As music downloads become an increasingly popular (and important) sector of the music industry, record producers are finding themselves mixing and mastering audio to suit playback from MP3 files and tiny speakers.
Rolling Stone outlines the trends and bemoans the loss of detail that accompanies heavy-handed audio compression in "The Death of High Fidelity."
But even most CD listeners have lost interest in high-end stereos as surround-sound home theater systems have become more popular, and superior-quality disc formats like DVD-Audio and SACD flopped. [David] Bendeth and other producers worry that young listeners have grown so used to dynamically compressed music and the thin sound of MP3s that the battle has already been lost. "CDs sound better, but no one's buying them," he says. "The age of the audiophile is over."
The article includes thoughts on loudness from multiple producers, as well as waveforms comparing original recordings and remasters that have been processed for greater loudness.