Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I’m having trouble finding out much about MP3Gain 1.3.4

Does anybody use MP3Gain?

Apparently an old App that “levels” the track volume, or gain.

I’ve found some old information about it’s use but haven’t found anything informative enough.

I listen to a lot of different music and want any one song to be more or less as loud as the next. This seems to do the trick but when I set a high db level older recordings that aren’t nearly as dynamic as say Tool indicate that they are clipping. Does that make sense?

There has to be a happy medium but if I assign a lower db number newer recordings seem to have the guts ripped out of them, but if I assign a higher db level the older recordings indicate that they are now clipping.

Also the screen indicates several pieces of information that I don’t completely understand. The information breaks down to:

Track Gain
clip (Track)
Album Volume
Album Gain
clip (Album)

And depending on the relative volume (db) assigned clipping is indicated as occurring in either the clipping category, the clip (Tack) category, or the clip (Album) category. The indication either goes away or appears depending on how the track is leveled.

How do you get all clipping to go away while maintaining a reasonable volume level?


Older songs are in fact usually much more dynamic than newer songs, since newer songs are most of the time compressed to have almost no dynamic range - they are loud all the time. This phenomenon is also known as the Loudness War.

This means that of you want to find a gain level that works for both newer and older songs with no clipping, you’ll probably end up somewhere near the default gain level.

From my experiments a target of 89 dB works for (almost?) all my songs - not having tested any classical works, however.

If you have albums with one track continuing into the next track, you should use Album Gain (same gain for all tracks on the album).

If you have albums with completely separated tracks, you can use either Album Gain or Track Gain depending on your preference (I prefer Album Gain).

The algorithm used for determining the perceptual loudness of the track may not be completely accurate all the time, so it’s possible that all tracks will not sound equally loud even after using MP3Gain.

I think I’ve found a happy medium and have managed to eliminate most all of the clipping in the volume category, however in the clip(Tack) and clip(Album) category a big fat red Y is still there, how to eliminate that?

Also what options do you have selected? For example under advanced I read one post where someone indicated to check the box for “Enable “maximizing” Features”. However when you do that a warning pops up and explains that that is probably not the best way to make all the songs the same volume. Huh? They have a feature that probably isn’t the best way to go about it, that seems odd

I have “don’t clip when doing track gain” checked in the hopes that it would modify the tracks that are clipping as indicated under clip(Track) but it doesn’t seem to.

And what is "no check for layer I or II?

Sorry for all the questions but there just isn’t a wealth of information about this program, or at least not that I can understand.

By the way thanks for pointing out the Wikipedia article on the loudness war, that certainly is the majority of the problem.

My selected options:

  • Add Subfolders
  • Don’t clip when doing Track Gain

Advanced Options:

  • Thread Priority = Idle
  • Enable “Maximizing” Features

It’s a long time since I set these options, and I’m not using the latest version.

No check for Layer I or II - from the help file:

MP3Gain will only work on mp3 files. On rare occasions, MP3Gain will mis-identify an mp3 file as an mp2 or mp1 file and refuse to do analysis or gain changes on the file.
Enabling this option forces mp3Gain to skip the safety check, allowing you to change the gain on these mis-identified files.
Be careful, though; if you have any mp2 or mp1 files that are accidentally mis-named as mp3 files, then when you use MP3Gain to make gain chages on those files, the program will just corrupt the data in those files.

Those may be conflicting goals, depending on source material and depending on what you mean by “reasonable volume level”.