NPR is too quite on my phone.
November 2, 2012 3:44 PM   Subscribe

NPR audio feeds are oddly quiet on my HTC EVO 3D, while Pandora, YouTube and any other audio is plenty loud. Is there some odd internal setting I need to change?

I use my phone daily to listen to NPR, Pandora, and a variety of other media. NPR station feeds come in so quietly that I can barely hear them whether my phone is using it's own speaker or if it's hooked up to a (cheap) external speaker. I've streamed NPR feeds (4 different stations now across the country) through the NPR android app, through the TuneIn Radio app, and directly from a station's website through the browser and every single time the audio is very quiet.

Pandora, YouTube, MP3s, etc. really anything other than NPR comes in plenty loud both on the phone and played out into an external speaker. I work in an area exposed to customers, and I often have to reduce Pandora's volume (on the external speaker) to not interfere with customers. With NPR I'm always trying to increase volume.

The phone was recently upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (no problems before the update), has not been rooted or had anything installed other than through automatic updates or downloading apps through Google Play. Phone speaker/media volume is always at it's highest and I adjust the external speaker accordingly. Reboots, removing the battery, have done nothing. I've been uninstalling downloaded apps, but nothing has changed.
posted by Science! to Technology (5 answers total)
It's likely that NPR is simply normalizing its streams at a lower volume than the other sources. I don't know whether this is related to the fact that only NPR (out of the group of listed sources) also broadcasts on AM and FM radio.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2012

Since you say it worked fine prior to the ICS upgrade, I'd start by clearing the cache for the specific app. However, after an OS upgrade, sometimes you need to wipe system cache to get rid of all sorts of new idiosyncrasies, and in some instances you may need to do a full factory data reset. I'm not familiar with HTC phones, but usually you can wipe app cache from the "manage apps" menu, and clear system cache and FDR are done from the recovery menu, which is accessed via a device-specific keypress sequence.
posted by gimli at 4:37 PM on November 2, 2012

NPR is quieter for me too through iTunes. Very annoying.
posted by bq at 4:50 PM on November 2, 2012

I'm not totally up on all of the details, but ID3, the spec for additional information beyond the audio stream in MP3 files, contains at least a Relative Volume Adjustment tag. It could be that they're setting this (or a similar tag) and your post-update player recognizes the tag and adjusts accordingly.

I don't know how hackerly you are, my MP3 podcast system involves bash scripts and it'd be easy for me to poke these tags before the files hit my MP3 player, but you might see if the player has the option to ignore tag volume adjustments.
posted by straw at 4:52 PM on November 2, 2012

A full reset did not change anything, but now I know to back up my text messages. I'll look into the MP3 tags.
posted by Science! at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2012

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