Crazy record labels with their long hair and loud music…

Have you ever noticed that some CDs are way quieter than others? Even when you rip them to your computer the levels can vary widely, much to the detriment of your ears. For a perfect example, check out my music (ploafmaster on SimplifyMedia) and first listen to the song “I Hate It Too” by Hum, and right in the middle of that song, switch to “The Sun Also Rises” by Brave Saint Saturn.

Did the difference in volume startle you?

You see, it turns out many recording/mastering engineers compress the audio in order to increase the average decibel level of the music. I just read a fascinating, insightful, and surprisingly down-to-earth article in the IEEE’s Spectrum publication about the commercial reasons behind the use of audio compression and it’s serious drawbacks.

I think I’ll be using Sound Check in iTunes and on my iPod from now on.

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