Sound quality is key. I mean, in the current age, kids are stealing rips of low quality streams and calling them ok. That's so freaking lame. For starters, musicians craft a piece of art for you to hear and they want it to be heard as they intended. As quality lowers, that initial piece is put through a freaking combine and you get a shallow version of the rea product. Then kids bitch about how something sounds or wish it would be heavier or deeper with bass, well, that is not the problem, the problem is your rip. Coming from someone who does reviews, streams can be deceitful and if they aren't, the rips are. I have the new Thursday via private stream and it sound 3x better than the pathetic rip. There's nuances, especially with bands like thursday that you need final product to enjoy. Sure, cds are still peaked odd, but its better.
I know we can't converrt everyone to vinyl and 320 mp3s, but I hope to God teens and others learn to expect more from their "favorite bands" (which is a joke since most steal from them). If you want to steal shitty rips, might as well have the tracking version of the album because all that effort to give you the best product (not to mention money) is going to waste.
To me, sound is key. Yes, peaking everything and using the "wall of sound" idea that Spector made popular can be enjoyable simply because of the loudness factor, but thought out leveling and effects are what make an album memorable.
Consider "californication." They went for all peaks and it sounds like crap during parts of the record. Its too much. On the other hand, tracks underdone sound like crap. Yes, there is something memorable about poor quality debuts ("blue skies, broken hearts (though not a debut)," "your favorite weapon,") but in the long run, people want quality.
I think people think the want quantity over quality, but we know that's not true in the long run. So your band has 30 songs ready - who cares if it sounds like crap.
In addition, to the comment about djs wit 128 music. That is fine because their job and purpose is not to give you the little nuances of "the devil and god are raging inside." The purpose of their music is to make you shake your ass. Most the music in their collection is recorded completely peaked. There is no magic to be found underneath because there is no underneath. Its straightforward, dance or die music. Top 40 is not the place for audiophiles. However, some groups do break through.