getting consistent volume on car stereo

I have Audacity 2.1
I have over 6000 Flac files from my own CD collection of commercial CD’s. I have converted them to top quality VBR mp3’s for listening to in my car on random. Before anyone asks, yes it is possible to get them all on a 64gb stick formatted to fat32.
I love the fact I can do this but the difference in track volumes is very frustrating. Some are so low that after I turn them up I risk being deafened by the next track. I am also pretty sure that car stereos do not yet recognize replaygain.
Is there some way to get the volumes on the tracks closer and do this in a batch job? If not is there a way to increase them individually without destroying the song?
I realize the second option would take forever. I would have to take note of low volume songs and then try to increase them one by one If that is possible.
What do you think? When you listen to the radio or sirius the songs are basically the same volume so it must be possible somehow.
Thanks in advance.

Also when you listen to the actual radio, you don’t have to constantly mess with the volume control. There is a legal requirement that radio stations have consistent sound. That’s not an accident.

Seemingly as if by magic, someone made a filter so he could listen to opera in the car.

Chris’s Compressor dynamically changes the volume as needed. I use it for a podcast between two performers that have stunning differences between their speaking volumes.

It does change the content. Nobody will mistake the after show for the before, but the goal is to be pleasant in the car, and it does do that.

The top wave is the raw show and the middle one is the default settings. I use the bottom settings where I change the compression ratio from 0.5 to 0.77 and leave the other settings alone. As near as I can tell, that gives a show remarkably similar to the local FM station on the same show.

I think you can automate that with Audacity Chains. Your mileage may vary. Consult your local listings. Void where prohibited.


[u]MP3Gain[/u] uses the same algorithm as ReplayGain but it adjusts the volume of the MP3 file itself so it’s compatible with everything. And it does so without re-encoding the MP3, so there’s no (additional) quality loss from a 2nd generation of lossy compression.

Like ReplayGain, you’ll probably find that the volume is reduced on many (or most) tracks. This is because a lot of music is normalized/maximized (even the quiet-sounding songs). Since you can’t boost these quiet songs without clipping/distorting, the only way to match volumes is to reduce the loud songs.

Koz is talking about dynamic compression. Don’t confuse that with FLAC or MP3 file compression. :wink:

Yes. Don’t get confused.

Chris changes the content like a radio station. It doesn’t push one song louder in its entirety. If you recoil in horror about changing the content, then MP3 may not be for you, either.

it is possible to get them all on a 64gb stick

Changing the content is how MP3 does that.


Thank you for your responses. I am trying MP3Gain. Of course with 6000 songs it will take a while. Thankfully you can stop and start the program and it remembers its place.
Will be thrilled if this works. It looks like the volume will be reduced on most files somewhat to reach 89 decibels but if they even out I will just have to turn up the volume once.
thanks again

Anyone had luck using mp3gain to tag using the ‘id3’ standard?

I’ve started a thread here (crossed posted as I thought someone with mp3gain knowledge would see this),

MP3gain (unlike ReplayGain) doesn’t rely on tags.

It changes the actual volume of the MP3 file so once the MP3 file is “MP3Gained”, it works on ANY player. (The “undo” information is saved in a tag.)