There's a program called mp3gain that analyses your MP3s and then adjusts the volume accordingly (and claims to munge the MP3 data in a non-lossy and reversible way.)
There's also apparently a "Relative Volume Adjustment" (RVA2) field in ID3v2 tags as a way of indicating that an MP3 file should have its volume increased at playback-time. There is a "normalize" plugin for xmms that claims to obey this.
- Have any of you used "mp3gain" or the "normalize" plugin?
- Is it a sensible and non-terrifying thing to apply either/both of these en masse to 18,000 MP3 files? Or does it require manual intervention, listening, and tweaking on a per-song or per-album basis?
- mp3gain looks to be Windows/DOS software. Does it work in emulation under Linux?
- Adding the RVA2 tag seems like a safer thing to do than modifying the MP3 data. Does it work as well?