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I've got a large amount of .MKV video files which seem to all play at a very low volume - I end up having to turn the TV up all the way to hear them, which is really irritating when I switch to another channel and wake the dead because it's so loud.

What I'm looking for is a command-line method to increase the volume (so I can run it on all of them quickly) that would hopefully work regardless of the audio codec in use in the particular file. (I don't mind hard-coding the output audio though).

For reference, I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 on my server, and the files are being played back with Boxee on a Mac Mini, but the volume problem is the same on Windows too.

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It isn't very well documented, but FFmpeg has a -vol switch which will allow you to increase volume output.


ffmpeg -i vid.mkv -vol 512 -vcodec copy output.mkv

Some things to take note of:

  • the -vol switch uses "byte percent", so you can't just specify a 200% volume increase, 100% = 256 so specifying 256 would leave the volume as is, 512 would double it and so on.
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Trying to test this out... looks like I need to re-compile ffmpeg from source to use matroska. Will report back! – The How-To Geek Aug 29 '09 at 4:52
I'll cross my fingers :) – John T Aug 29 '09 at 5:11

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