Play All Music on iPod at the Same Volume

A TechLore "Ask the Experts" Question...

A TechLore "Ask the Experts" Question...


On an Apple iPod, is there a way to set the volume so that every song plays at the same volume level? Seems like burned CD's vs. Downloads can play at much different volume levels.

-submitted by Buck 


This is a common problem for folks who are getting their digital music from a variety of sources. The advantage of being able to build a music library by ripping CDs you own, downloading music from online services, or recording your own tracks is that all the songs can be managed with a single, convenient format (MP3). The downside is that this approach often results in a music library filled with songs with very different sound qualities and as Buck has discovered, different volumes. This makes enjoying a mixed music library unpleasant.

The trick to the volume problem is to normalize your music. Ideally, this is done in the music program on your computer before transferring the tunes to your portable player. Setting the volume level in these programs will affect the music you are listening on your computer. For example, in iTunes look for the option called Sound Check under Preferences->Audio. In most cases, though, this does not permanently modify the music file on your hard drive and only has the desired effect when playing music through the application itself.

To do this permanently, you can use special utility programs like MP3Gain or MP3Doctor which analyze the MP3 files on your disk and even out the sound so all the songs play at roughly the same volume. Once the utility has a chance to visit your entire music library, you will be able to safely transfer the files to any player and enjoy your music at the same volume.

It turns out that some portable players also try to provide volume normalization directly on the device. On the iPod, for example, the same Sound Check toggle is available in the Settings menu which accomplishes the same thing on the fly. Look for similar options on other portable players and enjoy your music!

Steven Jones | January 5, 2005


How about if you want to normalize the music that is already on the IPOD. The IPOD belongs to my mom and she no longer has the original files on a computer.

How can I normalize the music directly on the IPOD. I no longer have the music in my ITUNES library


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