For this Audiophile Update I'd like to talk about a concept I think is very important for people with this hobby. It's something I'd like to call "Practical Audiophilia" and, in essence, it's the realization that you're doing it for music, as opposed to just superiority of the sound. Many audiophiles get so wrapped up in the technicalities that they forget they're doing it to make music (an emotional/psychological/physical experience, in and of itself) more enjoyable. Personally, I know what it feels like to be so concerned about the sound quality of what I'm listening to that the thoughts and feelings being conveyed musically no longer have an impact. In these situations, all I care about is how lossless the files are and how expensive the speakers or headphones were. Instead of it being a emotional experience, it becomes a scientific experience -- just as cold and clinical as astrology or medicine.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with high-end audio. On the contrary -- being able to hear all the nuances and full soundstage of music definitely makes it more enjoyable. There has to come a point, though, that audiophiles stop thinking about the science and completely lose themselves in the art. As for myself, I've really made an effort to give up many of my overly perfectionistic audiophile tendencies. When I listen to music, I make a point now to relate to the music, even if I'm listening to a lossy mp3 or through cheap car speakers. The technicalities of sound quality have begun to fatigue me, to a degree.
Now, I also realize that plenty of people don't have a problem separating the scientific from the artistic. They're able to deal effectively with both sides of the hobby. The purpose of this post is just to make this phenomenon known, since that's half the battle.
In short, just be aware of yourself and your tendencies. :D