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Thanks for the tips.

I've done a test run with Foobar2000 and it seems straightforward to use. I'm setting both Album and Track Replaygain Tags with the Album setting based on select by tag. I play music both randomly and by album so need both at different times.

Hi Guys
I have some queries

1)Should I use apply gain with clipping or just gain??

2)dbamp set to 0 which is 89db or should I use another number ?

3) I dont understand where foobar save the tag on id3 or ape? I want to use id3

4)is it dangerous to set both Album and Track Replaygain ?
I'm no expert but this is what I'm doing....

1. Just applying gain and not bothering about clipping.

2. The de facto standard seems to be 89db and this is what I use.

3. Foobar saves the tag in the metadata part of the music file. The default, I think, in Foobar is for ID3v2.3 tags to be written. You can check or alter this in Foobar by going to Files>Preferences>Advanced>Tagging>MP3

4. You can set both Album and Track Replaygain. Within Kodi you have the option to set the default as one or the other. If you listen to random music then I would suggest setting it to Track Replaygain. If you're going to listen to complete albums, then set it to Album Replaygain.

The replaygain tags are non destructive and don't affect the original levels. Rather the values are picked up by the player and used to adjust the pre amplification to produce a perceived constant 'volume'. Some programs, such as MP3Gain do have the ability to actually apply the gain settings to the music data file itself and this could be useful if you playback the music via a program that does not read and use the replaygain tags. However, you've now destroyed the original data - unless you've taken a backup.
Just want to chip in here and let users know of a potential alternative that I use that is (somewhat) linked to Foobar2000...

If like me, you simply can't get your head around Foobar2000 and want a method slightly simpler, try dbPoweramp's Batch Converter with the ReplayGain Plugin/'encoder'. The [ReplayGain] 'encoder' does not alter the audio data in any way, it simply adds the relevent tags to the ID3 tags of your music files, and that's it. It supports Album Gain, Track Gain, Album/Track Peak and ItunesNORM tags. Combinations of all of these are selectable and it also suppports the 'EBU-R128' method algorithm that is supposed to be superior even to the ReplayGain standard while still writing the calculated values using standards-compliant 'ReplayGain' ID3 tags. It will also work on ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 tags without issue.

The only caveat(s) with dbPoweramp is it's not free. The other being that it uses a 2-pass approach. 1st pass to calulate the values, and second pass to actually write them to the source files. However the UI has no progress indication for the second pass, so it can appear as if the converter has 'hung' when processing large amounts of files at the same time. Reason being the 1st pass is run on all selected files, then the 2nd pass is run on the whole file list again. Progress (and the ability to cancel/back-out) is only available for the duration of the 1st pass, so once it's visually 'complete', it proceeds to write out the calculated values on a per-album basis to all the tracks selected. This can induce a considerable delay. Best to run this one overnight if processing a whole library at once. It also tends to baulk on files with even the simplest of errors, so I generally run my files through MP3Diags first (for MP3 files only).

My collection consists solely of FLACS and MP3s as I found out (to my own cost), that M4A's are not nearly as resilient to corruption as I initially thought they would be, especially when using Rsync-type tools to move them about on my network, and the tools simply do not exist to recover M4A's that exist for MP3s. YMMV.

For those who use MusicBrainz Picard to tag their collections, your going to want to do any ReplayGain adjustments AFTER tagging, as by default MB-Picard will strip any tags that it doesn't recognize unless those are added to it's list of exclusions. That is true for ReplayGain tags and also ITunesNORM tags (if added/selected).

On a side note; MP3Gain does not generate ReplayGain tags or calulate gain in the sense that we are trying to do here. It actually NORMALISES the source audio data then adds seperate non-standards-compliant OGG Vorbis comments (EDIT: It may actually be APE tags, it's been a while since I used MP3Gain, so I don't rightly remember) to the end of the file with 'undo' information, so that in theory the changes can be reversed if desired. The effectiveness of such a reversal is debatable at best, not to mention the fact that many tagging tools (MusicBrainz included) also strip / remove non-standards-compliant Vorbis tags from MP3 files by default. This would then leave you with uncorrectable modified files. MP3Gain is somewhat outdated these days as it was developed primarily to cater to those who had legacy 3rd-party devices that did not natively support the ReplayGain standard / tags. I think in this day and age that's going to be a very small niche group of people.

Another (Free) alternative is Winamp. Winamp is able to calculate ReplayGain track and Album gain tags. I can't remember offhand whether it also writes 'peak' values, but it definately does write the other two. The only issue here is I think Winamp will only work on files currently located in the active playlist, and it's not automatic as far as I can remember, so using it might be somewhat tedious on a large library, but it will work.


I didn't know dbpoweramp. I will search it . I am looking for download sync lyrics automatically too. Maybe a shareware software can help for that as well.

Sent from my LG-H815
I would like to make an addition to this thread with some possible solutions for all who claim that replaygain isn't working. If you want to skip my ramblings and explanations, just apply the solution printed in bold.

I've struggled myself for a long time to understand all the implications and think that I can now make some valid suggestions. Beware, though, there is probably no solution that works the same for everybody since the best settings depend on what kind of music you listen to and how you listen to it.

There are several factors which play a role in this and if you want to get some background, read up on Wikipedia or the internet in general on the following topics: Loudness Wars and Dynamic Range.

Just a few technical things.

1. 100db is taken as the maximum loudness value up to which no distortion occurs. Modern recording equipment can get much closer to this theoretical value than was possible 20 years ago when engineers had to leave more "headroom". That means, modern recordings are in general louder than older recordings.

2. Most modern recordings of pop music have a low dynamic range. Dynamic range (DR) is the difference between the quietest and the loudest sound in a recording. Classical music and jazz music typically have a high dynamic range, pop music used to have a high dynamic range when musicians still played real instruments and sound engineers didn't mix for headphone listening while skating on the boardwalk. For an awesome effect of high dynamic range listen to either the beginning of Pink Floyd's "The Happiest Days of our Lives" from the Japan Blackface CD pressing which has a DR of 16 or Flim and the BB's "Tricycle" with a DR of 20 which will blow your speakers away if you set them too high when the drums set in.

Too cut a long story short, modern recordings with a low DR will sound subjectively even louder since the volume never goes below a certain threshold. Electronic music is know too have a dynamic range between 3 and 5.

3. If you mainly listen to music from the same period, chances are that you won't complain about replaygain because to you all tracks will sound about the same volume. Things get tricky when you listen to a wide range of music, like pop from the Beatles area up to today. In this case the predefined settings will not be able to normalize volume between tracks and older music will sound distinctively quieter. You will also notice this if you burn a CD with such mixed music or your car and you constantly have to adjust volume manually.

Now that you have read all this, understanding replaygain fully is just two logical steps away. Someone at some point decided that the preamp volume reference should be set to 89db. That was a long time ago, though, when music at its loudest was indeed around that value and slight variations would be caught. But as we learned before, today's music is much closer to 100db. Since we're talking about AMPLIFICATION that means, older music will only get (pre-)amplified ever so slightly while modern music will remain louder (dynamic range plays a role in this, too, not only volume).

Now the solution is simple, you will need to ramp up the preamp volume. A lot. Set preamp to 95db for files with replaygain information and make sure all your files actually HAVE such tags. Leave the other value at 89db just to be sure not to amplify anything that is already very load. You should not have files without replaygain info, anyway.

If you mainly listen to mixed playlists, choose "Track levels". If you usually listen to whole albums choose "Album levels".

Personally I disable clipping protection as 95db should not lead to distortion on good equipment (24bit recordings should never clip) and there have been reports that it might impact sound quality. Those reports are old, though, and might have to do with processing power which wasn't as good as today back then.

Anyway, I hope this is useful since the replaygain question seems to be one of the most asked when it comes to music playback and is therefore probably life-critical in a First-World-problem sense.
(2017-05-26, 20:12)DaveBlake Wrote: [ -> ]So it was a tagging issue, I win the bet with myself Smile

Kodi supports a variety of music file and tag formats, and replay gain in most of them (inc APEv2), I just gave ID3 v2.4 as an example. See http://kodi.wiki/view/Music_tagging#Tags_Kodi_reads. Mixing tag formats within a file is not so smart, stick to one format, if you have both APE and ID3 tags the you need to tell Kodi to look at the APE ones as well, so better just not to mix.

Sounds like MP3Gain is not going to add tags for you nicely so use something else.

I don't know if ID3 v2.3 supports replay gain, I suspect not (but someone correct me).

Consistent and comprehensive tagging is good for the soul Smile
But pick a rainy day (today being the best summer's day so far this year).

Slighly offtopic but still closely related: My main music collection is 100% cuesheet + single-file flac images. The flac images are untagged, all the metadata is in the cuesheets. This works great for my needs (3400 albums, many of which are 24 bit). Now I started to delve into replaygain. I looked at the the link that @DaveBlake provided above, there is no reference to cuesheets there. I wanted to understand whether Kodi is able to read Track and Album gain from cuesheets. I am considering adding replay gain to my cuesheets (both Album and Track)

I found this old thread where @jmarshall made some related comments: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=18814
It seems that kodi's cuesheet parser is able to read the replaygain tags in the cuesheet, but I am not clear if those will then be inserted in the database and actually used. Anyone has any experience with this type of scenario? would replaygain work if the tags are in cuesheets?
Cuesheets, mumble grumble..... You know that I'm not a fan of that approach.... Smile
(2019-08-29, 17:58)htpcero Wrote: [ -> ]It seems that kodi's cuesheet parser is able to read the replaygain tags in the cuesheet, but I am not clear if those will then be inserted in the database and actually used. Anyone has any experience with this type of scenario? would replaygain work if the tags are in cuesheets? 
I was about to dig into the code and see if I had a test cuesheet example etc. but you know what @htpcero, why not try it yourself (with extreme gain settings on one version and not the other) and listen for the results.

That would show what the player does, and that is what matters. You could have a quick look into the db and see if the song table has anything in the strReplayGain field.
(2019-08-29, 18:00)htpcero Wrote: [ -> ]It seems that kodi's cuesheet parser is able to read the replaygain tags in the cuesheet, but I am not clear if those will then be inserted in the database and actually used. Anyone has any experience with this type of scenario? would replaygain work if the tags are in cuesheets? 
I just tried.  It does NOT work if the tags are in cuesheets.
Two things I’ve done recently on ReplayGain:

1. I found that Foobar2000 can analyse and apply ReplayGain to all album sub-folders recursively if you use the Open Folder option. When analysing/applying ReplayGain choose the option ‘Scan by Album Tags’.

2. Foobar will also analyse and create Dynamic Range reports for every album’s folder recursively if you load the albums with same option above.

I recently updated my Music Media Helper app to read Foobar’s DR report files adding that to each album using its Media File Manager’s tool, shows codec info to:


MMH scans (recursively) a user defined Music Source and collects the data from each album’s folder, reading tags etc. You can save this list to PDF or print. (Does it for Movie sources too)

Its a Windows only app. See the sticky section here on the Music forum for more info and PDF docs. I think this only supports FLAC, DSF and mp3 files for music. I only use the first two.

There’s another Tool to check your music for missing discart.png and reports missing folder.jpg files for albums, or can auto batch update music files (recursively) with the cover tag with folder.jpg or cover.jpg located in the music file’s folder.
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