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twynne
2008-12-01, 12:47
I've recently added a Boom to the family (have 2 SB3's as well) and have started listening to quite a bit more internet radio - largely last.fm and a local station in London. I've noticed that there is a significant difference in the volume for various internet radio sources. For example, if listening to last.fm at volume=60, then switch to the local station it's uncomfortably loud.

2 suggestions that might improve the situation:

1. The best solution would be some sort of automatic volume levelling for radio sources. The volume level you've set on the Boom should really be the output volume regardless of the source volume.

2. Failing #1, allow the default volume to be stored with the Favourite, recalled and set automatically when that Favourite station is played.

Thoughts? Is either achievable, or is there some way I'm not aware of (short of the volume buttons)? :-)

Thanks,

Tom

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-01, 13:07
Vote for the following bug:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2431

twynne
2008-12-01, 14:04
Vote for the following bug:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2431

Done - thanks!

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-01, 19:20
It's not guaranteed to go through by any means, but 23 votes isn't inconsiderable. It was 20 this morning so you weren't the only one who voted. :-)

My usage case is going from my personal music library (with ReplayGain) to Internet radio. My SB2 and Transporter are always at 100% volume, Boom is 80+ volume when doing serious listening, and BOY when the Internet radio stream starts I'm scrambling for the volume control! Internet radio streams are VERY LOUD!!

Millwood
2008-12-01, 19:51
My current favorite classical stream, KUHF, is loud compared to almost all my other content, and I'm constantly adjusting volume as I switch to and from it. This is on Duet - so it's not a boom only problem. I've voted. Thanks.

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-02, 06:31
This is on Duet - so it's not a boom only problem.

This would affect all players.

You can see this with visualizer screens on players that support this. With a spectrum analyzer, for instance, many Internet radio streams max out all the bars simultaneously.

andyg
2008-12-02, 06:39
A lot of radio stations apply various DSP effects and gain to their stream, that's why they are louder. I am not sure how automatic leveling would work, but one suggestion is a manually assigned gain value you could set on a per-station basis. Perhaps for popular stations we could provide some sort of preset gain value. Record the station for an hour or so, and see what a good gain value would be. Perhaps if you guys were to start a listing of recommended gain values for stations on the wiki, we could build on that.

twynne
2008-12-02, 06:43
It seems (from my point of view of course ;-)) that it would be easier to approach this the other way around... that is, that the volume setting on the player is the actual volume (dB) at which sound is produced, then adjust the source to play at that volume.

I'm assuming this isn't achievable for some reason, but can anyone confirm?

andyg
2008-12-02, 06:45
Are you suggesting the player should adjust volume on a real-time basis? Not sure that is possible, and it would probably sound horrible. Gain shouldn't be applied like that... what about soft passages, or silence?

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-02, 06:57
I'm assuming this isn't achievable for some reason, but can anyone confirm?

The only way this is (sort of) achievable is with ReplayGain, and the RG algorithm must scan the whole file in advance to determine its average volume before computing gain data.

Radio stations would likely never embed RG data in their streams and even if they did, it would have to change for every track. I can't see that happening on a permanent and consistent basis for all streams.

So a solution would have to come player-side/server-side. Andy - a quick and crude way would be to just cut volume by a set amount when switching to an Internet stream. This should be fairly easy but is it considered too crude? Personally I believe a drop of 30% on the volume scale when switching to Internet radio would work well.

andyg
2008-12-02, 07:08
I don't think a flat 30% drop for all stations would solve anything. You'd still have stations that were too loud or too soft compared to other things. Each station needs a customized value.

twynne
2008-12-02, 08:54
Are you suggesting the player should adjust volume on a real-time basis? Not sure that is possible, and it would probably sound horrible. Gain shouldn't be applied like that... what about soft passages, or silence?

Agreed - and when you put it that way I can see it would be difficult to achieve.

I guess I was thinking of something along the lines of the way that many newer model TV's have a feature to volume-level. I don't really know how this is technically achieved. It's possible that it's more 'volume-limiting' than volume-levelling.

It seems to be an increasingly common practice for commercials, for example, to come on at significantly higher volume than the shows they interrupt.

Unless you could have the player somehow 'sample' the stream for a period then adjust the volume based on the 'peak' volume, the only alternative seems to be for the user to apply a gain manually for each source/station based on trial/error. The former approach (sampling) would unfortunately still result in a source starting off at a different volume - at least for a brief period. I'm not sure how long you would need to sample to achieve this - in my experience you know as soon as the stream starts that it's louder than what you were previously listening to.

Thinking further on that, it highlights another problem. Consider the case where when you last listened to something it was local music, after which you switch off the player. When you return (thinking specifically of the Boom here) you hit a favourite button to start a stream (without first having played another source). I'm not sure the player would be able to compensate against what you were previously listening to.

andyg
2008-12-02, 09:39
Agreed - and when you put it that way I can see it would be difficult to achieve.

I guess I was thinking of something along the lines of the way that many newer model TV's have a feature to volume-level. I don't really know how this is technically achieved. It's possible that it's more 'volume-limiting' than volume-levelling.


This is probably Dolby Digital 'night' mode or whatever it's called.

twynne
2008-12-02, 09:48
This is probably Dolby Digital 'night' mode or whatever it's called.

You can see it in the specs for some Samsung models, such as:

http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/detail/spec.do?group=television&type=television&subtype=tftlcd&model_cd=LE37A616A3FXXU&fullspec=F

... which is unfortunately only listed as 'auto volume leveller' with no real detail. I'm sure there's a description there somewhere but I've no idea where!

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-02, 09:59
It seems to be an increasingly common practice for commercials, for example, to come on at significantly higher volume than the shows they interrupt.

Believe it or not (I don't believe it sometimes myself!), broadcasters are actually mandated NOT to increase volume for commercials. It's actually against the law!

So instead they compress the audio of commercials to the maximum extent possible - which is exactly what a lot of Internet radio streams do.

Does anyone have one of these TVs with the feature activated? Does it reduce the volume of commercials?

twynne
2008-12-02, 10:07
Believe it or not (I don't believe it sometimes myself!), broadcasters are actually mandated NOT to increase volume for commercials. It's actually against the law!

So instead they compress the audio of commercials to the maximum extent possible - which is exactly what a lot of Internet radio streams do.

Does anyone have one of these TVs with the feature activated? Does it reduce the volume of commercials?

I wonder if this might be country-specific. I'm referring specifically to UK TV channels - and in my experience it seems frequently the case that commercials are uncomfortably loud. In fact when watching late at night I'm constantly adjusting the volume so as not to disturb the neighbours!

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-02, 12:54
Some reading before this goes too OT :-)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/business/media/20adco.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2008/06/20/bill-would-lower-tv-commercial-volume.htm

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070118-8654.html

http://www.citytv.com/vancouver/3488_faq.aspx#sounds

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/G3.HTM

and lots more: http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=volume+of+commercials

twynne
2008-12-02, 13:05
Some reading before this goes too OT :-)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/business/media/20adco.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2008/06/20/bill-would-lower-tv-commercial-volume.htm

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070118-8654.html

http://www.citytv.com/vancouver/3488_faq.aspx#sounds

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/G3.HTM

and lots more: http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=volume+of+commercials

Interesting reading - certainly the Dolby stuff sounds like just what we're looking for, albeit at a cost. Not sure if Slim/Logitech would consider licensing something like that for use. Seems the introduction of a gain parameter is likely to be implemented quicker.

NFLnut
2008-12-04, 22:45
This is a major annoyance for me too. I'm worried that I'm going to do damage to my system one of these days. I would like to see this addressed as I experience this almost every day.

NFLnut
2008-12-04, 22:56
Believe it or not (I don't believe it sometimes myself!), broadcasters are actually mandated NOT to increase volume for commercials. It's actually against the law!

So instead they compress the audio of commercials to the maximum extent possible - which is exactly what a lot of Internet radio streams do.

Does anyone have one of these TVs with the feature activated? Does it reduce the volume of commercials?


My Samsung TV has the "Smart Sound" feature (whatever THEY call it) and I don't notice much difference with it on or off. But I did use an external S-Video switcher (SIMA) a couple of years ago which had an audio expander/compander feature and it worked really well. It was really nice when I was watching late night TV and I didn't want to wake up my wife. I could keep the volume low and still hear all of the dialog. I would love to have something that works that well for my existing TV.