Listening Levels on iPod - A Guide to Using SoundCheck

GO TO ADMIN PANEL > ADD-ONS AND INSTALL VERTIFORO SIDEBAR TO SEE FORUMS AND SIDEBAR

wyneken

New member
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
857
Points
0
Age
68
Location
internal exile
OK, I think I've found answers to my questions -- and I see I wasn't really clear in expressing them before.

It's true, the iPod shuffle does not support Sound Check. But I don't really like Sound Check, for reasons others have expressed in this thread. So I need to adjust the volume in some other way.

MP3Gain is a Windows-only app, I think? So I can't use that. There is a nifty Mac app called iVolume that analyzes the sound content of your music and adjusts the playback level within iTunes by resetting the "Volume Adjustment" slider. (You can do your whole library at once, or on an album-by-album or song-by-song basis.) This works quite well, except ...

Now we come to the iPod firmware bug. It turns out that if you adjust the sound level within iTunes (either manually, or by running a utility like iVolume), the results will sound quite different on your iPod. Specifically, the iPod will amplify the adjustments you made by a factor of 6.25. So if you moved the slider to +10, the track will play back on the iPod as though you had moved it to +62.

I don't know whether this bug affects music that has been adjusted using MP3Gain.

The bottom line, at least for Mac owners, is that you have three choices (that I'm aware of).

1. Trust Sound Check to adjust sound levels accurately.
2. Adjust sound levels so the music sounds right on your computer.
3. Adjust sound levels so the music sounds right on your iPod.

Options 2 and 3 can be automated with iVolume (the latter by checking a box that says "Adjust for iPod with buggy firmware.") Option 3 seems like the best bet for Shuffle owners, since the Shuffle does not support Sound Check. It may also be the best choice for other Mac/iPod owners who don't have total faith in Sound Check, like me.

It's weird, though, that Apple won't just fix this. There have been posts in this forum going back at least 1-1/2 years on this topic.
 

aquatika

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,153
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Scotland
Although it's not perfect Soundcheck is closer to ReplayGain then you might think. MP3Gain is not perfect either, a lot of classical music does not react well to MP3Gain and shows clipping even at low volume.

It's a toss up of what you are happy with yourself. The combination of Soundcheck and the iTunes volume slider is not a bad solution. Sometimes a bit of effort on your music collection is not a bad thing, you'll appreciate it more.

Whatever works for you, MAC or PC. Go Ahead !!!

:D
 
Last edited:

wyneken

New member
Joined
Jan 28, 2005
Messages
857
Points
0
Age
68
Location
internal exile
aquatika said:
Sometimes a bit of effort on your music collection is not a bad thing, you'll appreciate it more.
I hear you, bro! I've been making a concerted effort lately to work my way through my whole library (~15k tracks), revisiting all my genre tags and ratings and volume settings. It's a great exercise but it's going to take a few months, I'm afraid. While I'm at it, I'd love to resolve this issue of different sound levels on the iPod vs computer.

Thanks for your assistance.
 

aquatika

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,153
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Scotland
the iPod shuffle does not support Sound Check
iPod Updater 2005-09-23 which includes new firmware version 1.1.2 for the Shuffle now adds Soundcheck support for Shuffles. It must be used in conjunction with iTunes 5.* and above though.

After installing the new firmware and iTunes 5 just right click on the Shuffle icon when it is connected and select iPod Options. There is a new selection box there now to Use Soundcheck.

:)

Edit: Just tried it and it works. Just remember that Soundcheck must still be enabled in iTunes and it must have scanned all your music.
 
Last edited:

Chumley

New member
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
2
Points
0
Just a quick question - I have recently moved over from real player to iTunes as I was fed up with problems and having to adjust volume all the time. I heard that Soundcheck adjusts the playback volume to the same level. 2 questions arise from this - does it change the actual file itself or does it just process the activation of Soundcheck within iTunes? and secondly does it amplify quieter songs or reduce the louder ones? All the songs i have are already in my docs and I have nothing else to import as yet.

Thanks
 

aquatika

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,153
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Scotland
does it change the actual file itself or does it just process the activation of Soundcheck within iTunes?
It does not change the actual file.

secondly does it amplify quieter songs or reduce the louder ones
Difficult to say how it works exactly, usually it seems to reduce the volume of louder files.
 

DJ LUCiTE

*Not really a DJ
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Messages
94
Points
0
Age
32
Location
In front of my Mac
Website
www.xanga.com
Does anyone know a way to reset the soundcheck data? About 300 of my songs were scanned before I found out about AACGain, and now that I AACGained my entire library, I don't think the songs are the same level anymore when using soundcheck.
 

aquatika

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
1,153
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Scotland
Does anyone know a way to reset the soundcheck data? About 300 of my songs were scanned before I found out about AACGain, and now that I AACGained my entire library, I don't think the songs are the same level anymore when using soundcheck
Check out this thread. All the info you ask for is in there.

:)
 

optokoax

New member
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
17
Points
0
Sound check is not working for some songs

Hi there,

I have a ipod photo and am using the sound check function. Everything is fine, sound check is activated on both itunes and the ipod. Oddly, the volume of some songs haven't been adjusted, like 1-2 songs from a 20 track CD. I don't have a clue why the sound check isn't working for every song imported. It's annoying to listen to a CD and the volume is increasing about 35% bc one of the songs' volume hasn't been adjusted. The CDs have been imported after sound check has been set up, so it's not a sound check on/off confusion.

Any clues why this is or how to correct that? Actually I could manually correct the volume but I rather prefer that sound check is working properly. Problem is with manually corrected volumes, when I'm listening to them via the dock connector the manually corrected song volumes are ignored and I'm back where I started.

Is there any way to force sound check on songs which were ignored in the first place?

Thanks

Sorry, for the double post.
 

optokoax

New member
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
17
Points
0
I have found a solution after scrounging the net, so far there is no way to force itunes to do (or re-do) sound check for songs that have been ignored during their import, but:

delete the song from your library, use a tool/software to delete all tags from that song (like tidymp3), imort that song to your library again, itunes applies sound check now. Downside: you have to redo all song information as it's blank now.

Odd, itunes seems to ignore some songs (around 1%???) when it comes to normalization of their volumes during import. I have ca. 7500 songs in my library and I stumble over not normalized songs again and again. Is this a bug?
 

bioss

New member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
71
Points
0
Location
Belgium
Website
bioss.net
my experience is that changing any of the mp3-tag info (like artist or album fields), will 'trigger' the iTunes volume adjustment
 

marc8773

New member
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Messages
84
Points
0
Age
47
Location
Maryland
I've been trying to solve this problem as well. I clicked SOUNDCHECK and saw that it began scanning the songs in my library once I did. The weird thing is that it only scanned 2600 songs of 4000+. Any idea why that is?

What's the deal with MP3Gain? Is it a must or do you think I can get away with turning on the soundcheck on both itunes and the ipod?

Last question - Do I need to go into itunes and "update ipod" once I've run the soundcheck?

Thanks!
 

slimmer1972

New member
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
13
Points
0
Age
49
Location
Canada
Volume levels

I've read through everything that everyone had to say here, but I still find that after enabling the Sound Check on both the iPod AND iTunes, that playback of songs (usually with higher bit rates <192, 320, etc.>) are MUCH louder and I have to manually lower the volume levels back in iTunes when I get home.

And seeing that I have a 60G, it has taken literally months to do and I'm still not done.

What am I missing here?!
 

Almahadeus

New member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
56
Points
0
slimmer1972 said:
I've read through everything that everyone had to say here, but I still find that after enabling the Sound Check on both the iPod AND iTunes, that playback of songs (usually with higher bit rates <192, 320, etc.>) are MUCH louder and I have to manually lower the volume levels back in iTunes when I get home.

And seeing that I have a 60G, it has taken literally months to do and I'm still not done.

What am I missing here?!
hmmmmmmmm...............MP3Gain maybe.
 

moogaloo

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
8
Points
0
Can someone tell me once and for all, that if I use soundcheck will it equalize the volume within a song or raise or lower the overall volume of the song?

I am bit scared that songs that have quiet bits and load bits will end up being all the same level?
 

moogaloo

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
8
Points
0
Ok so I enabled soundtack and after leaving it for about an hour it had got through about a third of my collection. I closed the PC down, but next time I started itunes it did not continue. I disabled soundcheck, closed down, logged back on, re-enabled and still nothing.

How do I get it itunes to continue? Or is it and it is just not letting me know what is happening?
 

1138

New member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
137
Points
0
I've never used soundcheck in iTunes, yet whenever I use it on my iPod, it lowers the volume of all songs to the level of the softest song I have on it. Is that supposed to happen?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
13,238
Points
36
Age
49
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.ilounge.com
Are your tracks ripped from CD or imported from other sources? I've noticed that some versions of iTunes do apply sound check normalization to tracks that are ripped from CD (into iTunes directly), regardless of whether sound check is enabled in iTunes or not.

Once the tags have been applied, they will be used by iTunes or the iPod whenever sound check is actually enabled.
 
Top