.........it's only as rare as unamplified music - it's very common!
Yes, but such music is just a tiny fraction of all the music out there hence the compromise.
It might be true that there has been more amplified music recorded than unamplified but there again it might not be (data? facts?), but "a tiny fraction"? The vast catalogues of Decca, Universal, Deutsche Grammophon, HMV, EMI, Mercury et al are so insignificant that they can be casually dismissed?
It's a truism that defaults can never be right for everyone.
I would say that RG with clip prevention (might change relationship between adjacent tracks but will anyone notice?) is a compromise between vanilla (never degrades audio; works for everyone) and current default (may degrade audio; works brilliantly for some but is very bad for others). Obviously I think vanilla is the saner setting for a global default but the incumbent always has inertia and familiarity, and such is the nature of compromise....
I doubt very strongly indeed the validity of the presumptions that having unamplified music in a collection is unusual, or that having lots of it is extremely rare. Reasoning based on those premises is inherently flawed (unless the resulting action applies only to oneself) because it's generalising from the personal and particular.
Maybe, but I'd say for a specific user either zero (or almost zero) tracks show the issue, or nearly all of them.
Clearly there are people who have only amplified music and probably some who have only unamplified, but can I propose that having some or lots of both in varying proportions is not at all unusual?
And if for some reason you scanned your files with replaygain tags for purposes of not using replaygain tags, you can disable it using the setting we provide.
Actually I'm not being perverse in applying RG tags to my collection. A few years ago I did a big, laborious tidy up of my collection's directory and file names and metadata and being aware of RG realised this was a good time to try it. But I found it impossible to assess RG without the RG tags
so I tagged my existing collection and modified my transcode process (flac to ogg or mp3) to include album gain for future encodes. As stated earlier it's automated (scripted and aliased) so it's no extra (human) work. After running into instances of distortion and sometimes bad clipping I looked at why this might be and realised that positive album gain values can leave you with four choices:
i) a pre-amp value so low that some tracks are ridiculously quiet
ii) the possibility of distortion/clipping
iii) applying clip-prevention and having the relationship between some adjacent tracks artificially altered.
iv) switch it off
So I went back to using the volume buttons for the most part, but if I make a playlist of rock or pop etc then RG becomes useful and I can toggle it on.
You might recall that in my original post I pointed out that beyond the actual benefits/disadvantages of RG there is the issue that it isn't obvious to any new or casual user of Rockbox that RG is even enabled because the menu item is highly ambiguous:
Gain If Shuffling" For anyone discovering Rockbox by using it (default male human behaviour since forever), or to anyone who doesn't know what Replay Gain is, then that is in no way a declaration that RG in album
mode is on or that the player perhaps isn't doing what you think it is doing.
I'll repeat what I posted previously because I think it's valid and doesn't have a logical or practical weakness:
"I have no idea who the listener is or what they like so vanilla makes the best default and let the person doing the tasting add the syrup. Definitely don't hide a raw chilli pepper in the middle."