Web video volume controls…

They anger me so much! Why are they always just changing the gain of the audio linearly? The videos are often mastered so loud the volume has to be dropped something like 10 or more dB, but this is made hard because there’s often just a small volume slider which changes the gain linearly. So -6 dB is already at the half point of the slider, and -12 dB is at the 25% point…

Who can I thank for this? Adobe and the Flash team? Have they made it difficult to have a decibels based volume control?

/End random rant

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2 Responses to Web video volume controls…

  1. Sound is usually compressed or normalized prior to converting it to another format.
    If there are gaps of silence or more silent parts in an audio file prior to conversion,
    these gaps are left out to save up space and memory. The result then is a sound that stutters or if it’s a rhythmic audio file, you’ll hear that the tempo goes out of sync.

    A nasty side effect of normalizing, is that a sound file will appear to sound too loud.
    The real dynamics of the sound is lost and it will sound bland instead of rich.
    Have a look at this presentation by top-engineer Bob Katz:

    • xenakios says:

      My rant wasn’t about the morality or immorality of boosting volume levels of audio as such (I do find it mostly very distasteful), but simply the difficulty of later controlling the listening volume in Flash players for web distributed media.

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