Replaygain scan functionality in future MP3Tag versions

Hi!

Let me propose a new feature to the future MP3Tag builds. I'm talking about embedding a Replaygain scanner into MP3Tag. Replaygain tags are a simple way of calculating and representing the ideal replay gain for every track and album (separatedly) using ID3 standard.

You can read about Replaygain here: http://replaygain.hydrogenaudio.org/ .

Currently I'm using Foobar2000 to add Replaygain tags to my mp3 files, but I think it is a good idea to keep al mp3 tags functionality in one place: in dedicated mp3-tag editor. Don't you think so?

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No. ReplayGain processes the actual audio data (which is already done by audio players) and only storing the result affects tagging.

I would like to vote for replaygain function sometime in the future for one simple reason. mp3tag now is better than foobar in every way except replaygain and playback. I keep foobar only to do ripping unscratched CDs and replaygain and nothing else.

What is more- winamp and foobar do not handle tags nearly as well as mp3tag. Foobar does not work with album art yet and seems to break tag headers with art. So now everything must be done in a certain order which is messy. There are also free command line tools for RPG scanning many formats so it's only a matter of incorporating them for convenience. I am reminded of MAREO.

I have also found it very useful to add fast view/edit boxes for replaygain in mp3tag !! It is very easy- go to TOOLS/OPTIONS/TAG PANEL and add two new fields:

field: REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN
name: Track gain

field: REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN
name: Album gain

Foobar sees this as equivalent to it's own replaygain settings, at least for mp3's. I have not tested other formats yet. I have not verified playback either, but foobar of course works well for winamp and tcpmp. The format must be in the form '+0.00dB'. Hit S and it's done instantly.

I suppose the dream would be if EAC, MAREO, Foobar, Winamp and mp3tag interfaced together. I suppose Gordian knot and VLC too. All managed from one multimedia interface. Crazy dream.

This post of yours is a bit old fieldlab. If you're not around, maybe someone else can address this:

I've just discovered Mp3tag, and found this post while searching for solutions to problems I've been having with compatibility issues between the MP3 apps I've been using, and new ones that offer options I need at this point.

First though, I'd like to comment on what fieldlab wrote above.

When I followed his advice, I found that that Mp3tag had written 2 entirely new ID3v2.4 RG tags to a test MP3 that FB2K had already run RG on and tagged: "Track gain" and "Album gain". When I opened Mp3tag's View > Extended Tags window, I found them listed with the original RG values set by FB2K:

ALBUM GAIN x.xx db
REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN x.xx db
REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN x.xx db
TRACK GAIN x.xx db

To correct this, I found that the 'field' and 'name' must be set to the same thing in Tools > Options > Tag Panel:

field: REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN
name: REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN

field: REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN
name: REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN

With the fields set like this, the view/edit boxes that are created actually report the RG values previously set by FB2K. And when the values are modified, the data is properly written to the pre-existing value sets.

That said, I wonder if I could get some suggestions on how to deal with my MP3 library as things are configured now. I'm starting to have conflicts with various pieces of software I'm testing to write RG values and do tagging. The suggestion that RG scanning could be incorporated into Mp3tag sounds enticeing.

I began scanning RG values into MP3s with FB2K in the v0.8.3 days when FB2K only supported writing RG values to APEv2 tags. I've been tagging all my files with software I helped beta test years ago called Gearvolt, which only reads ID3v2.3 and backward tags written in ANSI/ISO 8859-1 characters.

So to avoid conflicts, I had FB2K v0.8.3 set to recognize only APEv2 and ID3v1 tags so that it wouldn't obliterate any previously existing ID3v2 tags when setting RG values. Now all my MP3s have 3 tags: ID3v1.1, ID3v2.3, and APEv2.

However these days I've been transcoding a lot of my old LAME 198kbps files to smaller ones at 128kbps so that I can cram more of them on a portable MP3 player with limited memory. However the transcoded files loose all the ID3v2 tags with long character strings if I use FB2K v0.8.3. And if I use FB2K v0.9.6.1 to transcode, the existing IDv2.3 tags are replaced with ID3v2.4 tags which my Gearvolt tagging software can't read.

I've become very attached to the wonderfully user friendly GUI Gearvolt offers that lets me re-tag and re-name massive groups of MP3s with a few simple lightning fast mouse clicks. But after struggling with RG, transcoding, and tagging conflicts between varous MP3 apps, I think I may have to give up Gearvolt and hope I can get Mp3tag to function as quickly and conveniently as I've been used to.

I did try transcoding with dbpoweramp, but ran into a problem with its order of reading tags when transcoding: APE > ID3v2 > ID3v1. Since FB2K v0.8.3 had created the tags, the tags dbpoweramp copied to the transcoded files are all constrained to the limited numbers of characters that FB2K had read from the original ID3v1 tags and wrote to APE tags when I originally ran the RG scan.

BonkEnc is able to transcode while preserving the existing ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags, and just eliminates the APE tags. I'm then able to modify tags in Gearvolt. But transcoding huge batches of files is unbearably slow in BonkEnc.

So these are the options I seem to have:

Scanning RG values into MP3s:
FB2K v.0.8x: writes to APEv2 tags (dbpoweramp tag shortening when transcoding)
FB2K v.0.9x: writes to ID3v2.4 tags (Gearvolt tag type conflict)
Winamp v5x: writes to ID3v2.3 but in Unicode (Gearvolt character set conflict)
MP3Gain: writes to ? (Ape?)

Transcoding:
FB2K v.0.8x: copies ID3v1 limited string lengths to APE tags (dbpoweramp conflict)
FB2K v.0.9x: copies ID3v2.3 tags to ID3v2.4 tags (Gearvolt conflict)
dbpoweramp v13.x: prefers APE over ID3v2 transcoding (loss of long ID3v2 strings)
BonkEnc v1.0.10: preserves ID3v2.3 tags, but excruciatingly slow

Tagging:
Gearvolt: does album art and lyrics nicely but is limited to ID3v2.3 and ANSI characters
Mp3tag: very flexible, may solve many problems if I can figure out fast tagging methods
FB2K Masstagger: college course required, seems clumsy, I've never figured it out.

Ripping CDs:
EAC: love it.. use ID3v2.3 now but can set to rip to ID3v2.4 tags
FB2K: haven't tried it

Setting RG values seems to be the root of my problems. If FB2K would write RG to ID3v2.3 tags, I could still use Gearvolt. I could also transcode with either it or dbpoweramp (less the APE conflict), and still be able to edit tags with either Gearvolt or Mp3tag.

Switching to FB2K v0.9.6.1 for scanning RG values would mean exisiting ID3v2.3 tag data will be converted to ID3v2.4 tags in the new files. Thus I'd have to give up Gearvolt and transcoding with dbpoweramp that doesn't support transcoding ID3v2.4 tags.

If I go with Winamp for RG, I'll have to give up Gearvolt that can't read Unicode.

It's been a while since I've used MP3Gain. Seems it also writes to APE tags.

There doesn't seem to be many other apps for scanning RG values into files that I can find.

Juggling all this with a bunch of different apps is dizzying. I'll be doing a lot of testing to settle on what to use for what, and how to do it..

Does anyone know if there's any app out there that would scan RG values into ID3V2.3 ANSI/ISO 8859-1 tags? It would be really great if this were incorporated into Mp3tag. As mentioned above, it would mean using one less piece of software.

Thx
TS

As explained in another thread here (German), I currently use external command-line tools with Mp3tag to generate Replay Gain values. (By using Mp3tag’s »export« feature to generate a batch file that in turn calls the appropriate command-line tools. I then invoke the batch file via an icon on the Quick Launch Bar.)

Tychos’s metamp3 (v0.92 beta 5), metaflac, and vorbisgain.

So for me it’s all back to just two tagging utilities: Mp3tag and MusicBrainz’ Picard for the MusicBrainz-related stuff. And yes, I’m happy that I can do Replay Gain »in Mp3tag«, so to say.

Sounds great. Could you (or anyone else) explain just how to set this up on a Windows system to just process a group of MP3s? Right now I've defaulted to using FB2K which seems to use dual core CPUs (I'm guessing here) to speed up the process. Not sure if running something from a command line will be as fast.

TS

Switch from EAC to dBpoweramp and it will apply replay gain to the tags while ripping as you want. I only use ID3V3.2 and it works great. It's not free but it's worth every penny and then some. It does everything EAC does and a lot more. They are the 2 best rippers out there but now dbpoweramp has jumped way ahead on it's great metadata and tools.