October 02, 2006

Listen to your iPod at Work - Master Volume Consistency

Ever notice how some CDs are REALLY LOUD and others are very quiet? The sound level is built into the way the CDs were recorded and mastered. Because audio CDs are mastered differently, you may notice discrepancies in volume between songs on different albums. Like iTunes, iPod also offers the Sound Check feature to standardize the volume of all the songs in your music library. This option has been available since iTunes 3. You can turn Sound Check on or off by choosing Sound Check in Settings in the main iPod menu.

Getting Sound Check to Work:

In particular, older CDs often seem to be mastered at low volume levels compared to recent music. This is really annoying when you’re listening to a playlist with songs from various eras.
Luckily, iPod and iTunes have a magic trick that cures this problem: Sound Check. This feature analyzes the volume of songs and adjusts it so that they’re all in the same range. When you play songs with Sound Check, your personal volume choice becomes the way to turn it up or down.

Unfortunately, Sound Check is a little trickier than it needs to be. You have to turn it on both in iTunes and on the iPod. Here are the steps:

1. (Here’s the part most everyone remembers to do.) Turn on Sound Check in iTunes. Choose iTunes ➪ Preferences on the Mac, or Edit ➪ Preferences on Windows. Click the Audio tab, then make sure the Sound Check box is on. After you click OK, iTunes starts rummaging through your music and leveling the volume. iTunes displays its progress in the status area. Once completely updated, connect your iPod to update its music.

2. (Here’s the step people often forget.) On the iPod, go to the Settings screen and turn Sound Check on.
That’s it. If you don’t turn on Sound Check on the iPod, your songs won’t be played at the leveled volume when you hear them on the iPod, and you’ll wonder why the Sound Check feature isn't working.

By the way: Don't forget to go download the recently released iTunes 7.0! http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/


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