shaolin007: have you ever done a blind test (ABX) between a properly encoded MP3 file and the original? I think you would be pleasantly surprised. And actually, MP3 files sourced from loud sounds can sound worse because they require more bits to sound transparent, so they're not loud for this reason. They're loud because louder sounds better according to some research. If you take the same mastered track and play it twice but the second time increase the loudness by 1dB or so, the louder one will sound better to most people.
And in a news article, you shouldn't use an objective statement like: "...prefer the sound of MP3, despite its low quality."
MP3s have the ability to sound transparent from their source, which does not make them low quality.
Read over at http://www.hydrogenaudio.org some, there's some good information about lossy codecs and how to properly to an ABX test.
And just to make it clear, I'm not a MP3 fan boy, I prefer FLAC for my backups and would even prefer FLAC to be bought from online stores.. but that's a pipe-dream at the moment....
I don't think this study was conducted correctly with accurate blind tests and is all subjective.
Sorry if this comes off as an attack.. I just don't like misinformation.