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About ReplayGain standard
waaateva
post Apr 12 2009, 11:20
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Hi! I'm new here. I'm sorry if this is posted in the wrong place, I'd appreciate your help!

Please read this first:
I made a suggestion, which I think will improve the current Replay Gain standard. But my strongest point was proven invalid. Other benefits, though existent, may not be worth the hassles of changing an already popular standard. So I guess we'll just leave it as it is smile.gif.
Thanks for the discussion.


I think RG standard should be changed, so that it stores the actual level of the track, rather than the "gain". Here are my points:

1. Standards should not feel awkward, and the current standard feels very awkward. Don't get me wrong, it works perfectly. But where did that 89dB "reference level" come from? Based on what was it decided? Besides, I'd rather see how loud my track/album is, instead of looking at some (less meaningful) negative numbers.

2. To my knowledge, the reference level used to be 83dB (it's still on the RG homepage), but was later changed to 89dB for some reason. I have no idea how players dealed with that change, really. Now what if it is changed again? Of course updating the gain is a trivial task, but how do we know if the track were updated or not? And which tracks were scanned using which reference level? Storing the actual level is immune to this problem, because it is the logical way to store track loudness.
Not valid.

3. This is the most important. This change will not break any compatibility! All we have to do is add 2 new tag fields: REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_LEVEL and REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_LEVEL. They can be easily calculated from the 2 old "GAIN" fields (assuming the 89dB reference was used). New players will use these new fields and just ignore the old ones, while old players remain compatible. And the "Pre-amp" option will be changed to "Preferred Level", which defaults to 89dB. Makes much more sense to me!

4. It's not too late. Replay Gain is getting more and more attention. My Sansa Fuze has just got RG support via a firmware update, and I'm extremely happy with that. Before RG is widely used or even becomes an official standard, we should improve it as far as we can!

These are only my ideas. I don't know what else to do but post it here laugh.gif. If you are the RG proposer, or a player developer, or have anything to do with the Replay Gain standard, please consider!

Thank you.

This post has been edited by waaateva: Apr 13 2009, 12:19
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greynol
post Apr 12 2009, 19:07
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Coming from someone who uses 92 dB for a target volume in MP3Gain, I fail to see a problem with RG as it's currently implemented.


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waaateva
post Apr 13 2009, 04:08
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QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 13 2009, 01:07) *
Coming from someone who uses 92 dB for a target volume in MP3Gain, I fail to see a problem with RG as it's currently implemented.

Actually, that's the problem! If you mix your library with mine, who use 89dB, they'll play with different loudness. And there's no way to tell which files scanned with which reference. If, however, RG store the LEVEL instead, you can play with your 92dB "Preferred Level", and I can play with my 89dB. No matter what one chooses, all files in this world, scanned with RG, will have the same loudness. That's what I call standard. Doesn't that make sense?
This is wrong.

QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 13 2009, 01:31) *
There's already a tag for this:
REPLAYGAIN_REFERENCE_LOUDNESS

I've never seen this tag in use.

This post has been edited by waaateva: Apr 13 2009, 11:00
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saratoga
post Apr 13 2009, 04:16
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QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 23:08) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 13 2009, 01:07) *
Coming from someone who uses 92 dB for a target volume in MP3Gain, I fail to see a problem with RG as it's currently implemented.

Actually, that's the problem! If you mix your library with mine, who use 89dB, they'll play with different loudness.


I think all replaygain implementations (at least all I've used) use the same reference level. The target volume is adjusted at playback time, not scan time. Therefore you'll both get the same volume.
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waaateva
post Apr 13 2009, 04:32
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QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Apr 13 2009, 10:16) *
I think all replaygain implementations (at least all I've used) use the same reference level. The target volume is adjusted at playback time, not scan time. Therefore you'll both get the same volume.

You must not have used MP3Gain. If, for example, you use 89dB as the reference, and it returns a -5dB gain, then you change to 92dB, it'll return -2dB!

The real problem is: scanners (and users) are not supposed to change the reference level when scanning, because it is in the standard.

Wrong.

What surprised me the most is, when I read the RG homepage, it says the reference level is 83dB, while all scanners use 89dB. Now if someone can assure me that the 89dB will NEVER be changed again, and that no other scanners will allow changing it (MP3Gain is no longer maintained, so it's understandable), then I'll admit, this suggestion is pretty pointless.

Nevertheless, I still think it's better to store the SPL, you know, less hassles, more convenience.

@tot: you really enlightened me, I now have a much better understanding what those numbers mean. Thank you!
BTW, you can still calculate the headroom when storing the LEVEL.

Edit: just a little FYI, I've just tried MediaMonkey, and guess what? It allows changing the reference level too!

So, because users have the ability (and reasons) to change the reference level, why don't we just remove it from the standard, and store the SPL instead?

Wrong.

This post has been edited by waaateva: Apr 13 2009, 12:02
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greynol
post Apr 13 2009, 07:21
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QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 20:32) *
You must not have used MP3Gain. If, for example, you use 89dB as the reference, and it returns a -5dB gain, then you change to 92dB, it'll return -2dB!
So what? The RG value still gets adjusted according to the -89dB reference*. If you load one of my mp3s and change the target volume to something different it will adjust accordingly. Undo will bring it back to exactly where it started as well. Besides, there's nothing stopping me from rescanning. Furthermore, you will never see my mp3s in you collection. I get the feeling that this would never be of any concern to people who encode their own music.

QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 20:32) *
The real problem is: scanners (and users) are not supposed to change the reference level when scanning, because it is in the standard.
Nonsense.

(*) EDIT: Just to clarify, although MP3Gain allows you to adjust the 'Target "Normal" volume' the Reference level is still 89dB. Notice that it's called "Target Volume" and not "Reference Level".

This post has been edited by greynol: Apr 13 2009, 07:35


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waaateva
post Apr 13 2009, 10:57
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Guys,
You were right, I was wrong about MP3Gain and MediaMonkey, my bad for not confirming it before posting.
Sorry for the confusion I've made so far, I'll edit my posts.
@greynol, JAZ: thanks for clearing that up for me

Now one more question. Anyone know why the reference level was changed from 83dB to 89dB? Is there any possibility it will be changed again?

This post has been edited by waaateva: Apr 13 2009, 11:09
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Posts in this topic
- waaateva   About ReplayGain standard   Apr 12 2009, 11:20
- - tot   The gain numbers are meaningful. They show how mu...   Apr 12 2009, 14:03
|- - waaateva   QUOTE (tot @ Apr 12 2009, 20:03) The refe...   Apr 12 2009, 15:27
|- - tot   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 16:27) QUO...   Apr 12 2009, 16:12
- - waaateva   I'm sorry but I have no idea what you're t...   Apr 12 2009, 16:54
|- - tot   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 17:54) I s...   Apr 12 2009, 17:29
|- - skamp   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 17:54) REP...   Apr 12 2009, 17:42
|- - waaateva   QUOTE (skamp @ Apr 12 2009, 23:42) QUOTE ...   Apr 12 2009, 17:49
|- - tot   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 18:49) Me ...   Apr 12 2009, 18:05
|- - waaateva   QUOTE (tot @ Apr 13 2009, 00:05) QUOTE (w...   Apr 12 2009, 18:10
|- - tot   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 19:10) OK,...   Apr 12 2009, 20:00
- - lvqcl   QUOTE Besides, I'd rather see how loud my trac...   Apr 12 2009, 17:15
|- - waaateva   QUOTE (lvqcl @ Apr 12 2009, 23:15) Audio ...   Apr 12 2009, 17:44
|- - lvqcl   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 20:44) Of ...   Apr 12 2009, 17:49
|- - waaateva   Agreed. And my suggestion is to tweak the standard...   Apr 12 2009, 18:01
|- - Canar   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 10:01) Agr...   Apr 12 2009, 18:57
- - greynol   Coming from someone who uses 92 dB for a target vo...   Apr 12 2009, 19:07
|- - waaateva   QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 13 2009, 01:07) Comi...   Apr 13 2009, 04:08
|- - Mike Giacomelli   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 23:08) QUO...   Apr 13 2009, 04:16
||- - waaateva   QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Apr 13 2009, 10...   Apr 13 2009, 04:32
||- - greynol   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 20:32) You...   Apr 13 2009, 07:21
|||- - waaateva   Guys, You were right, I was wrong about MP3Gain an...   Apr 13 2009, 10:57
|||- - Lear   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 13 2009, 10:57) Now...   Apr 13 2009, 13:25
|||- - waaateva   Thanks for the links, they are very helpful. This ...   Apr 13 2009, 15:12
|||- - tot   QUOTE (Lear @ Apr 13 2009, 14:25) Because...   Apr 13 2009, 15:28
||- - greynol   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 12 2009, 20:32) So,...   Apr 13 2009, 07:24
|- - David Nordin   QUOTE (waaateva @ Apr 13 2009, 05:08) Act...   Apr 13 2009, 08:33
- - timcupery   I like the suggestion, although I don't think ...   Apr 12 2009, 19:13
|- - WonderSlug   Wouldn't it just be easier to assume that sinc...   Apr 12 2009, 19:27
- - greynol   There's already a tag for this: REPLAYGAIN_REF...   Apr 12 2009, 19:31
- - Mike Giacomelli   This seems pointless.   Apr 13 2009, 01:38
- - Big_Berny   IMHO it makes sense what waaateva means. And AFAIK...   Apr 13 2009, 02:35
- - [JAZ]   I also believe waaateva got confused. I've ch...   Apr 13 2009, 10:33
- - 2Bdecided   I didn't see this thread at the time, and I ce...   Sep 3 2010, 10:41


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