To help understand bits and bit rate let's discuss in simple volume vs time. Let's say there's a single tone going "oooooooooooooo..." Let's say that over time, it's fluctuating in volume. Let's set that time at 1 second. First, bitrate. When recording to a device, you set the recording to a certain level... In this case let's say 24bit/48kHz. So over that single second, your device is going to split that second into 48,000 pieces, every piece being 48,000ths of a second long. Every sample is made up of bits, and the more bits, the better description of the volume. Think of the extreme (a single bit), it's either on or off, you can describe the sound as loud or not loud. Now think of 2 bits, there are 4 combinations (00, 01, 10, 11) so you can describe the volume as off, low, medium, loud. Every bit you add multiplies the number of ways to describe the sound by 2. Therefore, storing your data as 16 vs. 24 bit, you take a hit in filesize by 1.5 (16x1.5=24), but your resolution jumps from 65536 to 1677216. every sample is 256 times more descriptive than the 16 bit.

Just like taking more samples every second increases your resolution, so does taking a more descriptive sample. In fact, Whereas a single bit can increase the resolution of the sample by 2, you have to double the kHz to see the same increase in quality.

Bottom line is if you have the means to store or listen to your stuff that way, then do it in the highest possible quality. If not, then do what you can.

J