Audio (Video) Normalizer?
August 16, 2006 6:04 AM   Subscribe

I've been fiendishly collecting music videos for the past few months. The quantity has gotten so great (1,371+) that I certainly have to throw a party immediately. However, I'm looking for advice on a program that would best play these videos.

I tend to use either VLC or Media Player Classic (plus appropriate codecs and Quicktime Alternative). Both will freeze when working with massive playlists. Also, VLC does not like to play the video on many .MOVs, while Media player classic does not like some .MPGs. And I can live with that.

Most importanly, however, does anyone know of a player that could normalize the volume of a bunch of videos in a playlist? I hate how much time I spend adjusting the gain between tracks. I seem to remember at lease some music players do this automatically.

Any other software/visualization suggestions?
posted by glibhamdreck to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Mod note: removed the direct pirate bay link, put it in your profile
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:13 AM on August 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Media Center supports ReplayGain scanning and playback normalization. I have one playlist ("All") that's over 100K items and it plays back find on a 5-year-old AMD. MC also has a "Visualization Studio", which is a WYSIWYG design editor for customizing the visualizations using simple algorithms and triggers. I also like being able to pull out the tag info and drop it into Flash or Javascript objects and then embed them on HTML pages for display during playback.

At worst, you could do a batch transcode, direct stream the video tracks, and normalize all the audio yourself to an acceptable level. Something like virtualdub would do this.
posted by meehawl at 6:37 AM on August 16, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks meehawl. If you're familar with the process, could you link me to a how-to for normalizing the audio with a batch transcode (as a last resort)? I can't seem to find one.
posted by glibhamdreck at 6:49 AM on August 16, 2006

iTunes has normalization built in as well as video support. I don't know if the normalization works on videos, but iTunes is great for playing videos and it makes it really easy to control.
posted by wackybrit at 6:58 AM on August 16, 2006

You can set up virtualdub in batch mode to strip out all the audio from each video file. Depending on your normaliser you can choose to save direct stream audio (probably mp3 format in a WAV container) or to save "uncompressed" WAV.

Then use any batch normaliser such as mp3trim or Besweet/Belight to process the audio.

Then use virtualdub to stich the video and audio files together. Remember to use direct stream here to avoid reprocessing your already processed audio.

There are a number of batch job creation utils for virtual dub that can make life easier. If you install AVISynth or a similar frame server, then you can pretty much automate the entire process to occur within virtualdub and be driven from its interface. Personally, I prefer to chain my big jobs into discrete stages so I check progress more easily along the way.
posted by meehawl at 7:18 AM on August 16, 2006

You might want to try Zoomplayer, but I'm not sure how it handles huge playlists. Also get ffdshow if you haven't already which now comes with an audio decoder in addition to its excellent video decoder. The audio decoder has normalization and a ton of other features. Make sure it's set to decode MP1/2/3 audio.
posted by robofunk at 8:39 AM on August 16, 2006

I think WinAMP knows how to do all those things these days, possibly with the help of some plugins.

And, um, how many DVD-R's do I need to send you? :-)
posted by baylink at 11:39 AM on August 16, 2006

meehawl, while JR Media Center does rock beyond belief, it doesn't support replay gain for for video, only for audio.
posted by spark at 2:23 PM on August 16, 2006

Drat, you're right. It's an audio-only scanner implementation.

Looks like you're going to have to do it the hard way and strip all your files. If you wanted to avoid recoding all your audio, you *could* write a script that would get the average audio power for each file and embed that in a custom "Gain" field. Then during playback pull that value out and feed it to the DSP to boost or lower your playback volume as required. But that is quite technical and you would basically have redone a simple ReplayGain for your files.

For the bewildered, ReplayGain background.
posted by meehawl at 3:46 PM on August 16, 2006

Response by poster: Sounds like I'll have to trade 10 DVD-Rs for a custom script.
posted by glibhamdreck at 3:58 PM on August 16, 2006

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