Volume normalization now optional in Spotify

We’ve added a new feature to Spotify today that many users have been asking for: the ability to turn off volume normalization. Volume normalization is used to try to keep a consistent volume between tracks but some users don’t like this. This new feature will allow you to choose whether you want music to be normalized or not, so feel free to test out both options and see which one you like the best. We’ve also increased the volume of music in Spotify by 3–6 dB when normalization is enabled to compensate a little more for the changes it makes to the volume.

To enable and disable volume normalization go to the preferences menu and uncheck or check the box and then press the Apply button.



  1. YES!!! Finally! This used to be the only real weakness of the service. Good one.

  2. Nice feature and all, but automatic normalizer? I’d perfer 6 or 10-track EQ, like winamp for instance. That beeing said, people should realize that working with streaming files is very diffrent from i.e. winamp, and its local files.

    acidtv: no downside actually, normalization will sometimes eliminate volume-adjusting on your stereo or spotify-player.

  3. @acidtv:

    The downside is if you listen to an album that has been carefully mastered to have some excitement and dynamics between tracks, all that work will be gone. Example: “Start out with two loud songs, one soft, one loud, two mellow…”

    Normalization is great if you’re doing the dishes and don’t want to turn the volume up during the softer songs. But some of the excitement will be gone. :)

  4. Does this:
    A) Increase the volume of soft songs
    B) Decrease the volume of loud songs

    Seems like I’m being kinda picky but option A would risk nasty distortion.


  5. What’s up? Kommer inte åt volym-stegen på Macen = blockerad när jag vill lyssna på Spotify. Låtarna går, men inget ljud. Har försökt klicka bort bocken vid “Enable volume normalization” under “Sound” i Preferences, men det går inte? Nån som har en susning?

  6. PS 2. Ähum…! Hittade just en sladd som hoppat ur macen på baksidan *rodnar*. Ber om ursäkt för att jag stört den ärade läsekretsen:-)/Xappa

  7. HELP
    Thanks for the advice to download v 0.3.10 – However, I’ve done that twice now, and I am still unable to uncheck the ‘enable normalization’ box. I also don’t have the ‘enable hardware acceleration’.
    The version I am using is 0.3.10 (revision 40776)
    Is it because I’m using a Mac?
    I’d be grateful for any further advice…many thanks.

  8. pt33 – What do you mean you can’t uncheck it? It doesn’t do anything when you check the box? You have to click “Apply” to ensure that the settings stick.

    As well – there’s no hardware acceleration in the Mac version of Spotify.

  9. I have downloaded the Mac version v 0.3.10 (revision 40776) – it is not possible on this version of the software to change the ‘Sound’ preference.

    No matter what is ‘clicked’, (i.e. ‘apply’, or the check [tick] mark in the sound section), the ‘enable volume normalization’ cannot be disabled.

    All I’m asking is this correct for the Mac version, or am I missing something?

  10. I’m in the same boat as pt33. Using v0.3.10 (revision 40776), ‘Enable volume normalization’ remains ticked no matter how hard I click on it. This is on an iBook G4 running Mac OS X.4.9

  11. Just found this post while searching for the answer to sound quality problems. For me, the quality is absolutely *awful* with normalization enabled, but when I turn it off it’s great.

    It still doesn’t sound as good as 160kbps does when I encode to that at home, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was. :)

  12. It doesen’t work on MacPro G5 with OSX 10.5.6. I see the enable/disable button but it remains ticked no matter what…

  13. It doesn’t work on the OSX yet. Has anyone noticed that a lot of songs are Left and Right reversed ? Now that is odd …

  14. Is this “normalization in the true sense” or is it compressing the way hit radio stations do it ?

    Normalization means that prior to playback an analysis is made of the volume of the entire track, then a fixed volume is set that allows the passage of the track that has the highest volume to be transmitted with the maximum volume that avoids distortion (0 dB), then the track is played using that fixed volume throughout the track.

    In case normalization occurs dynamically then it means the gain would vary so that silent passages are amplified while crescendo sections reduces volume to avoid distortion. That way you would hear most of the song even if a noisy dishwasher is nearby. That would be compression rather than normalization.

    Which one is it ? Fixed volume normalization would not be bad for HIFI, but dynamic compression definitely would.

  15. In response to the last question. I’ve done my listening tests and it sounds the same way that replay gain works (listening to 320kbs streamed to a hifi), so enabling volume normalization for a hifi is a good thing. However if people listen to recent music releases through small computer speakers or small earphones then they’d get a more noisy output signal if they disabled normalization(which will sound better on cheap earphones or built in laptop speakers).

  16. As mentioned before. The only single annoyance that I also find about the volume normalization feature is that it doesn’t have the option to play audio back on a “per album” basis”, on well mastered albums that were designed to be gapless.
    As an example: Dark Side of the Moon (it isn’t currently on spotify), has alarm clock bells ringing at the start of a track called Time. Without volume normalization, the alarm bells would ring louder than the track before sounds (it was intentionally mastered to be like this). With volume normalization enabled, it would sound the same volume level as the track before.

    This is only a minor annoyance for me though, but I understand how it can annoy some hifi purists.