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Normalize mp3

What is normalizing?

Due to volume differences between audio tracks, normalization allows you to set the volume consistent between tracks during the encoding or burning process. The process usually used to achieve this is peak normalization. In this process, the level of each track is adjusted so that the loudest moment (technically the largest sample value) is adjusted to peak at the largest allowed value by turning up the gain the required amount. Unfortunately it does not work well. But there is a solution to this problem, read on.


Can I normalize MP3 files
(make them play at a standard volume)?

Yes you can! However, most programs do NOT do this properly. Those programs use peak normalization which is a bad indicator of the overall volume of an mp3.

Also, what they generally do is decode the file back to WAV, normalize the WAV, then re-encode it to mp3. And this results in a significant loss of sound quality. Even if some software claim no loss of quality when normalizing, they are just lying. Make no mistake, you're still decoding and re-encoding when you do this, and you will lose some quality each time to re-save a changed file in MP3 format, and hence re-encode it.


What is the best way to normalize mp3 files?

mp3gainThe best way to normalize your mp3s is to use a free software called MP3Gain. MP3Gain automatically adjusts mp3s so that they all have the same volume.

But MP3Gain does not decode and re-encode the mp3 to change its volume (this is good). You can change the volume as many times as you want, and the mp3 will sound just as good (or just as bad!) as it did before you started. Mp3Gain uses a special algorithm to calculate how loud the file actually sounds to a human's ears and writes a tag corresponding to the decibel value in the mp3.

That tag will be read by any mp3 player that you play the file with. Let Mp3Gain analyze your whole mp3 library and all your songs will sound the same volume! But if for some reason, you want the volume back to its original value, Mp3Gain can remove the tag for you and the volume will be just as before.

Recommend decibel value to use is 89 decibels (default value).


other mp3 help topics:

glossary - what is mp3 - legal mp3 download - streaming radio - audio formats - listen to mp3s - connect computer to stereo - cd to mp3 makers - mp3 bitrate - cda to mp3 - wav to mp3 - mp3 to wav - mp3 to cd - id3 tag - normalize mp3 - problems

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