passage of music. What this means, in laypersons terms (and anyone feel free to correct or modify this explanation); given a specific passage of time in a piece of music, for instance, lets say three seconds of a piano sonata--that passage of time is defined to the computer, and later converted to information passed on to the DAC, in so many zeros and ones, or bits of information. Those very bits of information, those zeros and ones provide all the information to convey through the remainder of your system every little nuance, tonal shift and timing cue in those very three seconds of that piece of music. If the original file on your shiny silver CD has, and I'm entirely making up this number, two thousand bits of information that define those three seconds, then a compressed version of that very same three seconds may, instead, contain only 300 bits of information to define all the same nuance, tone and timing. How does the computer come up with 2000 bits of information worth of music, given only 300 bits to work with? It makes an educated guess in uncompressing that information, those 300 bits, in just what might be missing. Though it may do an OK job at it, keep in mind that over time those three seconds are multiplied out over minutes and hours of music that you are choosing to listen to an ongoing 'educated guess' at all that missing information. It's not just the notes of music, it's the PRAT (pace, rhythm and timing), or everything that goes into that, which is contained in that information. To some the resulting sound is degraded enough to choose larger, denser formats and just spring for more storage space, while others find the 'educated guess' version to be acceptable, and may not hear and or care about the differences. Personally, I do hear and care very much about the differences, so choose to use lossless file formats.

More loosely you can think of it, in the example I've made up, as a 2000 word essay, edited down to 300 words and interpreted back to its original length. How accurate can that interpretation really be? That's an exaggerated metaphor, but it does give you an idea of whats going on here, in case you might be computer-phobic.

The best way to determine which format is right for you is to rip the same few familiar CD's in the various formats you are considering. Listen to both, at length...if possible, do this with several CD's and give it a long listening session in each of the formats. If you can't tell a difference then rip to the more compressed format and save space. On the other hand, storage space is very cheap and I actually don't see much of a reason for this unless you do the ipod thing, or like to send songs via email. A 500GB external drive can be purchased for under $200 right now - that'd hold about 1700 CD's in Apple Lossless format!. The reason to really make sure you want to compress, if you are attracted to that route for whatever reason, is that ripping the CD's to your hard drive (getting the information from the CD onto your hard drive) is a time-consuming project no matter which format you choose. It's not something you'll want to do more than once with a large collection of CD's, so it's best to err on the high-resolution side. You can always reduce a lossless file to a more compressed version, but you can never go the opposite direction.

Hope that helps others considering making the leap.