[Music] Better Volume Normalization - normalize local files

"set the same volume level for all songs" in spotify, does not take into account the subtle volume transients of an album that audio engineers have spent hours working on!


Solution - Add an option in settings for "Set The Same Volume Level Based On Albums". This will retain the intended volume differences between songs on an album (similar to the way replaygain album mode functions).

 

"Set The Same Volume Level Based On Albums"(replaygain album mode) DESIGNED TO RETAIN THE SUBTLE VOLUME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TRACKS ON AN ALBUM)

This solution is extremely quick for spotify developers to implement - Just take the individual track volume values in an album and you already have this information due to your "set the same volume level for all tracks", then get the average of these track volumes for that album and the result is your per album volume reduction value! Albums will finally sound like albums again.
IN THE FUTURE - When you select "set the same volume for all albums" then it should also read the metadata in your personal music files (when the tag is present). The Name of this tag in my mp3 and flac collection is "REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN".

 

"Set The Same Volume Level For All Tracks" - (replaygain track mode) BEST FOR SHUFFLE MODE, OR LISTENING TO LOTS OF RANDOM SONGS)

Spotify already has "Set the same volume level for all tracks" in settings for songs that are streamed, which is the equivalent to replaygain track mode. This currently only works for streamed songs and it doesn't check to see if the tag "REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN" is present in your local audio file that you're currently listening to, a very simple fix indeed. 

 

DISABLED MODE = NOTHING TICKED.

When unticking "set the same volume for all albums" and "set the same volume for all tracks", all streamed and local music should not play with any volume adjustment on either streamed or library tracks, it is exactly the same effect as disabling "set the same volume for all tracks" that we currently have. There are many reasons for needing to turn of volume normalization (such as troubleshooting volume problems etc). Replaygain volume adjustments should be fully lossless when your dac is 24 bit.

Note to spotify - By using metadata, this should be totally seamless - E.g. If the exact same album is streamed, then local files should play at precisely the same volume as streamed files.

 

IF EITHER TAG IS MISSING FROM METADATA - "REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN" or "REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN" then spotify should not make any volume adjustment and it should produce the same result as having album mode or track mode not TICKED.

When installing spotify, the default should still be set to "set same volume for all tracks" like it it just now

 

Updated on 2018-10-05

Hey folks,

 

Thanks for coming to the Community!

 

We're checking back in, to keep you updated on this Idea.

When you play an album, we normalize the loudness level of that album at the same time.
If you're interested in some further info on this, we'd recommend checking out this FAQ, which we currently have up for artists.

We also have some more information on Audio Settings here.
Under Music Quality, you can switch Normalize volume on, or off.


Right now however, it's not possible to normalize local files. For that reason, we're changing this to case closed, as this isn't something we're going to work on.

Thanks.

Comments
ilter
Newbie

Yes, please.
Musicians and music lovers will enjoy Spotify more if you follow Ian's recommendation.

Thejoshuabreed
Casual Listener
Commercial releases are already limited and crushed more often than not. Why limit even more?!?!?! I agree with iTunes' method; their slightly quieter reference level and an album mode.
piedpiperprod
Newbie

Ian is right on. He is the leading proponent of appropriate compression levels and his attitude and comprehensive take on the issues involved are reasonable and spot on.

Norcuevas
Newbie

Supporting the Ian´idea. If iTunes works well, why not do the same.

Long live dynamics on music!

Thank you.

bdemaa
Newbie

I agree with this. I master music and Spotify is a tool that many artists reference. -11 LUFS is just a little too loud but more importantly the use of additional non-transparent limiting changes the artsist intent IMHO.  Please consider a more reasonable level. I do find that -16LUFS works nicely for a lot of music save for Classical / Orchestral which should probably be flagged for non limiting. 

billvencil
Newbie

Agree wholeheartedly! This change will make listening so much better. I notice the compression quite frequently and it's ver annoying. I don't want my Spotify listening experience to sound like the radio - I want it to be as high-quality as possible

MhyphenL
Newbie

Yes, 

AND 

Please stop blasting the ads. 

I realize I am using the free version and that I can upgrade to avoid this, but just like television is not supposed to play ads at higher volume, music services should not either--especially when many people listen on headphones and the extra volume is unexpected.

 

 

 

Marco
Community Legend
Status changed to: New Idea
 
8ballboris
Regular

Definitely agree. I don't get why they force such high LUFS values. -23 LUFS is perfect: it virtually eliminates the need of a limiter on even the most dynamic tracks and it keeps more than enough headroom to keep the music high quality. Heck, even with -35 LUFS music still sounds better than when you apply that irritatingly bad limiter to the music. 

For your information, that is the single most important reason for me not to pay for the service. The sound quality is often worse compared to other services like Deezer and even Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Same with the ad volume. I don't mind the ads. I do mind their volume, and they are exactly the reason why I don't use spotify that often, even though all 4 bands I play in are on there. 

abyrd
Newbie

I was seconds away from canceling my premium membership after noticing that even with high quality streaming enabled, in direct A/B comparison many of my favorite albums sounded very noticeably worse from Spotify than off of CD or FLAC/ALAC. Then I discovered this (hidden) "set the same level for all tracks" option, disabled it, and now everything's fine!

 

Volume normalization is not a bad idea at all, but Spotify appears to be either applying a compressor with a short (intra-track) response time, or normalizing tracks to such a high level that the limiter is constantly kicking in. It really crushes the life out of a lot of good music.

 

I can accept that this "feature" is turned on by default if most of your users want and like it, but A) it doesn't work very well, B) its name is misleading and C) the option to turn it off is hidden away in an "advanced" section, as if it was dangerous to change things like the crossfade time.

 

I am all for an advanced options section, but in that case you should provide real advanced settings like the reference level and the timescale (whole track, whole album, intra-track) at which the normalization is applied. 

 

Consider that if you do this right and publicize it, you will win large numbers of devoted clients who care about dynamics in their music!