loudgain - Man Page

loudness normalizer based on the EBU R128 standard


loudgain [Options] FILES...


loudgain is a loudness normalizer that scans music files and calculates loudness-normalized gain and loudness peak values according to the EBU R128 standard, and can optionally write ReplayGain-compatible metadata.

loudgain implements a subset of mp3gain´s command-line options, which means that it can be used as a drop-in replacement in some situations.

loudgain will not modify the actual audio data, but instead just write ReplayGain tags if so requested. It is up to the player to interpret these. (In some players, you need to enable this feature.)

loudgain currently supports writing tags to the following file types:
FLAC (.flac), Ogg (.ogg, .oga, .spx, .opus), MP2 (.mp2), MP3 (.mp3), MP4 (.mp4, .m4a), ASF/WMA (.asf, .wma), WavPack (.wv), APE (.ape).

Experimental, use with care: WAV (.wav), AIFF (.aiff, .aif, .snd).


-h,  --help

Show this help.

-v,  --version

Show version number.

-r,  --track

Calculate track gain only (default).

-a,  --album

Calculate album gain (and track gain).

-c,  --clip

Ignore clipping warnings.

-k,  --noclip

Lower track/album gain to avoid clipping (<= -1 dBTP).

-K n, --maxtpl=n

Avoid clipping; max. true peak level = n dBTP.

-d n, --pregain=n

Apply n dB/LU pre-gain value (-5 for -23 LUFS target).

-s d, --tagmode=d

Delete ReplayGain tags from files.

-s i, --tagmode=i

Write ReplayGain 2.0 tags to files. ID3v2 for MP2, MP3, WAV and AIFF; Vorbis Comments for FLAC, Ogg, Speex and Opus; iTunes-type metadata for MP4/M4A; WMA tags for ASF/WMA; APEv2 tags for WavPack.

-s e, --tagmode=e

like ´-s i´, plus extra tags (reference, ranges).

-s l, --tagmode=l

like ´-s e´, but LU units instead of dB.

-s s, --tagmode=s

Don´t write ReplayGain tags (default).

-L,  --lowercase

Force lowercase ´REPLAYGAIN_*´ tags (MP2/MP3/MP4/ASF/WMA/WAV/AIFF only). This is non-standard, but sometimes needed.

-S,  --striptags

Strip tag types other than ID3v2 from MP2/MP3 files (i.e. ID3v1, APEv2). Strip tag types other than APEv2 from WavPack/APE files (i.e. ID3v1).

-I 3, --id3v2version=3

Write ID3v2.3 tags to MP2/MP3/WAV files.

-I 4, --id3v2version=4

Write ID3v2.4 tags to MP2/MP3/WAV files (default).

-o,  --output

Database-friendly tab-delimited list output (mp3gain-compatible).

-O,  --output-new

Database-friendly new format tab-delimited list output. Ideal for analysis of files if redirected to a CSV file.

-q,  --quiet

Don´t print scanning status messages.


To give you a head start, here are my personal recommendations for being (almost) universally compatible.

Use loudgain on a »one album per folder« basis; standard RG2 settings but lowercase ReplayGain tags; clipping prevention on; strip obsolete tag types from MP3 and WavPack files; use ID3v2.3 for MP3s; store extended tags:

$ loudgain -a -k -s e *.flac
$ loudgain -a -k -s e *.ogg
$ loudgain -I3 -S -L -a -k -s e *.mp3
$ loudgain -L -a -k -s e *.m4a
$ loudgain -a -k -s e *.opus
$ loudgain -L -a -k -s e *.wma
$ loudgain -I3 -L -a -k -s e *.wav
$ loudgain -I3 -L -a -k -s e *.aiff
$ loudgain -S -a -k -s e *.wv
$ loudgain -S -a -k -s e *.ape

I’ve been happy with these settings for many years now. Your mileage may vary.

For easy mass-tagging, there is a bash script called rgbpm included with loudgain, which follows above recommendations. You can make a copy, put that into your personal ~/bin folder and modify it to whatever you need.


loudgain is maintained on GitHub. Please report all bugs to the issue tracker at https://github.com/Moonbase59/loudgain/issues.


Matthias C. Hormann mhormann@gmx.de
Alessandro Ghedini alessandro@ghedini.me


September 2019