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sredmyer
2009-03-05, 11:00
I have a fairly large collection of CDs ripped to flac files. I use Sqeezebox Dual to serve/play these files through my home theater audio system. My listening habits are that I mostly listen to random mix playlists and only occaisionaly listen to entire albums. In this context randon means that the tracks within the playlist will come from many different CDs and will be played in no particular order.

I have noticed, when playing songs from my collection, that the volume is all over the place. Some tracks will be so soft that they can barely be heard while others are VERY loud at the same amplifier volume setting. After doing some reading I have realized that what I need is to apply ReplayGain tags to my library. However I am unclear as to how to best do this to accomplish my goals and am hoping that somebody here can help.

What I would like to do is to write ReplayGain tags to the flac files that would work for both listening modes. It seems to me that for random play, track gain is the way to go while album gain (where album is defined as single piece of work not neccesarily a single physical disc) would be ideal for listening to whole albums.

Can anyone tell me what tool to use to write ReplaGain tags to suit those needs? It would also be nice if you could point me at a tutorial on using the suggested tool for this task.

Secondly how should I set SqueezeCenter up to use these tags? Would I need to change the volume normalization method for each listening session or can this be set to use album gain tags when playing an entire album but use the track gain tags when playing from a random mix?

Thanks for your help,
Steve

Phil Leigh
2009-03-05, 11:09
Fortunately this has already been thought out for you.
1) download and run Robin Bowes' APPLYREPLAYGAIN.PL script
2) change SC settings (player - audio) to allow volume adjustment - SmartGain
3) full rescan
4) Enjoy
That really is it. Everything you want to do is now done.

sredmyer
2009-03-05, 11:48
Fortunately this has already been thought out for you.
1) download and run Robin Bowes' APPLYREPLAYGAIN.PL script
2) change SC settings (player - audio) to allow volume adjustment - SmartGain
3) full rescan
4) Enjoy
That really is it. Everything you want to do is now done.

Thanks for the quick reply. I still have a few questions though.
1) Where can I download the script from?
2) Does this script do the ReplayGain analysis and write the tags?
3) Are there any settings which must be made in running this script?
4) What must I do to be sure albums are analyzed by album regardless of actual physical discs (which would = folder in my library)

5) Will this “SmartGain” setting work in both scenarios (random play and album play)?

Sorry if these questions appear dense but this stuff is still new to me.
Steve

Phil Leigh
2009-03-05, 12:00
Thanks for the quick reply. I still have a few questions though.
1) Where can I download the script from?
2) Does this script do the ReplayGain analysis and write the tags?
3) Are there any settings which must be made in running this script?
4) What must I do to be sure albums are analyzed by album regardless of actual physical discs (which would = folder in my library)

5) Will this “SmartGain” setting work in both scenarios (random play and album play)?

Sorry if these questions appear dense but this stuff is still new to me.
Steve

1) somewhere on Robinbowes.com - Robin are you around?
2) yes
3) no
4) album tracks need to be together in the same folder - no way aroumd that one. Most people keep album tracks in a single album folder...
5) yes that's what smartgain (as opposed to trackgain or albumgain) does!

sredmyer
2009-03-05, 12:13
1) somewhere on Robinbowes.com - Robin are you around?
2) yes
3) no
4) album tracks need to be together in the same folder - no way aroumd that one. Most people keep album tracks in a single album folder...
5) yes that's what smartgain (as opposed to trackgain or albumgain) does!

Ok I understand all of that now.

As to #4, my library looks like this for multi-disc albums
Path to first CD:
X:\Music Library\Pink Floyd\The Wall (Disc 1)
Path to second CD
X:\Music Library\Pink Floyd\The Wall (Disc 2)

1) Is this not the normal way of ripping multi-disc albums?
2) Can the ReplayGain analysis be set to discover album by tagging rather than location (folder)?

Thanks
Steve

Phil Leigh
2009-03-05, 12:19
Ok I understand all of that now.

As to #4, my library looks like this for multi-disc albums
Path to first CD:
X:\Music Library\Pink Floyd\The Wall (Disc 1)
Path to second CD
X:\Music Library\Pink Floyd\The Wall (Disc 2)

1) Is this not the normal way of ripping multi-disc albums?
2) Can the ReplayGain analysis be set to discover album by tagging rather than location (folder)?

Thanks
Steve


1). Sorry I didn't realise you were talking about multi-disc albums. They will be fine. I have loads of those. :)
2) No. And if your folders are as you describe you have no problems.

Just go for it! - don't forget we are ONLY talking about tags here. None of this actually changes the music content of your files!

sredmyer
2009-03-05, 13:05
1). Sorry I didn't realise you were talking about multi-disc albums. They will be fine. I have loads of those. :)
2) No. And if your folders are as you describe you have no problems.

Just go for it! - don't forget we are ONLY talking about tags here. None of this actually changes the music content of your files!

Great sounds like this is exactly what I need...will do it this evening.

Thanks for the help,
Steve

rossi
2009-03-06, 00:01
Thanks a lot!

That was, what I also badly was looking for. The adjustment of volume track by track is very annoying. These 9.9kB would be a nice plugin (or even standard option) to SC.

I will try it this evening, hoping to be clever enough to get it working.

Edit:
One more question. Will I have to start the script everytime I want to do a rescan after adding some files? In the future I would use the replay gain option of my ripping software (Iīm able to learn :-)), but maybe someday I will find a track "on the street" (ahemm....) and add it to the collection.

jeebers
2009-03-06, 01:07
It's worth noting that a lot of people (myself included) find that even when playing random, individual tracks, album gain is the best setting to use.

Track gain makes the loudest point of each track equal. This means that the loudest part of e.g an acoustic guitar track will be the same as the loudest point of a full-on hardcore techno track. Personally I find this sounds odd, and album gain gives a more natural volume levelling.

rossi
2009-03-06, 09:44
Hi,

I downloaded applyreplaygain and flac on my QNAPīs public folder and now I donīt know how to go on, because there is no standard possibility to install something on the server. Only a web UI to do settings or change/move/delete files.

I did try to do something with putty (first time and how awfull, like 25 years back) but did get nowhere.

Anybody an idea how to install applyreplaygain on a QNAP?

soxfan
2009-03-06, 12:21
Not to hijack this thread, but I'm interested in doing this as well and have a couple of questions.

First, can someone provide a link to the applyreplaygain.pl script? I couldn't find it on robinbowes.com, as suggested. I couldn't find it anywhere on slimdevices.com (wiki, plugins, etc.). I got a lot of hits with Google, but none to this actual script. The closest I came was another Perl script called flaculance.pl, which looks like it does something similar, but I'd really like to try the suggested one if possible.

Second:

It's worth noting that a lot of people (myself included) find that even when playing random, individual tracks, album gain is the best setting to use.

Track gain makes the loudest point of each track equal. This means that the loudest part of e.g an acoustic guitar track will be the same as the loudest point of a full-on hardcore techno track. Personally I find this sounds odd, and album gain gives a more natural volume levelling.
This is a good point. Since I haven't tried any replay gain methods yet I can't say for sure if it applies to my listening tastes, but I can certainly see the point. So, assuming I wanted to try album gain instead is there any way to apply it to a bunch of flac albums at once? Or am I missing the point about what the applyreplaygain.pl script does?

Lastly, assuming I eventually find the script and run it against my collection, then find that I don't like the results is there any way to mass-undo the changes, or do I simply turn of the Smartgain setting in SC?

TIA,
John

tcutting
2009-03-06, 12:33
soxfan-
Won't answer all your questions, but I'll try to answer a few:
Don't know how to find the script listed... but there are other methods for setting the REPLAYGAIN tags - I did mine using mp3tag, which you should be able to find on the net via a google search.
In squeezecenter, you can choose to use album gain, track gain, smart gain, or no volume adjustment (I believe this is set for each player). Smart gain simply chooses album gain or track gain depending on the makeup of the current playlist. It's easy to switch between them.
As stated above, you can choose to turn off this function in squeezecenter. The gain settings for each album and track are stored in the tags - the actual music isn't changed at all. (One exception: there are methods for adjusting the actual FILES to adjust the gain - I believe this is only ever done on MP3's, but you should definitely AVOID that approach... I believe that's for people who want volume normalization between tracks on a player which doesn't support the REALPLAY tags - such as most portable MP3 players.)

aubuti
2009-03-06, 13:40
First, can someone provide a link to the applyreplaygain.pl script? I couldn't find it on robinbowes.com, as suggested. I couldn't find it anywhere on slimdevices.com (wiki, plugins, etc.).
You can read about it here http://projects.robinbowes.com/apply_replaygain/trac and download it from here http://projects.robinbowes.com/download/apply_replaygain/

As tcutting says, there are various ways to apply replay gain tags, including Robin's script, mp3tag, and foobar 2000 to name just a few.

soxfan
2009-03-06, 14:09
Thanks for the replies. I was missing the "_" between "apply" and "replaygain" and that was messing up my searches.

Should have mentioned that my music files are on a Linux system. Yes, I know that the programs mentioned reportedly work with Wine, and that I could setup a Samba share and access my files remotely, and that there are probably a couple of other ways I could use these programs. But I think in my case a nice command line utility will do the trick. I'll try to give it a shot this weekend.

Thanks again,
John

avta
2009-03-08, 12:51
Very interesting subject. Would someone be kind enough to give me some step-by-step instructions as to how to install and run the script? I've downloaded the file and opened it. There are two folders in the file. That's as far as I can get. I'm a Mac OSX user. Thanks in advance.

rossi
2009-03-09, 00:00
I didnīt get it running on my QNAP, so I decided to go a more pragmatic way by using foobar2000 and scan replaygain over my connected PC.

That will cause me two full days of server and PC running , but I donīt think that the slow QNAP alone would have been faster scaning a 15k flac collection.