Saturday, July 9, 2011

Replay Gain

I’d say this Replay Gain thing is the coolest thing that appeared on the personal computer music listening world since the birth of Winamp in 1997.

How it works: first you use a Replay Gain scanner to add a couple new tags to each song of your music library. These new tags stamp a relative perceived loudness level corrector to each song, so that when your player plays them, it will raise or lower the volume accordingly, and all the songs will have the same volume (or almost), and you don’t need to raise/lower the volume yourself anymore. This is specially useful if you have a long playlist in shuffle mode, with songs at all sorts of different volumes.

Several music players of today implement Replay Gain, but some of them don’t perform the scan. If you want a suggestion, try foobar2000, it can do all the job.

Corollary: if you have a large and heterogeneous music library, Replay Gain will make you smile.

Now on the technical side: I found what it seems to be the C implementation of the Replay Gain scanner at the (rather old-school) project site. It really drove me curious, I guess I’ll download and try to compile it later.

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