When Streaming, is 128kps good or not so good?

As a complete neophyte to the downloadable-digital world, is streaming at 128kps technically any good?

The background: I am a SIRUS suscriber and recently realized I could stream at work using my NuForce iCon and Silverline Minutes.

SIRUS charges $2.99 to stream at 128kps, otherwise it is free. From a cost-benefit analysis, I think it is $2.99 well spend and it sound great for a background, in the office, computer based music system.

Where does 128kps lie in the spectrum? (no flames please)

Thanks, John
It depends a lot on what type of music you listen to. Modern popular recordings are produced to sound as good as possible in compressed mp3 formats, so 128k will probably be alright for casual listening.

However, if you listen to classical, jazz, or other 'audiophile' type recordings, 128K will sound tinny, thin, and lacking in dynamics. For these types of recordings, discriminating ears cringe at even 320k (typical maximum rate for mp3). For casual listening of jazz, I need at least 192k (and sometimes higher) to get to the point where cymbals don't sound like tin foil being crumpled up.

In the end, you have to try it yourself and understand that streaming is like listening to the radio - it has it's limitations that you have to live with. If you can pay a few bucks to minimize that limitation, that's probably a good thing.

Have fun!
For the record, 128k is typical of distributed music intended for iPods and such - where fidelity is at a common consumer level. Assuming you are on even on the low end of hi-fi, you will hear significant differences between 96k, 128k, and 192k. 256k to 320k is not as drastic a change, but it still makes a difference.

Going down from 96k renders most music to AM radio fidelity. 56k and below should be used for voice only (i.e. a recorded book) as that is what the lower rates are optimized for.

Music services like Rhapsody typically stream at either 128k or 192k with the latter more predominant. Download purchases from iTunes, Rhapsody, and others usually give you a full 320k file (though some are starting to step up and offer lossless downloads like FLAC).

Since a majority of satellite radio broadcasts are voice only, they can get away with 96k on most stations.
I have been listening to the 192k Rhapsody channels and albums and the albums sound really good and I have a resolving system. The rhapsody streamed albums are not that far off from the ripped cd copy or cd itself. I'm using a Duet into a Theta Gen VIII.
I personally think it depends on the source. I'm not sure what bitrate Sirius broadcasts at, but my recent experience with Sirius in rental cars is a joke. I find anything except for talk radio to be almost unlistenable as it is so lifeless.

Conversely, my XM unit at home sounds more consistant with what I would guess is a 128 bitrate. Certainly more dynamic range to be found there.

Also, don't rule out the possibility of a variable bitrate being broadcast, which is even worse (likely to average 96bitrate) and makes cymbals sounds underwater and bass non-existent.

For a true example of 128 bitrate, visit www.livephish.com
Amazing sound for free. Keep in mind their recording pratices are/were at the top of the game.