I agree also with the awful mastering that goes into modern music. While it is useful for FM radio to ensure the music is clearly heard over the background hiss, it serves no real purpose on CDs. Every CD player has a volume control, so it should be up to the user to turn up the volume. Let’s not forget that making the music sound louder will only cause some to actually turn down the volume!
For the piracy issue, in my opinion the music industry is killing themselves by not taking the right approach! New laws, suspending user accounts and trying to monitor/stop file sharing based piracy is certainly going to keep making users find new ways of exchanging music. As they can’t beat it, a solution would be to try competing with it!
At the moment, they have already got one thing right and this by allowing music providers to sell individual tracks without DRM. However, like “unlimited download” Internet services, they really need to do the same here also, where for a fixed monthly price, users can download as many tracks as they want also [U]without DRM[/U].
If music industry allowed unlimited DRM-free downloads for a flat price, users will be faced with a few choices:
[li]Get the music “free” from P2P and face the current risks of infected files, improperly tagged/named songs or badly encoded music, not to mention the legal risks.
[/li][li]Pay a fee for a usenet service to greatly reduce the risk of downloading music, avail of faster downloads and put up with the other other issues (e.g. badly encoded) issues of P2P.
[/li][li]Pay a lower price from illegally operated online music shops and risk credit card fraud or the shop being brought down and losing the credit they purchased.
[/li][li]Pay a monthly fee for unlimited music that is guaranteed to be properly encoded, free of viruses and which they know has been legitimately obtained, eliminating the legal risk altogether.
[/li][li]Some other (il)legal way of obtaining music.
Of course the music industry just make it awkward on themselves and everyone else by looking at changing laws, suspending user accounts and issuing lawsuits, only to endlessly complain about piracy and repeat this process…