[Feature] While artists have the theoretical freedom to produce masters at any level they wish with any sound they wish, the majority of popular music produced today is mastered to the level of the highest streaming provider or higher. Why? Because artists do not want to perceive their music to be lower than the highest stream they hear. Streaming loudness is a much worse situation than broadcast radio or CD, because artists can directly compare their own audio files against streams and Internet radio on their own computer speakers. What can we as engineers do to repair the situation? As cochair of an AES Technical Council study group on streaming loudness, my group produced “Recommendation for Loudness of Audio Streaming and Network File Playback” version 1.0. I urge all active engineers to spread the word about this document, which is the first step in addressing the problem.
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