So last night I got pwned by zw as he demonstrated before mine disbelieving eyes this interesting feature he called audio boosting on his machine’s Windows Media Player classic. We were trying to watch this video with an unspeakably soft audio track, and after not being able to hear nuts when I played it on my Linuxbox + shoddy speakers, he smugly plugged the thing through his laptop’s Windows Media Player classic and turned on software audio amplification – and we did indeed get significantly more audible audio. Despite having (immense) issues with Media Player Classic’s UI/UX, I had to concede that that was an immensely handy feature. And so it was Windows 1:0 Linux that night.
But of course, while I do agree that Windows does certain things better than Linux, getting soundly beaten by the likes of Windows Media Player *Classic* is bound not to sit well with this user :P So having been enlightened to the existence of such a feature, I set off today to find out if it exists on Linux players. And it fortunately turns out that the answer is yes! On mplayer, all one needs to do is to add an extra argument. For example,
mplayer -af volume=20:0 mediafile
Would amplify the sound by 20dB. 20dB makes a HUGE difference by the way, so you might want to turn down your speakers/take off your headphones before you try it, in case you inadvertantly deafen yourself. So there you have it. Oh, apparently VLC has support for it too, but that’s beyond the scope of this post for now :)