Here is a cynical view of the matter:

I'd submit that there is no financial incentive to avoid dynamic over- 
compression; in fact, it may help business, at least in the short- 
term. To wit: if you purchase a fatiguing CD or MP3, your brain may  
be soon telling you that you are essentially unsatisfied, and may  
therefore go out and buy another piece of music. In other words: it  
is not in the interest of record companies to have product that  
consumers listen to again and again; they would rather have you  
purchase new product constantly. I compare this to the food  
industry's over-salty, over-sweet offerings. At first your taste-buds  
are over-excited, but soon thereafter you are hungry again and need  
more food. It has worked great as a business model for fast food  
chains, although in that market the tide appears to be turning.


Marcos Sueiro Bal
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On Jan 2, 2010, at 13:51, Tom Fine wrote:

> Hi Steve:
> THANKS for posting this link. I totally agree with Bob Ludwig that  
> listener fatigue from this toothpasted garbage is a factor in  
> declining music sales. This "make it louder" is a plague. You'd  
> think that the higher-ups at the record companies would realize by  
> now that their tin-eared underlings who lean on mastering engineers  
> are WRONG and this stuff sounds TERRIBLE both in earbuds and  
> especially over highly-process FM radio (see Bob Orban's white  
> paper on why toothpaste-mastered material then processed by an  
> Orban unit results in unlistenable garbage).
> The discussion of MP3 lossy encoding is interesting, too. The U-MN  
> guy is just wrong about lossy being "indistinguishable," even at  
> bitrates like 320kbps. I would submit that ANYONE with good hearing  
> and decent playback equipment will be able to reliably tell the  
> difference between un-lossy source and MP3 lossy encoding.
> All in all, these technologies (digital toothpasting and a  
> profusion of lossy formats) have been a plague on recorded music.  
> Fidelity does matter with almost all forms of music. It's an insult  
> to the artists to consume their work in a junk format when a full- 
> fidelity format is readily available.
> Of course many other factors have led to the implosion of the music  
> business, but I strongly believe that the degradation of typical  
> fidelity available to the consumer has helped the process along.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Ramm" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2010 12:37 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] The Loudness Wars - NPR story
>> Thought others would enjoy hearing/reading.
>> _ 
>> storyId=122114058&sc=nl&cc=mn-
>> 20100102_
>> ( 
>> storyId=122114058&sc=nl&cc=mn-20100102)
>> Steve Ramm