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Spectral and Dynamic Analyses of Popular Music Playlists: The Concept of Presence Optimization for Digital Music Streaming Playback

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Digital streaming has become the most popular way to experience music today. Loudness normalization applied by streaming services allows for the restoration of dynamic contrast, yet the hypercompressed production trends sustain. This paper studies current dynamic and spectral tendencies through integrated loudness and long-term average spectrum (LTAS) analyses of popular music playlists offered by digital streaming services. Deviations from the large-scale spectral characterizations provided by earlier studies on popular music LTAS were investigated and an increase in the slope of the presence band was observed. The paper concludes with recommendations for the optimization of the presence band using digital filtering via metadata during streaming playback.

JAES Volume 69 Issue 5 pp. 309-322; May 2021
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AES - Audio Engineering Society