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A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

I have a FiiO X3 v.2 loaded with music, mostly FLACs but a few MP3s for songs that I no longer have access to the original media. I've used Foobar to calculate ReplayGain values for all of my music, operating in the "adjust gain and prevent clipping" mode.

Albums have Track and Album values calculated. Singles have Track values calculated and then copied to the Album field using mp3tag. This way, I can have my FiiO X3 set to use Album ReplayGain values, and my singles won't be blaringly-loud due to having the Album fields empty.

For the most part this works, but there are a few mp3 singles that are inexplicably louder than the rest, by about 6-8dB by my estimation. I can't figure out why this is happening. They play correctly in Foobar. (or if they are louder when played in Foobar, I can't hear the difference for some reason.) I checked the ReplayGain values on the affected songs, and they are within the expected range for the type of music and the year it was mastered. I tried resetting the library on my FiiO X3 and rescanning the media card, and that had no effect. I tried completely reloading the media card and that had no effect either. mp3tag shows no unexpected tags in the "Extended Tags" display  for the affected tracks. I'm stumped. Thoughts?

Re: A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

Reply #1
Quote
Albums have Track and Album values calculated. Singles have Track values calculated and then copied to the Album field using mp3tag. This way,
I wonder if that's not working...   You might not notice it except for the extra-loud tracks...   Maybe the FiiO  does something "different" with the ReplayGain tags.

As a work-around, maybe use Mp3Gain for the problem tracks (or all of the singles if that's manageable).

Re: A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

Reply #2
I thought that might be the case, but the Track Gain -to- Album Gain tag-copying trick works fine for other singles. I can't determine any pattern to the tracks that seem to be too loud.

I used mp3gain on a copy of my music library that I converted to mp3 for use with an old mp3-only music player that doesn't recognize ReplayGain tags, and that works fine. I considered doing it with the original mp3s that I have on my FiiO as well, but as I understand it, mp3gain isn't reversible like ReplayGain tags are. I'm not sure if it's some kind of super-fast normalization or what, but I haven't found a way to undo it and return mp3gain-ed tracks to their original volume if necessary. Besides, I don't know for certain that only mp3s have this problem; there could be FLACs that play too loud on my FiiO X3 as well, I just haven't found any yet.

Re: A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

Reply #3
I have the FiiO X1

In album mode the player does not fallback to track mode if album info is missing.

MP3 tracks regardless if there's ReplayGain present or not, do not work at all.

ACC / LC (from iTunes Store) does work if the ReplayGain feature is turned on.

For my FiiO X1 I converted everything that wasn't FLAC to FLAC because I got tired of format-specific playback issues because it seemed to have the least amount of issues with that particular format.  I was annoyed when FiiO themselves stopped supporting the player and left so many unfixed issues behind.  For 99% of my library of mostly FLAC albums I just simply modified the album tag and subtracted 10 dB for whatever value that was in the tag (because there was no Preamp adjustment and I know what I used on players that had that feature).  I doubt I see a stable working Rockbox port for this player anytime soon because it fix a lot of issues.  I mostly use my phone now for portable on the go audio (supports twice the size SD Card that the FiiO X1 does) and I don't have any of those issues.

Not surprised that the FiiO X3 V2 has the same issues.

Re: A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

Reply #4
I know for a fact that ReplayGain does work on MP3 tracks when they are played on the FiiO X3 v2. I made multiple copies of a very loud MP3 and applied different gain-adjustment methods to it, then copied them to the FiiO and played them back. There was an obvious reduction in volume with ReplayGain applied to the MP3, and to my ears it was equal to the reduction in volume when playing the same MP3 after permanently reprocessing it. I actually did this for all of my various music players, because I wanted to know which gain-adjustment methods to use with each. Here were the results:

MP3
FiiO X3Archos GMini XS202Philips EXP431Sony Hi-MD (no conversion)Sony Hi-MD (converted to ATRAC)
No Adjustment
Normalized - ReplayGain
Normalized - MP3 Gain
Normalized - Reprocessed
FLAC
FiiO X3Archos GMini XS202Philips EXP431Sony Hi-MD (no conversion)Sony Hi-MD (converted to WAV, then ATRAC)
No Adjustment---
Normalized - ReplayGain---
Normalized - Reprocessed---
WMA Lossless
FiiO X3Archos GMini XS202Philips EXP431Sony Hi-MD (no conversion)Sony Hi-MD (converted to ATRAC)
No Adjustment---
Normalized - ReplayGain---
Normalized - Reprocessed---
WAV
FiiO X3Archos GMini XS202Philips EXP431Sony Hi-MD (no conversion)
No Adjustment
Normalized - ReplayGain
Normalized - Reprocessed

...can I just say, manually converting my notes from Notepad into a web table was a labor of love.

So anyway, it's only a few MP3s that seem to play too loud.

Re: A few songs mysteriously louder on FiiO X3 v.2 with ReplayGain active

Reply #5
Wonder why it doesn't work on any of my MP3s on X1 (1st gen)?  Then again maybe it's because FiiO supported the X3 (2nd Gen) longer and fixed the bug?  Has it been narrowed down to which tags the X3 (2nd Gen) expects to work?

 
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