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I tried mp3gain but it do alters mp3 frames (adding an undo tag also) - I decoded the gained mp3 into wav with lame and I got it different. The same time foobar2000 just introduces a tag and nothing more. Is there a way to teach mp3gain not to alter audio itself?

Used command: mp3gain -c -p -r sochi.mp3

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No, because the point of MP3gain is to physically (and reversibly) alter the actual mp3 files so that they can be played without having to have an mp3 player that knows about the ReplayGain tag that foobar2000 (and many other media players) can use to change the music volume on the fly.

MP3Gain is most useful when used with cheap mp3 players that have no ReplayGain feature.

If you don't want the files altered just use the gain feature in foobar2000, which just saves audio level information to the tags, if you do want the files to play at a similar level on every device then use MP3gain.

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You can use the command: mp3gain -c -p -s i sochi.mp3

The flag -s i will write album and track replaygain values into the id3 tags, but won't change the gain of the mp3 file. Software that handles replaygain will play the song at the adjusted volume, but software that does not will play it at the original volume.

As long as you don't use the flags -r, -a, -g or -l, mp3gain should not adjust the mp3 file gain.

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  • Hmm, I'm not sure about -a option when used together with -s i. Musicbrainz Picard "ReplayGain" plugin has -a -s i flags, and I'm trying to undo (with -u) after it, and it shows No changes to undo. – kolen Dec 19 '19 at 0:11
  • I never wanted to modify the gain on the mp3 files, and only wanted the tags to be set. So I never used any of the destructive tags like -a. You might try different options with a single file by running mp3gain directly and see how undo works on those. – Victor Roetman Jan 9 '20 at 1:16

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