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Topic: Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS (Read 5620 times) previous topic - next topic
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Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

It's recently been revealed elsewhere by Bob Katz and Ian Shepherd "here on Youtube" that iTunes (quietly) rolled out support for per album normalization via Soundcheck. (Before it was only done on a per-song basis and one could hear an intentionally quiet track at an insanely loud level when listening to an entire album rather than shuffling.)

Since I'm primarily an album-listener this seems great -BUT- it's only been demonstrated that it works with the iTunes desktop software. Does anyone know if it actually works correctly on the iDevices? If so will it just sync albums with the proper levels for "album mode" or must the Soundcheck switch be enabled in iOS Music options (and if so is that a separate process of scanning and normalizing?)
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #1
I've been using album mode sound check on my iPod since 2004 when foobar added support for it. If you can't get iTunes to do it, use some other software.

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #2
I've been using album mode sound check on my iPod since 2004 when foobar added support for it. If you can't get iTunes to do it, use some other software.

How do you add soundcheck tags/info with foobar2000?

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #3
Well, I figured it out myself after fooling around with it a bit. It seems "per album normalization" does not work under iOS (but does work with the desktop software under OS X.)

Normalization also works with Apple Lossless files (ALAC) as well as AAC and MP3. I figured this all out while listening to one of the few ALAC-encoded albums in my iTunes library on my iPhone 4S running iOS7. The CD's my Japanese-pressing of Dissection's "Storm of the Light's Bane" which contains a bonus quiet spoken/instrumental track called "Feathers Fell." The track was loud as all-hell when played back in album-mode. (I turned the normalization switch off mid-track and it was reduced to its normal volume.) Case closed
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #4
How do you add soundcheck tags/info with foobar2000?


It seems they are added on-the-fly when sending to the iPod, and the notes in the config screen indicate tracks already on the iPod can have Sound Check metadata added with the "update metadata" option.

Also on the config screen is the option to choose track or album mode, as well as a 'preamp' gain.

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #5
It should be noted that the only way to send them to an iDevice using foobar2000 is with a piece of legacy software which is no longer supported by its author, who seems to have disappeared off the face of the forums years ago. This component does not work with recent versions of iTunes or iDevices which require these recent versions of iTunes.

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #6
Also this new feature of 1.3.1 beta should help: ReplayGain scanner component: support for altering loudness of MP4/AAC files.

Obviously it's not for everyone since it modifies the audio data inside the file but for someone like me that always starts from the lossless version, it's perfect.

Thanks Peter for integrating it.

 

Album-Mode Soundcheck Normalization for iOS

Reply #7
This response is about OSX as well as IOS, sorry for sliding the topic. I also can confirm that as of this date, iTunes on IOS does NOT perform album normalization.

Does anyone know where Apple stores its album normalization metadata? As you may know, iTunes (on OSX) uses the Sound Check gain of the loudest song on an album to perform album normalization. This gain overrides the Get Info gain for all the other songs in the album. So, where is the information on what is the loudest song stored?

Yesterday I figured out how iTunes (on the computer) decides whether album normalization or singles normalization is in effect, and the algorithm is very simple:

All songs play in album mode, all the time, UNLESS a song from one album precedes a song from another album. In that case the song which precedes the song from the different album plays in singles mode. This means that if two contiguous songs are from an album they will play in album mode, even if they are out of order. As long as  How thoughtful!

This algorithm holds whether iTunes is in the artist tab, songs tab, album tab, or playlist. It also holds in shuffle mode.

The down side to this algorithm is that if you make a playlist with two albums, the LAST song in the first album will play at singles gain. Perhaps iTunes has a rationalization for performing this, so as to smooth out transitions between two completely unrelated albums. But I think they'll be wrong as much as right in this case. And it prevents us from making a playlist that plays properly with, for example, two symphonies in a row. The last movement of the first symphony will be played at the wrong gain. Or two albums from a double album set by the same artist... when shuffled, you can end up with weird effects like the ballads playing as loud as the rockers.

 
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