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itunes volume

Phil Bishop

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I think this is a common bugbear - I am sure Chris has commented that it has driven him nuts in the past! Ripping CDs to itunes and then playing back playlists, randomly, or whatever, one gets significant variations in volume/loudness. To take an extreme example, if I followed a track from 10,000 Maniacs' "In my tribe" album (very quiet recording) with a track from Nickelback's "All the right reasons" album (loud!) I would get a sonic shock!


itunes has the "Sound Check" option under "Playback" to adjust volumes automatically. Does anyone use this? Does it compromise bit perfect nature of files, etc?






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Hi Phil - This certainly is an annoyance for a lot of people. It's not really a problem for me, but I am interested in the issue and helping people find a resolution.


Here is a document from Apple's website about Sound Check.





This document describes the Sound Check feature in iTunes.


Sound Check is a feature that allows you to hear all of your songs at approximately the same volume. You can turn Sound Check on and off in the Effects panel of iTunes preferences.

Products Affected




How it works


When Sound Check is on, iTunes scans the songs in your library and computes characteristics of their playback volume. As new songs are added, iTunes computes this information in the background. This data is stored in either the "normalization information" ID3 tag or the iTunes Music Library database. The audio data in your music files is never changed. If you encode or "rip" a song with iTunes, the sound check level is stored in the song's ID3 tags. For songs that were encoded with iTunes 1 or iTunes 2, or another application, the sound check levels are stored in the iTunes Music Library database.


When Sound Check is off


If you turn Sound Check off, the Sound Check data stored for each song is ignored, but not removed from the iTunes Music Library or the ID3 tags.




1. Sound Check works with .mp3, .AAC, .wav, and .aiff file types. It does not work with other file types that iTunes can play.

2. Any boosts in playback volume are protected against clipping by iTunes' built-in limiter."


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