Setting all MP3s to the same volume.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Spikeywan, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Spikeywan macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    I have recently moved from PC to Mac, and successfully transferred my iTunes library without losing any hair.

    When on the PC, I used MP3Gain to set the peak volume of all my songs to the same level. This stops the issue of some songs being too quiet, causing you to crank the volume up, and then getting your ears blown to smithereens when a louder song is played. I also listen to my music a lot on my iPod when commuting by motorcycle, so I really need consistent volume levels, as I can't keep stopping to turn it up and down. I need a system that will work on both my iPod and my Mac.

    I know that there is a feature of iTunes called Sound Check, but it didn't work on the PC version, hence the use of MP3Gain.

    Does this iTunes feature work in the way that I need it on the Mac version of iTunes?

    I was going to get the Mac version of MP3Gain, but it's no longer available to download, and anyway, there were lots of comments on how bad the Mac version is, and how it messed up your MP3s.

    So, what's my best course of action?

  2. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    hi spikeywan
    you probably realise this but it's going to depend on the kind of music you listen to and also how close you want the levels to be.
    the word 'music' pretty much covers a wide range. if you ask these programs to make metallica and the goldberg variations the same 'apparent' volume level, it's not going to do what you want. these levellers will not produce 100% results, it's impossible given the vast variety of music. but i don't know what's in your collection...
    how long is your commute? perhaps you could create a playlist of the stuff you want to hear, add to it over the months, years, and adjust it as you go?
    you can adjust tracks manually, there's a volume slider on the info page in itunes.

    soundcheck works fairly ok on the mac, it helps somewhat, it's a starting place. you can run that and then maybe do the fine tuning manually yourself.

    a more consistent way of doing this would be to use compressors and limiters at the output, but i'm unaware of any way of doing that on an ipod, but you can do it on your mac.

    because music comes in so many shapes and sizes and because of how the human ear works, it's not possible to throw too wide a mix of tracks at any software and have it automatically make adjustments you'll be 100% happy with. i think.
  3. Spikeywan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
    I was very happy with the results of throwing my entire library at the PC version of MP3Gain, so am just looking for a Mac alternative that will do the same job of tweaking the metadata, without messing up the files.

    If I do find the odd track or album that's either too quiet or loud, I can then go back and just adjust the volume for that file/folder.

    I just can't find anything that does the job on the Mac. Googling brings up loads of PC stuff. :rolleyes:
  4. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    have you used the soundcheck function on itunes?


    you must be the worst googler i know.. ;)
  5. Spikeywan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
  6. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    is that too expensive? oh, you want it done for free... you can manually adjust the levels. for free. it will only cost you time.

    what ipod do you have? ipods also have soundcheck built in.
    theres always ios apps too, plenty of them. do a search for srs labs. their demo leaves a fully functioning volume changer.
  7. Spikeywan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
    Not only am I a terrible googler, I'm tight, too. :D

    Thanks for your help. Looks like I'll have to dust off my wallet.
  8. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
  9. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    That $30 ivolume app works ok - installed and ran on my itunes library, then synced my ipod. Playlists on my car sound system (from the ipod) are much better now - far better volume leveling between tracks.

    Apple's sound leveling system is so hopeless you end up checking your settings to see if it''s even turned on... shame Apple doesn't support Replaygain (even as an option) as the free mp3gain works great - think Songbird (a Mac mp3 player) supports Replaygain... but of course, all ipods are gimped with only Soundcheck support.

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