UPDATE: YouTube appears to have fixed the “problem” with their new compression scheme, according to Wired.com. What’s interesting is that they seem to have undone the previous damage to users’ files, which implies that they either kept uncompressed copies that they could re-encode, or that the new scheme worked in real time. Read the update here.
No, it’s not a man-bites-dog story. It is a story about how YouTube’s new audio compression algorithm not only makes all the sound louder, including any noise, but also destroys any dynamic range in music. In some cases it actually generates distortion where their previously was none.
It’s particularly hard on classical or acoustic music as it also raises the level of quiet passages, increasing their noise significantly. We can only hope they get it right at some point. Soon, please.
And yes, it has been reported as a bug:
Recent audio compression issue – Bug Reports & Issues | Google Groups
As they say on comedy-news on local TV: More later as the situation develops.