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Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but it didn't seem to fit anywhere else, so here it goes.

So, the question is very simple:
Is there ANY addon/plugin for ANY browser that will automatically normalize audio streams (through R128 or whatever) generated within web pages?

I'm tired of the wild variations in volume across the web, be videos or audio previews from music sites. Sometimes you hear nothing and have to crank up the volume to the max to be just listenable, and then the next thing comes and blows your brains even with the volume at 10%.
Not even commercial cuts on TV are this bad!

Is there ANYTHING to help with this? I've searched for this from time to time but nothing came up.

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #1
Since web pages wouldn't include R128 tags, it isn't possible to use R128.  You could probably find some kind of adaptive limiter or compressor, although it's going to take a bit to estimate the volume so it may not help much.

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #2
There are extensions that can set volume per tab, so in the very least your upcrank is gone when you close it.

Not tried https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/earsoft-level/honjleghghabeieldbhdcnodgcoklfio (a bit of tweaking required).

But is there a way to force audio through a some plug-in player that buffers? 

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #3
Since web pages wouldn't include R128 tags, it isn't possible to use R128.
Well, that'd be needed if you want a "mastered" approach to normalization, and, as you say, you depend on each "publisher" or site manager to provide it. It would be great, but, as you say, it's pretty hopeless. I mean, You can't expect them to care to put R128 tags on their content when they don't care to keep audio at reasonable levels in the first place.

No, I was thinking more of how the R128 DSP in foobar2000 works. Just funnel the decoded audio into it and let i take care of things.
It's not the most optimal approach, certainly, but it would be leaps and bounds better than the current situation, IMHO.

There are extensions that can set volume per tab, so in the very least your upcrank is gone when you close it.
Not tried https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/earsoft-level/honjleghghabeieldbhdcnodgcoklfio (a bit of tweaking required).
But is there a way to force audio through a some plug-in player that buffers? 

I don't use Chrome, but I'll definitelly look into that. Thank you.
And, yes, I think you are saying the same as me.
I may be speaking nonsense here, but, since it is the browser that pipes the decoded audio from the tabs to the system's audio API, it should be possible to place a DSP in the middle, shouldn't it?
Be it through addons, plugins or integrated in the browser itself, I don't care, but this nonsense has to end. xD

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #4
Some sound card drivers have a volume normalization option (the Asus Xonar drivers do,) but it's system-wide.

However, it might not be what you're looking for anyway. Not sure. When I enable it, things that are supposed to be silent get boosted too. For example a silent section of a song is made louder, and when the song naturally gets louder, the driver will then lower the volume.

Also, it doesn't seem to consider actual perceived loudness. It only looks at absolute volume (how close the audio data is to 0db.)

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #5
Some sound card drivers have a volume normalization option (the Asus Xonar drivers do,) but it's system-wide.

However, it might not be what you're looking for anyway. Not sure. When I enable it, things that are supposed to be silent get boosted too. For example a silent section of a song is made louder, and when the song naturally gets louder, the driver will then lower the volume.

Also, it doesn't seem to consider actual perceived loudness. It only looks at absolute volume (how close the audio data is to 0db.)

Yes, I have that too. Both in the manufacturer's driver and also Microsoft's supplied generic driver, but, when I tried, it didn't seem to work very well at all. I guess I could check again and see if quantum mechanics make the result any better this time arround xD
I expect the kind of behavior you mention. It's volume/loudness equalization, it attempts to bring everything to a similar level so you don't have to keep adjusting the volume know all the time to adjust for the variances in the source material. It's not ideal, but it's way better than being blasted across the room.
But in my case, what I recall happening was that everything just got noticeably quieter for no apparent reason, but crazy loud things were still pretty much as loud... Not a lot of equalization going on there if you ask me.

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #6
I may be speaking nonsense here, but, since it is the browser that pipes the decoded audio from the tabs to the system's audio API, it should be possible to place a DSP in the middle, shouldn't it?

That is possible, but how should the DSP in question decide what is loud and what is not without first having access to the whole audio?  For example, suppose you start playing a video that is very loud, but has silence at the start. If you just look at the first few seconds of audio, the DSP may conclude that it needs to raise the volume ... which will blow out your ears as soon as the first loud sound happens :)

Expect the kind of behavior you mention, but in my case, what I recall happening was that everything just got noticeably quieter for no apparent reason, but crazy loud things were still pretty much as loud...

This is what I would expect to happen.  I suggested before trying a compressor, that might work better.  With a compressor, you can just make the difference between loud and quiet sounds smaller, and then lower the volume.  Everything will sound more similar, even if it isn't exactly what you are hoping for.  It will at least avoid the situation you have now where the DSP guesses wrong. 

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #7
suppose you start playing a video that is very loud, but has silence at the start. If you just look at the first few seconds of audio, the DSP may conclude that it needs to raise the volume ... which will blow out your ears as soon as the first loud sound happens :)

Sure, with kode54's fb2k component, material like symphonic music, with alternation of long quiet and loud passages, results in rather unwelcome shifts in volume, raising the volume a few seconds into the quiet sections and lowering it a few seconds into the loud ones. How much does it buffer, 10, 30 seconds?
For most stuff, however, it works pretty well.
Not sure how much the audio buffering needed for such a dsp would disrupt modern html5 playback, though.


This is what I would expect to happen.  I suggested before trying a compressor, that might work better.  With a compressor, you can just make the difference between loud and quiet sounds smaller, and then lower the volume.  Everything will sound more similar, even if it isn't exactly what you are hoping for.  It will at least avoid the situation you have now where the DSP guesses wrong. 

So where do I get that? I'm on Windows7 64bit.

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #8
There is something like this in VLC. Explained: https://www.techjunkie.com/normalize-volume-vlc/
And it is possible to use VLC as browser plugin. I think Firefox dropped plugin support last year, but you could use an older version.

I don't use Chrome
What are you willing to use?

My "solution", by the way, is to use the monitor's speakers by default and switch to loudspeakers only for media players.

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #9
For youtube I use mpv (you can drag and drop links) with loudnorm filter. For example in mpv.conf one could have
Code: [Select]
af=lavfi=[loudnorm=LRA=10:I=-17]
Or more drastic lra=5.  Not a system wide solution, but somehow I have no pleasure messing with alsa or pulse. (Also not very user friendly and will only work for pages supported by youtube-dl).

I imagine something like this
ftp://rpmfind.net/linux/RPM/opensuse/updates/leap/42.2/oss/x86_64/libavdevice-devel-3.2.4-6.3.1.x86_64.html
Might be a master volume type of solution.
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

Re: Audio normalization for web browsers? (or system-wide as fallback)

Reply #10
I use a computer in the living room connected to the TV so I feel your pain.

I also use EqualizerAPO to fix up all the sound going through the computer in the living room.  Lately this has started supporting VST plugins.  So I put a compressor plugin in there.  I shape the sound going in to roughly follow hearing sensitivities and unshape the sound going out to restore correct sound.  The ReaComp compressor plugin has a buit-in low-pass/high-pass function you can use in case you don't want to mess with the sound of the audio stream itself.

To preserve audio sync, the compressor is set to zero lookahead and I use a short RMS window with a long release time.  It's not ideal but sounds okay

 
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