How to normalize Last.FM volume or how i stopped using Pandora

. Thursday, July 16, 2009

It’s no secret or news, Pandora went to bed with Sound Exchange and now they have to impose more limit in order to get more money to pay to Music Mafia aka RIAA.

Anyhow my 40 monthly allowance went by in less then week and I forced the choice between paying money or stop enjoying Pandora's great music selection.

I choose 3rd option – switch to Last.FM ! It doesn’t have stupid 1 hour limitations like Pandora got or monthly allowances.

I loaded Desktop client in swift, but was quickly disappointed and reminded why I choose to listed to Pandora at workplace first place.

Each song on Last.FM was played on different volume ! So ether you got very quiet old recording or next one blowing speakers away with some harsh guitar riffs very like TV ads always louder than content (this one is on purpose)

Last.FM team acknowledges the issue, but using the excuse of “To normalize our collection of several million tracks takes a lot of time”. While simple math could tell you this could be done on strong machines in matter of few weeks or less or Fully real-time.

Real-Time solution, is might not provide best results, but for crying out loud – on my $10 speakers on work pc I’d never hear the difference anyhow.

Now, enough with back story, lest get back to details:
On my work pc currently running Windows 7 RC x64 and my pc happened to have Realtek HD audio onboard sound card.

Windows 7 does provide built-in drivers for it and a decent control panel.

Open sound in your control panel and select Properties on “Speakers”.
Pick Enhancements Tab and check Loudness Equalization. Apply/OK

Your all set.

While this works for ANY sound in windows, it does help to enjoy radio at workplace without fear of making too much noise and disturb people around your desk/cube.