Dynamic range compression and lossy file compression are completely different things. What's the difference?
Dynamic range compression squashes soft-to-loud volume shifts. This form of compression has been used by recording, mixing and mastering engineers for decades.
Other than bona-fide audiophile recordings, most of the music you hear has been dynamically compressed--which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as dynamic range compression adds punch, presence, and impact to music.
It's just that over the past decade or so the trend is to overcompress dynamics, so not only has music lost most of its natural soft-to-loud dynamics, but nuance and subtle detail are missing as well. The loud-all-the-time aesthetic is boring.
Recordings with less compression have lower (quieter) overall volume, so if you go from listening to maximally compressed contemporary recordings to something with less compression you need to turn up the volume to compensate for the difference.
As a consumer of music, you don't have the option of buying uncompressed music. If the engineers squashed the soft-to-loud dynamics out of the new Lady Gaga record there's no way of getting them back. Once sound is compressed, you can't decompress it. If you want to hear music with less compression, buy original pressings of 1960s or 1970s LPs. Yes, some of those will be compressed, but less than contemporary recordings. … Read more