Adventures In Volume Leveling

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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:46 pm

Adventures In Volume Leveling

Post by Pokeycat »

I began with some 52,000 tracks, from a variety of sources.

Analyse Volume took 5 days and ran quite well. Using 86 db as a target, volumes ranged from +9 to -8, quite a large range, but the majority of tracks were between +1.0 and -1.0 (So I felt 86 db was a good choice, lucky for me I didn't want to change that or it would be 5 more days of analysing). To get the rest within this range would mean leveling about 20,000 tracks...

Note: Volume Leveling & Clipping. The "No Clipping" checkbox on settings will only allow the volume to be leveled to a certain point, sometimes not at all if it's a crappy ripping job. I unclicked this box on the theory that I would rather throw it in the trash if it's always going to play way too soflty to hear. And I have thrown some away, but I don't regret the decision. To each his own, just be prepared for the consequences of a track sounding like total crap. I appreciated being given the choice. If I had chosen 83db as a target I would have had less clipping issues (they occur from cranking up the volume) but I didn't want to make my MP3 player/portable speaker setup to sound too soft.

Leveling Volume is rather buggy. It works better and faster than anything else I've tried, but it has a few problems. I had to babysit the entire time, as it would simply stop randomly or crash. I never saw it do more than 120 tracks at a time before stopping.

It's busy leveling tracks. It's updating the new volume level to the tag. But then the new tags that it just wrote revert back to the old level. The volume did change, the tag updated, but then, once the program had moved on by several tracks, the tag changed back to displaying the old volume level again. That means that if you have the player set to adjust according to the tag, it destroys the sound because it's double adjusting. Also, if you resort the list after a crash, you end up double-leveling the track because it relies on the now incorrect tag info. You can work it out by re-analysing the volume and it will display correctly that it has indeed been leveled, but you must be ever watchful of this happening and re-analyse the volume right away to avoid problems.

It's leveling tracks. Then it randomly stops leveling tracks, as though it had finished it's job. The track just after it stops is an unlevelable track. Not due to non-standard characters, which I undertand is an issue. Not because the track is bad. MP3Gain can level it. I don't know why it stops it just does. So you have to skip that track and continue on your way. Eventually you will build a stockpile of these tracks, which can be leveled later with MP3Gain (92 db in Mp3Gain Maximize matches 86db in MM for some reason they are off).

Or it just crashes randomly, like every 300 tracks or so. The track it crashes on is not one of these "unlevelable tracks" either, because it will continue on again as if nothing happened.

So, between the reverting tags, the random stopping and the crashes, expect to level anywhere from 1 to 75 tracks before it stops and has to be dealt with. It requires constant attention.

Using MM (and Mp3Gain as a backup) I got the tracks to within 6 db of each other -4.0 to +2.0 and that's where I give up because the numbers of tracks grow to 5000+ to move it another db and I am tired of babysitting. I leveled about 8000 tracks in all and I am quite happy with the quality of the results and above all the speed with which it ran (I estimate 25 hours of babysitting the volume level of 8000 tracks + 120 hours of unmonitored volume analysing). Mp3Gain is slow motion compared to this.

If it could run without babysitting it would be perfect, but I am happy because it got the job done well. I Love Media Monkey !!! And I appreciate not having to constantly adjust volume anymore!!!

Post by philby »

Why dont you just use MP3Gain and be done with it ?

Post by Guest »

MP3Gain is incredibly slooooow.............
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