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How To Use Mp3 Gain ?, 3 guides - normalization - maximizing
Jack Comics
post Jan 12 2004, 01:30
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QUOTE (user @ Sep 1 2002, 02:56 PM)
- Outdated info, taken down for a complete re-write -

CiTay

It's been seven months since the original information was taken down. Is there anything new? Besides leaving the suggested decible setting at 89 dB, are there any MP3Gain recommendations?
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mj-barton
post Jan 12 2004, 08:20
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Once my semester finals are out of the way. I'll sit down and experiment with the mp3gain and see what works best. I'll then hopefully compile everything into a useful tutorial. Semester finals will be over the friday January 23. Until them keep posting and hopefully some of the others have experimented.

Along with EAC, LAME, and MP3Gain is there anything else required to do this? Im putting all the eggs in one basket. LOL.
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user
post Jan 12 2004, 09:40
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for mp3,
you need EAC, Lame.exe, mp3gain, nothing more, maybe foobar2000 as best player.

Maybe Easylame or razorlame.

About the mp3gain guide:


I am sure, snelg has included all information in his help texts inside the mp3gain program.

If you are unsure how it works,
Just get it and run it over eg. 3 songs as test-album, maybe anotehr testalbum with additional 3 songs, both testalbums in 1 test folder.


If you need assistance, guides are here in 2nd (by westgroveG) and 3rd post, still, the erased 1st post is not needed, just read the 1st page (2nd, 3rd post will be enough).

This post has been edited by user: Jan 12 2004, 09:43


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Moguta
post Jan 24 2004, 23:11
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I'm getting an error whenever I use MP3gain...

"Failed to load control 'ImageList' from MSCOMCTL.OCX. Your Version of MSCOMSTL.OCX may be outdated. Make sure you are using the version of the control that was provided with your application."

I installed the "full" MP3gain package, I even tried manually deleting MSCOMCTL.OCX & reinstalling it from the full MP3gain installer, but every time I try to run MP3gain that error pops up. =(

EDIT: I noticed that Speek's MultiFrontend also uses the same OCX library, and also comes with a VB runtime library. Installing Multi's included MSCOMCTL.OCX still brought up the same problem, but installing the VB runtime files solved the problem completely.

I would've thought that the full MP3Gain install would include everything nessesary to run the program. ermm.gif

This post has been edited by Moguta: Jan 24 2004, 23:45
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user
post Mar 17 2004, 21:18
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somebody requested in PM to me a rewrite of the mp3gain guide, according to new improved mp3gain.

Who wants to smile.gif ?


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Dr.Karnage
post Mar 17 2004, 22:22
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Maybe this has already been answered, but should I use the MP3Gain program or could I just use the replaygain scanner in foobar2000?
Which is the better?
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AstralStorm
post Mar 17 2004, 22:33
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MP3Gain is applied to the file - any player (including hardware) will play the file with given gain,
as opposed to Foobar's scanner, which stores replaygain info in the tags:
a player must support it in order to read this gain.

The better is the one that suits your interests.

This post has been edited by AstralStorm: Mar 17 2004, 22:48


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HiFiRE
post Jul 4 2004, 02:02
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Couple questions...

I'm running MP3Gain 1.2.3 and a lot of the options mentioned in the tut are moved/missing, so I did the best I could to MP3Gain all my mp3's to 89dB. At least 80% of my 5k mp3s will have clipping according to this setting. I tried 83dB and little has changed. Should I try lower than 89 or higher?

Secondly, MP3Gain tells me maximizing is bad, so I didn't use it. Maybe this is why I'm getting such severe clipping... I'll fiddle and find out. Should I ignore MP3Gain's warning?

Thirdly, I can't find the radio/audiophile option, is it gone?

One last Q... does winamp need a plugin for replay gain stuffs?

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Joelman
post Aug 11 2004, 14:45
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I'm brand new to this forum, and I hope I'm not repetitive. I apoligize do repeat a question.

I use a 4G ipod, 40Gb which is already loded with tons of my songs (about 70% full). As I understand it, in order to acheive "normalized" volume among my tunes, I ought to run MP3 gain at 89Db on album gain, to maintain the dynamics of each album (Jebus, 6/03). That's fine.

Now, I have all my songs in iTunes and before I discovered the MP3 Gain Program I would adjust the iTunes volume slider for each album, attempting to bring all of my albums to similar levels. Once I run MP3 Gain as described above, should I #1)wipe my iPod and reload it with the newly MP3gained tracks, and/or #2) can I select all of my albums and reset the volume slider to default and have my tracks all be pleasing in volume?

As you can likely tell, I'm not too savvy on the ins and outs of audio. I just don't want to have to leap for the volume on my stereo after every track.

Thanks in advance, and thanks to all who posted in the past. Its all been very informative.
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Otto42
post Aug 11 2004, 15:36
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QUOTE (Joelman @ Aug 11 2004, 08:45 AM)
Now, I have all my songs in iTunes and before I discovered the MP3 Gain Program I would adjust the iTunes volume slider for each album, attempting to bring all of my albums to similar levels.

Just out of curiousity, why not enable SoundCheck? That's what it's designed to do. It's not quite as good as ReplayGain, but it's not bad, in my experience.

QUOTE
Once I run MP3 Gain as described above, should I #1)wipe my iPod and reload it with the newly MP3gained tracks, and/or #2) can I select all of my albums and reset the volume slider to default and have my tracks all be pleasing in volume?

Ideally, you will want to remove the tracks from the iTunes library, make sure none of them have the iTunNorm comment tag in them, and readd them to the iTunes library. This ensures that the new, adjusted volume, will be scanned correctly by the iTunes SoundCheck routine, and that the level adjustments won't be ridiculously off if you happen to enable SoundCheck at some future point.

Of course, clearing the iTunes library and re-importing your music will mean the loss of Playcounts, Last Played time, and Rating information. You can use this little script I wrote to save/restore this information from/to iTunes: http://otto.homedns.org:8888/itunes/SaveRatings.zip

Or just use foo_pod instead. It'll convert ReplayGain information from foobar 2000 into correct SoundCheck information on the iPod, without the need to use MP3Gain to modify the actual files.

This post has been edited by Otto42: Aug 11 2004, 15:38


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Joelman
post Aug 11 2004, 15:54
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Thanks Otto--

Soundcheck has been problematic for me, making some songs far too loud and other soft. I think it might be because my collection spans many genres and some of the CDs are old and mastered lower.

As for foo_pod, I'm not familiar. What does it do and how does it work in layman's terms? Where do I get it? Sorry, as I said I'm not too savvy with any of this stuff.
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odious malefacto...
post Aug 11 2004, 16:23
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QUOTE (Joelman @ Aug 11 2004, 06:54 AM)
As for foo_pod, I'm not familiar. What does it do and how does it work in layman's terms? Where do I get it?

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....howtopic=19156&

Edit: Go to the end of the thread for the latest version.

This post has been edited by odious malefactor: Aug 11 2004, 16:27
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Joelman
post Aug 11 2004, 18:35
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QUOTE
Of course, clearing the iTunes library and re-importing your music will mean the loss of Playcounts, Last Played time, and Rating information. You can use this little script I wrote to save/restore this information from/to iTunes: http://otto.homedns.org:8888/itunes/SaveRatings.zip


Can I undo once I adjust Db levels with MP3Gain, and can I import the modified files back to iTunes easily, just by using File>Import and selecting my entire "iTunes Music" file?

Also, is there anything I need to know to run your script?

(Thanks for the foo_pod link, odious malefactor. I'll check it out)
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Otto42
post Aug 11 2004, 21:00
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QUOTE (Joelman @ Aug 11 2004, 12:35 PM)
Can I undo once I adjust  Db levels with MP3Gain, and can I import the modified files back to iTunes easily, just by using File>Import and selecting my entire "iTunes Music" file?

Sure. Just import the whole thing.

QUOTE
Also, is there anything I need to know to run your script?

It's written in the form of an HTML-Application, so you'll need Windows. Just double click to run it. Have iTunes running when you start it up. Beyond that, it's fairly self-explanatory.

It keys off of Song name and Artist and Album, so don't change any of those tags in any of your music between your uses of the Save and Restore functionality, or it won't work.


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Joelman
post Aug 15 2004, 19:04
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Ok, just to be sure ( I have lots of tunes and track info on my iPod and am nervous about wiping my iTunes library and reimporting):

Playcount, Ratings and Last Played Time will be lost, but restored by the script you showed me. How about stuff like EQ presets, Genre, and year? Will I lose those? Also, I use the "Grouping" field for key words and phrases that can be recognized for Smart Playlists, for example, "Cover Song" or "Single". Do they vanish as well when I clear and reimport my tunes after MP3gaining them?

On a side note, does ipod even use the EQ presets you specify in iTunes?

Thank you for your patience and expertise.
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Otto42
post Aug 15 2004, 23:16
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QUOTE (Joelman @ Aug 15 2004, 01:04 PM)
How about stuff like EQ presets, Genre, and year? Will I lose those?

EQPresets would be lost. You could modify that script I wrote to save/restore the EQPresets as well though. I don't use them, so I didn't add them to the thing.

Genre and Year are in the file tags, so they would be pulled back in when you import the tunes.

QUOTE
Also, I use the "Grouping" field for key words and phrases that can be recognized for Smart Playlists, for example, "Cover Song" or "Single". Do they vanish as well when I clear and reimport my tunes after MP3gaining them?

Yep, grouping would be lost. Again, it's pretty easy to modify that script to save/restore that as well. And again, I don't use them, so they are not saved. And Grouping based smart playlist also don't work properly on the iPod, so I don't use them. They work fine if you have the latest iPod firmware, but the Live Updating feature fails on any Grouping-based SmartPlaylist, if you have a 3G or later iPod. Confused yet?

Simpler version: If you have a newer iPod (3rd Gen and above), then the smart playlists can work in real time on the iPod itself. Meaning that if I have a playlist defined as "Last Played is not in the last 2 weeks", and then I play a song from that playlist all the way through, and then go back to the playlist again, the song will no longer be in that playlist. All without syncing to a computer. The iPod is smart enough to remove the song from the playlist after it's played. This comes in very handy for me. However, any Smart Playlist that has a rule using either "Grouping" or "Playlist" breaks this functionality. The smart playlist will not change until it's synced to a computer again. Not critical for most people, but it annoys me so I avoid using those types of rules in smart playlists.

Also, use of the Grouping field is unsafe, as it's probably going to change in the future. Apple seems to have intended the grouping field to define groups of songs that should be played together. Think of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions".. These songs are nearly always combined. The purpose of the grouping field seems to be to be able to define several songs as part of a single group and thus always play them together, even in randomized playlists and such. This is not yet fully implemented, it seems, but some songs being downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, notably classical works, have had the Grouping fields filled in this fashion. At some future point, they may get this working on the iPod and suddenly you'll find that the songs with the same grouping always play together.

My advice is to use the Comments field for this sort of thing instead, and leave Grouping blank or use it as it seems to be intended, to group songs together.

QUOTE
On a side note, does ipod even use the EQ presets you specify in iTunes?

Yes and no. If you use the built in EQ Presets, like "Rock" and "Bass Booster" and so forth, then yes, they will transfer and be used on the iPod. For this to work, you need to have the iPod's EQ set to anything other than "Off". Setting it to "Flat" is the most common way to enable the EQ Presets to work.

If you have defined your own custom presets, then the data transfers, but the iPod does not currently use that data (I confirmed this myself through testing). So while it may work at some future point, it doesn't work currently. Everything the iPod needs to do it is there, it's just not doing it yet.


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westgroveg
post Aug 16 2004, 00:28
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This thread is always coming backup so here a few extra hints for users
  • Album analyses calculates track/album values so performing an album analyses is all you need to do.
  • MP3Gain now supports writing changes to ID3 tag so it is 100% lossless.
  • As of LAME 3.96 (track) replaygain values are automatically written to the lame tag,
  • Unlike MP3Gain, values stored in the lame tag need to be applied during playback which requires more CPU processing & the decoder to be aware.
  • Foobar can automatically scan & adjust replaygain values without any need for MP3Gain but of course some of us donít like this audio player.
Iím to busy to update this guide right now

This post has been edited by westgroveg: Aug 16 2004, 00:29
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user
post Aug 16 2004, 09:32
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QUOTE (westgroveg @ Aug 16 2004, 12:28 AM)
This thread is always coming backup so here a few extra hints for users
  • Album analyses  calculates track/album values so performing an album analyses is all you need to do.


  • MP3Gain now supports writing changes to ID3 tag so it is 100% lossless.


  • As of LAME 3.96 (track) replaygain values are automatically written to the lame tag,


  • Unlike MP3Gain, values stored in the lame tag need to be applied during playback which requires more CPU processing & the decoder to be aware.


  • Foobar can automatically scan & adjust replaygain values without any need for MP3Gain but of course some of us donít like this audio player.
Iím to busy to update this guide right now
*


Hi westgroveg,
thanks for the brief summary of today's possibilities,
I think, I copy it with your permission to first post.


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westgroveg
post Aug 16 2004, 11:15
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QUOTE (user @ Aug 16 2004, 08:32 PM)
QUOTE (westgroveg @ Aug 16 2004, 12:28 AM)
This thread is always coming backup so here a few extra hints for users
  • Album analyses† calculates track/album values so performing an album analyses is all you need to do.







  • MP3Gain now supports writing changes to ID3 tag so it is 100% lossless.







  • As of LAME 3.96 (track) replaygain values are automatically written to the lame tag,







  • Unlike MP3Gain, values stored in the lame tag need to be applied during playback which requires more CPU processing & the decoder to be aware.







  • Foobar can automatically scan & adjust replaygain values without any need for MP3Gain but of course some of us donít like this audio player.
Iím to busy to update this guide right now
*


Hi westgroveg,
thanks for the brief summary of today's possibilities,
I think, I copy it with your permission to first post.
*


Of course user

One more thing, make sure you tag before using replaygain or instead of your replaygain values being hidden they appear in the comment field for some reason which can be annoying.

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Joelman
post Aug 17 2004, 14:15
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QUOTE
Of course, clearing the iTunes library and re-importing your music will mean the loss of Playcounts, Last Played time, and Rating information. You can use this little script I wrote to save/restore this information from/to iTunes: http://otto.homedns.org:8888/itunes/SaveRatings.zip

QUOTE
Yep, grouping would be lost. Again, it's pretty easy to modify that script to save/restore that as well.


I'm helpless at programming. Is it possible for you to provide the necessary changes to the script or some coaching on how to save the "grouping" field as well? After I do the gain adjustments and reimporting I'll take your advice and move all grouping info to comments. That sounds like a smart idea.

Any recommendations on how to best back up one's iTunes Library beforehand? I usually make a duplicate of the itunes library xml file for starters.
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Otto42
post Aug 17 2004, 15:32
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QUOTE (Joelman @ Aug 17 2004, 08:15 AM)
I'm helpless at programming. Is it possible for you to provide the necessary changes to the script or some coaching on how to save the "grouping" field as well? After I do the gain adjustments and reimporting I'll take your advice and move all grouping info to comments. That sounds like a smart idea.

Any recommendations on how to best back up one's iTunes Library beforehand? I usually make a duplicate of the itunes library xml file for starters.
*

Backing up the XML file is fine. Assuming your file positions don't change, that's another way to reimport everything. And I think you wouldn't need my script if you did it that way.

Try this:
1. Rename the "iTunes something.ITL" file to something else.
2. Create a new "whatever that file is.ITL" but make it just a blank zero byte file. Just do "File->New->Text Document" and then rename the new text document to be the same name that the ITL file was.
3. Start iTunes.

What will happen is that iTunes will see that the ITL file is "corrupt" and it will reread the XML file to reimport everything. This gets all the data from that file and might be easier for you to deal with. It should preserve everything this way.

So as long as you don't move/rename your music, you can go that route instead of messing with scripts. Might be simpler if you can't do scripting. Although frankly, scripting is really, really easy. Seriously, open that file you got from me in a text editor. It's pretty obvious what to do. But if that's too hard, consider a different method like this XML trick.


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Joelman
post Aug 17 2004, 23:42
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Thanks Otto42. Unfortunately it turns out a large number of my files are AAC. I had no idea. Anything to be done about that as an alternative to Foobar2000? Can Foobar use al of the info I have stored in iTunes, like playlists and all of the different fields we discussed?
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jth
post Aug 17 2004, 23:58
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QUOTE (westgroveg @ Aug 15 2004, 04:28 PM)
[*]MP3Gain now supports writing changes to ID3 tag so it is 100% lossless.

Maybe "completely reversible" is a better term than "100% lossless" which is slightly misleading in my opinion.
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Joelman
post Sep 23 2004, 13:52
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Does anyone have a solution on how to fix the fluctuation of volume levels between songs on my ipod, which is packed with mostly AAC files (I originally imported in Mp3 until the new version of iTunes came out and was automatically set to AAC, which I'd never heard of so I didn't think to switch the import settings). I use iTunes for PC. It seems as though there are several MAC based solutions out there with mixed reviews.

Of course, the mp3gain solution discussed above is great for MP3, but no good for AAC, and apparently there's nothing like AACgain out there yet. Also, my understanding is that converting AAC to MP3 is a bad idea and will sound like hell.

I really have a small knowledge base here, so if anyone can help me out on this issue, I'd really appreciate it. This rollercoaster rof volume is driving me nuts! blink.gif

(Otto42 was extremely helpful when I thoght my files were all MP3, but then I went to do MP3gain on my iTunes folder and noticed that not nearly all of my tunes showed up! Thanks Otto42 for your patience!)
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Otto42
post Sep 23 2004, 15:38
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Joelman: The only suggestion I have left for you is stop using iTunes and switch to foobar 2000 with foo_pod for your iPod syncing needs. Use foobar to run the ReplayGain on all your files and then foo_pod will transfer that information to the iPod by converting it to the "soundcheck" parameter. So that you would turn on SoundCheck on the iPod and it would use the ReplayGain info from foobar instead. Both of these basically do the same thing, the main difference between them is the method by which they determine the "average" song volume.

There is no perfect volume levelling, and if iTunes' SoundCheck doesn't work for you, it's not likely that ReplayGain methods will either. They're better, but not all that much better. It's not a night and day type of difference, sort of thing.

Furthermore, SoundCheck will likely work better than MP3Gain or the theoretical AACGain for the simple reason that both of these program can only adjust the volume level in 1.5dB increments, while SoundCheck can adjust it much finer and more exactly. foobar/foo_pod would do the same sort of thing, with a far more exact volume adjustment.

This post has been edited by Otto42: Sep 23 2004, 15:42


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