Monday, June 08, 2009

I don't know why the sound levels on MP3s differ so widely.

It happened again yesterday, when I was walking the Rail Trail with Dizzy, listening to tunes on my iPod.

The iPod, set on Genius, gave me Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out," and I had to turn the volume far up to hear it. But the next song -- ABC's "The Look of Love, Part I" (okay, my iTunes library has a lot of emotional '80s stuff) -- was so loud it almost blew out my earphones, and I rushed to turn the volume back down.

Why does this happen? Why are the sound levels on digital recordings so widely divergent, and why can't my super-fancy iPod Touch compensate for this? Why do I spend so much of my walking time fiddling with the volume control on my music player?

It's another gorgeous day here in Central Maine, and Dizzy and I are about to take another walk. I might just listen to a single album today, instead of dealing with the shuffle.


Anonymous said...

I have that problem with Peter Gabriel's SECURITY album.

And like you, I had this problem reared its ugly head on the rail trail yesterday.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), Pete does this on most of his albums, so the seven or so I picked from vaious Gabriel offerings stayed consistently low.

Which is fine until I get to Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore." If I don't turn the iPod back down, I get bleeding eardrums.

JIM LAMB said...

There is an electronic circuit that I was taught to design in college called an automatic gain regulator to compensate for varied signal strength in. I don't think this converts to digital technology very well. I don't own an iPod so I don't know if that circuit is available. Not only that, but by the end of the week, I will not own a working TV. Thank you, Mr. President.

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

hmm, more ABC? You just can't deny that ABC goodness....

AnswerGirl said...

Dad, you can NOT blame the current Administration for the digital TV conversion -- that's been coming for YEARS.

Anyway, don't you have cable? If you have cable, it doesn't affect you at all.