The mp3/music analogy might be quite appropriate.

On some commercial music download sites, there are several options for purchase, ranging from audiophool-grade 24-bit, 192kHz sampled music, to CD-quality (16-bit, 44.1kHz), to mp3 compression and various lossy bit-rates.  I am told that the resampling and compression is actually done on the fly by the server, from a single master, and the purchaser chooses what files to download based on cost, ability to play high-res data, degree of canine-like hearing, intolerance for lossy compression with its limited dynamic range, etc.

Perhaps that would be the best way to handle it from a central repository, allowing the end-user to decide on the fly. The lossless files could somehow be tagged as such, to avoid confusion.


William G. Scott
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
and The Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA
228 Sinsheimer Laboratories
University of California at Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California 95064

phone:  +1-831-459-5367 (office)
              +1-831-459-5292 (lab)
fax:        +1-831-4593139  (fax)