Indeed guys, don’t get me wrong: I am a true believer in the album form and I’d never release any collection that hadn’t been mastered to hang together as a collection, any more than I’d get behind the wheel without fastening my seatbelt.
And I’m in fact uninformed on just what the current status is with respect to who listens via CD/album and who listens via random shuffle mode. You reckon it’s fair to say that the demo that still buys CDs self-selects to the segment of the listening population that expects or appreciates song-to-song consistency? I think it’s also true that there is a vast proportion of listeners who have grown up in the shuffle-mode world and almost exclusively listen to individual songs. Ironic in a way, it’s reminiscent of the days of 45 rpm single records, before the advent of coherent albums in the mid-60s or so.
When I was still using Itunes, I always checked the box to “normalize” volume levels track to track, but it never worked. Listening on shuffle mode, with songs coming up from hundreds of different albums or sources, the differences were often totally glaring. I use JRiver now with my iBasso player, and it has an analogous option that seems to work better-- it is less common that I will notice a distinct difference in shuffle mode. But I’ve not yet encountered anything that is fully effective for this issue.