Listening Levels on iPod - A Guide to Using SoundCheck

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aquatika

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From what I've seen Soundcheck is closer to Replaygain (MP3Gain) than you might imagine.

See,
Page 3 about two thirds down
and,
here

The trouble is that Soundcheck calculates things on a per track basis (make everything the same level) while MP3Gain (and the like) have an Album Gain mode where volume is calculated on a relative basis ie. different songs will keep their own relative value to each other, like when seperate songs in an album change volume for effect.

So it seems that Soundcheck is on the right track but not perfect. I can't explain the technical side of things but those links might help somebody who can, understand it.
 

lemon67

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K, my problem is weird. I use ephpod for my uploading and such, i find it doesnt lag or mess up like itunes. My problem is weird. sooo I have this album I ripped to VBR, all in the same session with the same settings, then up loaded to my ipod. Then on my ipod with soundcheck enabled, all of the songs on that album are loud and nice, except one which is quieter that all the rest. WHen I turn soundcheck off, all the rest of the songs become that volume. Please help, its really bugging me, mp3gain does nothing, nothing seems to effect the volume of it, I have even rencoded and even downloaded a completley different version of the same song, it is still quieter. WTF???? yet it sounds perfect with the rest of the songs on the album in winamp. Please please help. Thanks everyone!!
 

rockjc

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There is one thing that I am not clear on. I have been using my ipod/itunes for a year or so, but decided to turn on sound check in itunes today. It went through my entire library and adjusted all of the songs on my computer. What I can't figure out, is if that new information is transferred to my ipod when I sync. I attached my ipod, and it transferred the one or two new songs I had, but I didn't see where it did anything else. Does this happen in the background, or does it not transfer the info on songs that are already on the ipod?
 

aquatika

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The Soundcheck info will be transfered to your iPod automatically. All you have to do is sync and then enable Soundcheck on your iPod (in the Settings menu) for it to work.
 

threenin

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one thing that also should be taken into consideration is that sound check uses excess battery. it's a real hassle for me, whose battery is horrible. good feature, but wityh drawbacks.
 

Christian Otte

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So, just to set things straight - if I use MP3Gain, would I have to turn on Sound Check in iTunes and on my iPod?
 

aquatika

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So, just to set things straight - if I use MP3Gain, would I have to turn on Sound Check in iTunes and on my iPod?
If you use MP3Gain in Track mode then no, you wouldn't have to use Soundcheck. You'll find that MP3Gain is far better than Soundcheck which still seems to vary the volume of tracks quite considerably.

If you use MP3Gain in Album mode but still decide you want to sometimes have everything playback at the same volume then you would use Soundcheck as well.
 

Wally King

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Aquatika,

You wrote that your volume settings in "Get Info" are transferred over to your iPod. I hope you're right about this, as this has not happened for me. Also, when I burned a CD of a playlist in which I'd made manual volume adjustments for various tracks in iTunes, the volume settings were not copied to the CD.

When I've asked the iTunes help desk people about this, all they can say is to use Sound Check. So, if you've found a way to solve this problem, I'd love to hear about it.
 

smartalic34

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I found that if you get the songs in itunes within a certain volume range, sound check does an excellent job of making volume consistent... however, itunes get info option must be also used for sound check to be effective
 

filrkaye

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I find thou that even when I have the sound check check on itunes and then tranfer them to the ipod and that is also checked I still find soem cd's are louder than others. I also find that some mp3's are so soft that it is such a varience. ALso I tried to use mp3gain and use that for all the songs but I am not sure once I do that if I am still supposed to keep the soundcheck on in itunes and the ipod aswell?
 

filrkaye

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I find thou that even when I have the sound check check on itunes and then tranfer them to the ipod and that is also checked I still find soem cd's are louder than others. I also find that some mp3's are so soft that it is such a varience. ALso I tried to use mp3gain and use that for all the songs but I am not sure once I do that if I am still supposed to keep the soundcheck on in itunes and the ipod aswell?
 

filrkaye

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I find thou that even when I have the sound check check on itunes and then tranfer them to the ipod and that is also checked I still find soem cd's are louder than others. I also find that some mp3's are so soft that it is such a varience. ALso I tried to use mp3gain and use that for all the songs but I am not sure once I do that if I am still supposed to keep the soundcheck on in itunes and the ipod aswell?
 

filrkaye

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Aquatika,

You mentioned MP3#gain what is the process you use..do you import tracks to your computer then do a track analysis through mp3 gain(what db do you set the tracks at?) then import them to itunes? Do you not use the soundcheck on itunes and ipod when importing?

Thanks,
Fil
 

aquatika

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what is the process you use
I rip the tracks, import them to iTunes with Soundcheck enabled and then use Album Gain at 89db on the files.

As long as I do this before transfering any new music to my iPod then the changes will be reflected on it as well.

Soundcheck is flawed, it does not do a great job of normalizing all your music. Use MP3Gain Track Gain for better results. Using both MP3Gain and Soundcheck will not create any conflict, but if you have used MP3Gain Track Gain then there is no point enabling Soundcheck.
 
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filrkaye

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Aquatika,

How are you able to use the MP3 Gain on the itunes files..I di dnot htink it recognizes the acc files?
 

aquatika

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You can adjust AAC files ripped yourself using iTunes, you can't adjust the iTunes Music Store files.

Read the MP3Gain usage guide and look for AACGain.
 

filrkaye

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I tried to download the acc gain from 2/4/20...I downloaded it and then extracted the folder and renamed it mp3gain.exe and copied to the existing mp3gain.exe in the mprgain folder but when I try to add an acc file(that I ripped) I then I use the drop down menu since it does not recognize the file to select all files and click the track gain bitton...I get the yellow error box come up. It does not work? Any ideas?? Thanks for your help on this.
 

aquatika

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Hang in there, it's not difficult. All you have to do is replace the mp3gain.exe Too tired just now to explain it. Keep trying !! Everything is in the posts. Read .......
MP3Gain is worth the trouble. This is the number one tool for improving your music and the reason I won't buy ITMS files.

:)
 

wyneken

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I'm having a slightly different experience on an iPod shuffle.

I find that no matter how I adjust sound levels -- either by manually setting the volume adjustment, or by turning on Sound Check -- the results are not the same on the iPod as they are on the computer.

To be specific, the iPod seems to amplify whatever changes I have made to the volume level. If I adjust the volume upward a tiny bit, so that the sound level sounds correct when played back on the computer, it will sound MUCH louder on the iPod. This is frustrating because my personal experience, over the years I've been using iTunes, is that Sound Check is too flaky to be trusted completely.

Which brings me to another question. If I have manually adjusted the sound level of a song, and then I switch Sound Check on, how does the software treat this? Does it ignore my adjustments and proceed with sound-checking as usual, or does it somehow combine the two -- using my adjusted sound level as the baseline for calculating the Sound Check value?
 

aquatika

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If I have manually adjusted the sound level of a song, and then I switch Sound Check on, how does the software treat this?
Are you talking about adjusting sound level via MP3Gain or by using the iTunes volume slider ??

the results are not the same on the iPod as they are on the computer.
They won't be, your iPod and PC are very different pieces of hardware.
I don't even know if Soundcheck works on the Shuffle (I don't think it does), as there is no way to enable/ disable it on the Shuffle. So any music your listening to on your PC using Soundcheck will sound different on your Shuffle because it doesn't support it.
 
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