[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
meahtenoha
Spotify
Spotify
Status changed to: Good idea, vote for it
Updated: 2015-07-07

Hey guys, I'm marking this as a 'Good idea' and bringing your feedback to teams internally. If I have an update on this I will post here first, thanks!



camillo75
Community Legend
Hi Is this improvement taken into consideration for Android as well? When you are in very noisy environments like a car or a plane, volume normalization and compression is really a must to be able to not continue to turn up down volume and relax. While driving that is really dangerous! So I would like to see this on Android as well. Thanks Camillo
nwimpney
Regular

This is probably a bit more technical than most feature requests, but unfortunately this is something that virtually everyone gets wrong, so here goes...

 

There's a "Make all tracks play at the same volume" switch in the settings, and I'm not sure how it works, but it's clearly normalizing to a fairly high level, instead of a quieter reference level.  This is a common but bad way of setting levels.  Either dynamic limiting is being applied to the stream, reducing dynamics and quality a lot, or the level for the whole song is being scaled to a high volume level.  That can't be done without clipping (or artificially limiting) the peaks of a dynamic track. If normalization if applied based on peak levels, dynamic tracks will play quieter on average than ones with heavy dynamic compression.


Anyone who understands digital audio well should see that all of these methods are quite bad.


What should be done, is that the tracks are left as intact as feasable, and a replaygain tag added, at which point the player will reduce (or rarely increase) the level of the track to a -14dB reference level so they can all be played at the same volume with sufficient headroom for peaks in dynamic music to playback without clipping.

Unfortunately, most everything else you'll play on a PC is normalized near 0dBFS with loads of compression, so this would make your music all play back fairly quietly in comparison to youtube, etc.

 

The solution to this is to add an OPTIONAL "post-gain" which will increase all of the normalized songs by a fixed amount, say +8dB This will restore the level of the tracks to close to what most would play at without RG applied, but of couse will cause limiting/clipping of peaks on dynamic tracks (as is unavoidable when using a reference level without sufficient headroom), but it will satisfy those who would rather have everything equally loud as their other non-RG content like youtube, etc.

 

Those of us who care more about sound quality will turn up our volume knobs instead, bringing the levels back where we want them, without causing clipping.

 

The post gain could be applied by default, since the majority of users probably wouldn't notice or care about the clipping, and would be more bothered by the reduction in volume, but the option should definitely be there (in advanced options) to turn it off, for those of us who care about sound quality.

 

Note also that the volume attenuation/gain should be implemented client-side, and absolutely not applied to the stream, else there will be further quality loss from transcoding.

jamjamjams
Newbie

I agree 100%. Please adjust Spotify's volume limiting threshold so that it no longer distorts on louder music. People like me who care about music want to stay with Spotify rather than go over to Apple.

jamjamjams
Newbie

Please allow us to have an Album Mode for volume adjustment. I'm very tempted to go back to Apple because I very much want to hear the songs play at their relative volume in the way the artist intended. Listening to entire albums is the reason I became a paying Spotify customer. Please keep me faithful by allowing me to listen to albums as the artist intended. Thank you.

1261857493
Newbie

This is major. I'd like to see this option.

1261857493
Newbie

-23 dB, please. And the option to level-match between albums (but not within them) would be great. This way you could retain an identical average between albums while retaining each individual album's dynamics. 

Hans1979
Newbie

"Hey guys, I'm marking this as a 'Good idea' and bringing your feedback to teams internally. If I have an update on this I will post here first, thanks!

 

YES and that was MORE than six month ago.

 

This isn't just "a good idea". It's the ONLY way and an excellent report from Ian Shepherd and he is obviously a professional. I consider it a bug report with a fix guide. Not an idea.

 

How dumb can a streaming service company be not to understand how to get good audio quality out to it's customers? This is the core of the product. How about spending some time on the CORE product and enhancing the audio instead of wasting time developing all kinds of stupid, irrelevant social media content for Spotify?? Not all of the customers are teenagers.

 

How it is possible not to have hired any audio engineers long time ago that could have taken care of the problem is beyond me.

jazmanaut
Newbie

Yes! This is important. Please do so. -23 LUFS would be just wonderful!

Alonewolf
Newbie

I'm with Ian on this. Dude knows a lot about dealing with loudness. I hope Spotify takes his advice 🙂