However it is delivered, digital audio is quite vulnerable to loss or corruption. The files in your iTunes, if not properly and frequently backed up, are one hard drive crash away from vanishing into the ether. iPods crash or dump their contents, files can become corrupted and unreadable, and even the venerable CD, coming on thirty years old as I write, is suspected of not lasting as long as predicted in the marketing hype that promised :”perfect sound forever”. Our lust for convenience and instant access to vast libraries of media content can blind us to its perishability.
When you work in digital media you MUST always remember that it is just a few megabytes of data and must be backed up, preferably to different kinds of storage media: hard disks, flash drives, data DVDs and now servers in the “cloud” which are accessible to you via password and high speed internet connection. Those who remember floppy disks and SCSI hard drives know that whole formats become obsolete and unreadable. Unless you take the effort to port over your data to new supported formats it might as well be lost also.