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Club1820
2007-06-14, 07:28
I am looking for help with Replay Gain. As probably all of you, my library was not encoded at the same volume level. So I was looking for a solution as to how best to get them to play as close to the same volume as possible.

I took the advice of another member in another thread to use Foobar:


Foobar, import collection. Select all, right click, replygain, scan as albums, update. Enable replygain in SS, smart mode.

I went ahead and did this but wasnt sure which method to use in Foobar. There are two options when you right-click: "Scan selection as single album" or "Scan selection as Albums (by tags)".

I used "Scan selection as a single album" after selecting the main directory with all of my tunes. Was this the right method?

Some of my Library is set up as \Artist\Album. But, I would say 80% of it is set up in directories by Genre. Also, most of my tunes are not tagged with Album info. I dont know the Albums as most of my tunes are singles and remixes of singles.

The result of applying the replay gain in this method: most of the tracks had a negative replay gain/volume adjustment. Some didnt have any adjustment at all. (?) Overall, the tunes now play at a lower volume and I noticed I have to turn up the volume to a higher level now on my Receiver. Where before I use to listen at around 30-35 on the volume level, now its 40-45. Yet there is still some up and down between tracks.

The majority of the time I listen to random playlists and not necessarily just an album at a time. Should I apply replay gain by track instead? Or does it not matter since I selected my whole library as one album? My ultimate goal is to have ALL of my tracks play at the same level.

The other thing was that my tags were altered. Some of my albums tags either changed or disappeared and all of my album art info in the tags disappeared. Does anyone know why or how I can change this so Foobar doesnt do this? I went through alot of pain to attach the album art and now its gone!

Would using MP3Gain be better?

Sorry for the long post - hope you can help.

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 07:45
The result of applying the replay gain in this method: most of the tracks had a negative replay gain/volume adjustment. Some didnt have any adjustment at all. (?) Overall, the tunes now play at a lower volume and I noticed I have to turn up the volume to a higher level now on my Receiver. Where before I use to listen at around 30-35 on the volume level, now its 40-45.

This is perfectly normal due to the CD loudness wars (which appears to be a war the listener lost!) The RG standard is 89 dB, no one records here anymore. You will likely see RG values on the order of -7 to -10 dB. Yes, you'll have to turn up the volume.


Yet there is still some up and down between tracks.

This is because album gain was used. It attempts to maintain the same volume differences between tracks in an album while making albums play at the same average volume. See http://replaygain.hydrogenaudio.org/


My ultimate goal is to have ALL of my tracks play at the same level.

Use track gain.


The other thing was that my tags were altered. Some of my albums tags either changed or disappeared and all of my album art info in the tags disappeared. Does anyone know why or how I can change this so Foobar doesnt do this? I went through alot of pain to attach the album art and now its gone!

Unfortunately I had the same problems as you with foobar. A lot of people rave about it, but I could never get it to do what I wanted it to do beside play files. I'm not sure how or if you can undo the changes.


Would using MP3Gain be better?

Ironically most people here don't like MP3Gain, but I thought it was great. It writes RG tags in APEv2 tags, leaving your existing tags alone, and whatever it does can be completely undone, including the actual volume alteration it can do which scares so many here. Use the analysis button, don't use the gain button or the volume will be altered.

P.S. I'm using the past tense here because I've moved to Linux, although I still have MP3Gain, but command-line only.

cliveb
2007-06-14, 08:03
I used "Scan selection as a single album" after selecting the main directory with all of my tunes. Was this the right method?
Unfortunately not. You need to scan as multiple albums.


Overall, the tunes now play at a lower volume and I noticed I have to turn up the volume to a higher level now on my Receiver.
That is entirely normal and to be expected.


The majority of the time I listen to random playlists and not necessarily just an album at a time. Should I apply replay gain by track instead? Or does it not matter since I selected my whole library as one album? My ultimate goal is to have ALL of my tracks play at the same level.
Foobar sets both album and track gain tags when scanning as album(s), so you never need to scan by track.

On playback, when playing tracks rather than albums, then you want to be using the track gain setting. And in that case, the fact that you scanned as a single album doesn't matter. But it is better to re-scan as multiple albums in case you ever want to play whole albums and have their constituent tracks retain their relative loudness.

On the Squeezebox, it's probably best to set the Volume Adjustment to "Smart". That way it will use album gain when playing albums, and track gain when playing individual tracks.


The other thing was that my tags were altered. Some of my albums tags either changed or disappeared and all of my album art info in the tags disappeared. Does anyone know why or how I can change this so Foobar doesnt do this? I went through alot of pain to attach the album art and now its gone!
Sorry, can't help here. I've never seen Foobar delete existing tags when doing a Replaygain scan, but I don't use album art so my situation isn't the same as yours.


Would using MP3Gain be better?
I don't think so. As far as I can tell, MP3Gain is restricted to fairly coarse adjustments in multiples of 1.5dB. I'm not sure if MP3Gain can work with anything other than MP3 files. I know that when it processes MP3 files it changes the replay level settings on the individual MP3 frames - it doesn't set up metadata tags like Replaygain.

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 08:08
II'm not sure if MP3Gain can work with anything other than MP3 files.

This is true, hence the name. The FLAC encoder can add track RG at encode using the --replay-gain switch.


I know that when it processes MP3 files it changes the replay level settings on the individual MP3 frames - it doesn't set up metadata tags like Replaygain.

It writes APEv2 tags. It will not alter any frames unless you press the "Gain" button. Pressing the "Analysis" button will only write the tags.

"MP3GAIN_UNDO" tags are written as well so the process is reversible, even if you use the gain button.

cliveb
2007-06-14, 11:16
It writes APEv2 tags. It will not alter any frames unless you press the "Gain" button. Pressing the "Analysis" button will only write the tags.
I hadn't seen this, so did some experiments. Turns out that because I had MP3Gain set to "No Undo", it wasn't creating the APE tags. After switching the tagging back on, I now see that it adds Replaygain tags, and that these are not restricted to the 1.5dB steps. So it looks like MP3Gain is an equally good tool for adding Replaygain tags.

That said, I did notice that when it adds the APE tags, it doesn't transfer the information across from the existing ID3v2 tags (eg. the ARTIST/ALBUM/TITLE/etc tags), so next time I loaded it up into Foobar (which appears to read the APE tags in preference to the ID3v2 tags), all the old tags were gone. Do you know what Slimserver would make of that - does it gather data from all tag types?

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 11:38
Do you know what Slimserver would make of that - does it gather data from all tag types?

SS seems to read tags written in APEv2 using MP3Gain without any problems.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 12:01
Thanks for all the help & replies!

Where is this "no undo" option in MP3Gain. I cant seem to find it.

I did some trials and I dont seem to be creating any APE tags. I selected the files, hit the analysis button and it did the analysis but the info was not imported into the tags.

what am I doing wrong. (I did not hit the Gain button).

Thanks.

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 12:06
Thanks for all the help & replies!

Where is this "no undo" option in MP3Gain. I cant seem to find it.

I did some trials and I dont seem to be creating any APE tags. I selected the files, hit the analysis button and it did the analysis but the info was not imported into the tags.

what am I doing wrong. (I did not hit the Gain button).

Thanks.

Are you sure your tagger can read (or can at least read the presence of) APEv2 tags?

If you're using Mp3tag, it needs some configuration to be able to detect the presence of APEv2 tags, but I could never get it to read the tags. Still, analyze in MP3Gain, boom, APEv2 tags. Delete tags in MP3Gain, APEv2 tags gone.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 12:12
I'm using Tag&Rename. When I hit the APE button - no tags show up. ?

Another question, since I already tagged using Foobar, if I retag using MP3Gain, will it override the originals?

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 12:27
I'm using Tag&Rename. When I hit the APE button - no tags show up. ?

I never used Tag & Rename. It sure works in Mp3tag.


Another question, since I already tagged using Foobar, if I retag using MP3Gain, will it override the originals?

It shouldn't override the originals. MP3Gain uses APEv2 and won't overwrite or even read what foobar did.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 12:46
It shouldn't override the originals, foobar seems to hide the RG values in a tag only it can read. MP3Gain uses APEv2 and won't overwrite or even read what foobar did. I was hoping that it would.

So if both tags are present, with potentially different values, which does SS read?

I am trying to avoid clearing the Foobar tag info since I alread went back and started fixing the tags with info it deleted (album art, etc.) Even when I clear it in Foobar - it again deletes the album art!

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 12:56
So if both tags are present, with potentially different values, which does SS read?

Now that is a good question. Theoretically they both use the RG algorithm, so they should be the same, but I've seen FLACs and the corresponding MP3s made from the same WAV have different RG values, so...?


I am trying to avoid clearing the Foobar tag info since I alread went back and started fixing the tags with info it deleted (album art, etc.) Even when I clear it in Foobar - it again deletes the album art!

You may want to consider saving a cover.jpg in each folder instead.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 13:11
Now that is a good question. Theoretically they both use the RG algorithm, so they should be the same, but I've seen FLACs and the corresponding MP3s made from the same WAV have different RG values, so...?

Well, I'm thinking that they may have different values since I may change it in MP3Gain from 89db to a higher value, maybe 91db or 92db.



You may want to consider saving a cover.jpg in each folder instead.

This will work for the folders set up by Artist\Album - but not for most of my files set up in Genre Folders.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 14:08
Well, it turns out that MP3Gain must be creating the tags, I just cant see them. But I replaygained some songs that weren't previously adjusted via Foobar. When I look at them in SS, they do have volume adjustment applied.

Funny thing is though - since I am not using Album/Track gain in MP3Gain, only analysis, the volume is adjusted to 89db. I guess you can't change this to another level unless you actually hit the track/album gain button. ??

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-14, 14:56
Well, I'm thinking that they may have different values since I may change it in MP3Gain from 89db to a higher value, maybe 91db or 92db.

Yes, that is true, but by default it's 89. They should be theoretically the same provided you don't alter this value. Often the reference value is written as well, although I can't seem to find such a tag now, I believe I've seen it in FLACs.


Funny thing is though - since I am not using Album/Track gain in MP3Gain, only analysis, the volume is adjusted to 89db. I guess you can't change this to another level unless you actually hit the track/album gain button. ??

Take a look at this again - load some files in there and adjust the reference level. Note how the values change instantly to compensate for the new reference level. To write the tags, use the analysis button again. This should be quick, the files do not have to be analyzed again, only the suggested gain and the reference level tags need to be changed.

Club1820
2007-06-14, 19:10
Take a look at this again - load some files in there and adjust the reference level. Note how the values change instantly to compensate for the new reference level. To write the tags, use the analysis button again. This should be quick, the files do not have to be analyzed again, only the suggested gain and the reference level tags need to be changed.

Yes the values change. I will try it and see what the level then is in SS.

Thanks.

jeffmeh
2007-06-14, 19:21
I never used Tag & Rename. It sure works in Mp3tag.



It shouldn't override the originals, foobar seems to hide the RG values in a tag only it can read. MP3Gain uses APEv2 and won't overwrite or even read what foobar did.

Mark,

I use foobar to add the replaygain tags to FLAC, and mp3tag shows them for me.

On the right hand pane, right-click the column headings and click "Customize columns..."

Add these columns:
Name = Album Gain, Value = %replaygain_album_gain%
Name = Album Peak, Value = %replaygain_album_peak%
Name = Track Gain, Value = %replaygain_track_gain%
Name = Track Peak, Value = %replaygain_track_peak%

Of course, you can name that whatever you want.

Jeff

cliveb
2007-06-15, 01:46
foobar seems to hide the RG values in a tag only it can read.
For FLAC files, Foobar puts the RG values into the same set of tags used for the "normal" stuff like Artist, Album, etc. I think FLAC uses Ogg Vorbis format tags, but am not sure. For MP3 files, Foobar puts the RG values into the ID3 tags section. Slimserver picks them up in both cases without any problem, so they're certainly not "hidden".

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-15, 05:40
I'm sure you're both right, Jeff and Clive. I guess Mp3tag needed a bit of reconfiguring to read the tags. Sorry, I'll edit.