We can hope. Essentially, it may be, it seems. With these issues relevant -
1. CD publishing is dying... dying...
2. Publishing via formats like iTunes is increasingly popular.
So, from the Sneap forum, an interesting read showing the lack of necessity for loudness maximizing mastering. Hooray! Let's hope it catches on.
Mastering for iTunes (translated by Alexey Lukin) / Saturday Mastering
As an aside, I started collecting vinyl recently, and regardless of the vinyl vs. CD debate, the reality is most of the stuff I'm collecting is older, and therefore both a) probably mastered for vinyl, and b) from before the loudness wars, and man, does music with dynamics sound GREAT.
I don't see any problem with loudness, it depends on what kind of music you're mastering and what you want to achieve.With the right amount loudness makes metal stuff sounds agressive and punping in your face but you can't use the same settings to another genre, that's why recording engineers are engineers, different genres need different mix/master, again it depends on what you want.
I like from pop to metal and I listen music from the 60's till now, all decades and genres sound different and differences are the best thing in life.
Like any other thing loudness is awesome if used properly but our ears have diferent tastes so there are no rules.
It's awesome listening to a very compressed metal then right after, a 70's funk like earth wind and fire.