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How does ReplayGain work?


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I am very impressed with version 2.0Beta, really love the new features.

Now, I see that there is a ReplayGain feature. As far as I understand, this is a sort of "normalization" feature.

I like the thought of that, but I have no idea what settings to use on it, or how it works. From what I understand it scans the songs and sets the level. That's all great, but then what are the dB settings for? How do they work? Also, does it scan the song every time and re-adjust, or is it a one-time thing? Does it save the info as a tag to be used in other software?

I hope someone can enlighten me. Any help on this is greatly appreciated.


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ReplayGain is a standard for measuring loudness. When files are scanned by ReplayGain, it determines how much the volume of each track or album should be adjusted to bring it to a standard loudness level. By default, most scanners use a value of 89 dB, which is about 9 dB (often more) below the level at which most popular rock, pop, and hip-hop albums are currently mastered. Additionally, when albums are scanned, two correction values are generated. One is for the entire album. If it is used as the basis for correction, then the differences in the loudness of individual songs on the album will be preserved even as the album as a whole is brought to the standard level. The other value is per-track. If it is used, then every song will be brought to the standard loudness level, regardless of its loudness relative to other songs on the album it's from.

Poweramp doesn't actually do any scanning. It looks for ReplayGain tags in the music files and uses them to adjust the volume of each track or album (depending on settings). To actually scan and tag your files, you would need to use a program like foobar2000.

As for the settings in Poweramp, the dB setting is if you want to use a standard level other than the standard 89 dB. If you think your music is too quiet even at full volume, increase this value, but not by more than 6 dB or so. You can use the pre-amp in the equalizer page for the same effect. If you increase the standard volume by either method, you should activate the limiter on the EQ page to prevent clipping in music that was mastered at quieter levels.

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