Ogg Vorbis utilities


vorbisgain (Figure 7) is not packaged with vorbis-tools, but it is a related tool that you might want to download at the same time [3]. The utility is intended to maintain a uniform sound or replay gain across files on the same album.

Figure 7: vorbisgain smooths out the volume levels of both albums and individual files.

To begin using vorbisgain, enter the command

vorbisgain --album ./*.ogg

adding the --recursive option if some of the files to modify are in subdirectories. The command returns the settings for each file with the same directory comment and a recommended setting that is usually the average of all the files. The gain on each file can then be set with the option --album-gain=SETTING. You may want to preserve file attributes with the --preserve-m-time option. Should the results not to be to your liking, you can use --clean to remove the gain comments created by vorbisgain before making adjustments.

Adding Control

When these utilities are added to a system, the Ogg Vorbis format becomes a much more attractive alternative. In particular, ogg123 is a compact music player, while, aside from its specialization, vorbiscomments is one of the most versatile editors for meta-comments that I have found. As for vorbisgain, I can think of no other audio format for which a similar command-line tool is available. You may not always need all the available Ogg utilities, but they make the format more of an option than it is by itself.

The Author

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist and a freelance writer and editor specializing in free and open source software. In addition to his writing projects, he also teaches live and e-learning courses. In his spare time, Bruce writes about Northwest coast art. You can read more of his work at http://brucebyfield.wordpress.com

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