Sick of manually adjusting volume between different tracks? If you've ever listened to a playlist or used the shuffle feature, you've definitely noticed that various albums and tracks playback at extreme levels... undoubtedly causing you to frantically adjust your volume.
To fix the problem Winamp supports Replay Gain (or ReplayGain), which is a "proposed standard to normalize the perceived loudness of computer audio formats" (check-out the Wikipedia article
for more info). Not getting into the details, basically what happens when you use the Replay Gain feature is that Winamp will do an analysis on all selected tracks in an effort to automatically level the volume between those tracks. When you turn on Replay Gain, you'll have two options: track-gain or album-gain.
Track-gain is performed on all selected tracks so that they will be at equal volume on playback. Whereas with album-gain analysis, an additional value is measured to take into account the intended volume differences for tracks on the same album. When you calculate Replay Gain, you should ALWAYS select "Save as Album". This will save BOTH album gain and track gain. The only reason you'd ever want to do "Save Track Data" is if you had an incomplete album (such as only having one track from a particular album).
There are two important things to note before you calculate replay gain. The first is that once you've calculated the Replay Gain it adds metadata to the audio files WITHOUT actually altering the original audio data. Winamp writes the Replay Gain info to the file tags (for mp3, wma, ogg, flac, m4a, & aac files), so that Winamp (or other app/player which supports RG) can read it. The second thing to note is that Replay Gain tends to turn down the overall volume. Since a quieter overall music listening experience might throw people for a spin, we thought we'd mention it ahead of time. The idea is that the "target" loudness level was chosen so that certain music (such as classical music) didn't have to be cranked up to the point where the songs start to clip or distort.
How to apply RG to your music files:
1) Select the files you would like adjusted (DO NOT try to calculate your entire library at once)
2) Right click and choose Send To -> Calculate Replay Gain
3) Once the files are analyzed, choose "Save As Album".
- only choose "Save Track data" if you just have one (or a few) tracks from a particular album.
4) Once you've scanned your library, you'll still need to set your Preferences to turn on Replay Gain. Put a check-mark next to the Preferences to turn it on. (Ctrl+P) Playback -> Replay Gain tab -> Select "use Replay Gain". Under "Preferred source", you can freely toggle between the album & track playback options w/o rescanning. The only time you'll need to rescan is when you add new songs to your library.
- Select "Track" if you are going to listen to your library on shuffle or if listening to a playlist
- Select "Album" if you are going to listen to complete albums
Replay Gain Settings:
- Amplification Mode: 'Apply Gain/Prevent Clipping' is default & recommended. It will level out the volume & prevent distortion.
- Preferred Source: Choose between 'Track' (default) or 'Album' modes.
- Disable if preferred source not available: Disables RG is e.g. 'Album' mode is selected but only 'Track' info is available.
- Adjustment for files without RG: Pre-amp selection applied to all files without Replay Gain info (default value is -6.0 dB.) -6.0dB was chosen as an average across a broad music collection. If you listen to mostly newer rock music and pop music, you might find that -8.0dB or -9.0dB might be more typical of the average loudness adjustment.
- Related Links:
Winamp Forum Post - Replay Gain in Winamp?
Replay Gain Proposed Standard on hydrogenaudio
Wikipedia Article on Replay Gain