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Topic: MP3Gain Advice (Read 502 times) previous topic - next topic
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MP3Gain Advice

I've used MP3GAIN successfully for a LONG time but given that it hasn't been updated in years I figure it;s time to change to something like FOOBAR2000 for REPLAYGAIN adjustment. My dilemma, I have over 90000 MP3's that I've modified with MP3GAIN and when I use FOOBAR2000 on newer MP3's the adjustment isn't the same (ie it's relatively louder).  So my question is, what's the best way to completely switch over to FOOBAR2000? Should I run MP3GAIN Undo on all my files and then apply FB2000 REPLAYGAIN on all of them? Or should I just apply FB2000 RG on them as they are right now?

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #1
There's no harm in leaving them as-is.  You probably know that MP3Gain is a lossless change.    I don't know the exact details but it just changes some kind of "amplification" field in the MP3 header, leaving the actual MP3 audio data untouched.

on newer MP3's the adjustment isn't the same (ie it's relatively louder)
It's also a "finer" adjustment (1/10th of a dB?).    MP3Gain can only make 1.5dB adjustments because of limitations of the MP3 format.

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #2
foobar2000 has switched to the newer EBU gain algorithm. Not everyone was happy with that, it was better for some genres than others.

Bottom line is ... if you are satisfied with how loud they sound, then leave them as they are?
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Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #3
My concern is (1) MP3GAIN is so SLOW (2) It's so OLD that I don't see it being around forever and I'm looking for a more permanent solution. I need to dig into the details of what MP3GAIN actually does to the MP3 file and I'm wondering (1) if I need to rerip my 90000 WAV files again and use FB2K REPLAYGAIN or (2) whether I can just apply FB2K REPLAYGAIN on top of my existing MP3GAIN modified files

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #4
(2) is unclear as of what you mean by "apply". And I assume you don't have those 90k .wav's anymore?

Short explanation:

* "Any" tag-able format can be tagged with ReplayGain information. That does not change the audio itself, it just tells the player "adjust the volume by ...".
* Although, not all players support that. That is when mp3gain (the app) might be handy.

* If you want to adjust volume for use in a player that does not support ReplayGain tagging, then what? Then volume needs to be "right" when you feed it to the player. To that end, you can in MP3 actually change the volume in 1.5 dB steps without decoding/re-encoding: the mp3 format has such a "volume control" per block.
* Mp3gain (the application) can do that - and it will write "undo information" to tags so you can revert back if you want to. (Reverting Mp3gain is lossless. The mp3gain application you have already done, loses nothing from the original signal - if you sabotaged it to make > 100 dB volume changes you might get round-off errors of data that was on a CD.)


As long as you don't need the mp3gain'ing, you can revert it. Say if your player of choice if ReplayGain-aware, then (1) revert using mp3gain, (2) run a RG scanner that writes tags (old tags will be wrong!). You don't "apply" the new RG to the audio, you just play, and the player will read from tags and adjust.

"can" revert, I wrote: if you are happy with your files as they are ... you don't have to.
But here is one scenario where I would have reverted: if you ran mp3gain per track, and wish you had volume adjustment per album
(I mean, if an album - that is not a compilation - has a quiet track and a loud track, it is reasonable to assume it was done deliberately. Reverting per-track MP3gain and then running an RG scan, will get you both "album gain" and "track gain" (and peak values stored), and if it is a compilation where you don't want volume adjustment by album, you can just delete the "track" tags.)
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Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #5
By 'revert' I assume you mean running MP3GAIN undo? Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it... 

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #6
And I do have the original 90K+ WAV files, its just that reripping and tagging  them/getting them into iTunes would be a major effort...

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #7
Uh, by "reripping" you mean you have the physical CDs, but not the files?
Or did you mean "converting"?

Using MusicBrainz Picard, you can do a whole lot of tagging automatically.
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Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #8
I meant reconverting from WAV to MP3 using dBpoweramp, I think I’m stuck with MP3gain for now since the Apple iPhone/iPod don’t support RG and I’ve never investigated Soundcheck

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #9
Ah, OK. iThings ... foobar2000 can copy RG tags to Soundcheck. For a supported file type, mark files, Shift+right-click -> ReplayGain. Under Preferences -> Advanced you can set it to write Soundcheck by default, and to select target loudness between Apple's idea and what everyone else uses.
But I wouldn't do this with mp3gain'd mp3's. Then I would undo.

Actually, I would try to get the wav's out into a sensible lossless format. I would be hard pressed to recommend ALAC, but it works with iThings.
What do you have of tags, logs and cuesheets for the .wav files? (How did you rip them?)

There "must" be some audio deduplicator that transfers tags; i.e., looks up files from folder A that sound the same as folder B, and transfers the tags.  (Actually I just found out I need one ...)
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Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #10
I used Exact Audio Copy and have both WAV/CUE files and logs for all 90K tracks

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #11
I use dBpoweramp to convert to MP3 and mp3tag/Tag&Rename to tag MP3's using artist/album/track information from file name

Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #12
I used Exact Audio Copy and have both WAV/CUE files and logs for all 90K tracks
CUETools can recognize the image by .cue and/or EAC logfile, and
* convert all to either image or tracks using your fave lossless format (... 3 TB), '
* tagging it using MusicBrainz,
* retro-verifying against AccurateRip and/or CUETools' own database,
and maybe if needed
* repair erroneous rips

If MP3 filenames match .wav filenames, then you can replace the MP3s, even.

Relevant thread for fb2k&iThings users:
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Re: MP3Gain Advice

Reply #13
Very cool, I''ll definitely check it out. Thanks  ;)