on-line music vs CDs & SACDs

Can someone provide a simple quick overview of where we are in the transition from CD media to on-line music and servers? First, is on-line music still a compressed file (i.e. MP3) or has the industry gotten passed that now? If the files are no longer compressed, would the data be equivalent to say a redbook CD? Can SACD quality recorded music be downloaded now on-line or are we still years away from that step? In other words, where are we right now? Thanks.
Hi Pdn,

i am no expert...but the word transition here is perfect from what i understand. Yes, much of what you dowload is MP3...however, there are a growing number of sites where you can not only download redbook...you can download hi-res. Beyond SACD, i believe thought the amount of music available on such a high-res format is a fraction of what is available on 16/44.1.

hdtracks, Linn, and a number of other sites allow for this kind of hi-res download i believe. good luck.
Lloydelee21: Thanks for the excellent feedback. That clarifies a lot for me. Sounds like on-line downloading is still in its infancy especially high resolution audio. I guess I'm old fashioned but downloading music just seems like cheating even though you pay. Is the artist still benefiting? I still love to browse at a retail store, then make my selections and pay. I hope that never goes away completely.
Hi PDN, personally, i enjoy using Amazon to buy CDs. I like having a hard copy...i dont own a single mp3 due to resolution...and, stunningly, you can often buy the cd cheaper than the mp3 which seems ridiculous.

plus, you get to listen to the album (30 seconds of each track) before you buy...i think this is smart. because in the absence of being able to listen to some albums, i just dont bother because i dont wish to take the risk...this way, i end up buying more albums.

i can also compare various versions of classical...which is cool.

yes, btw, if you are buying mp3 from reputable group (amazon)...then the artist is getting royalties.