iTunes volume adjustment stuck!

If you have playlists with variable musical genres, the volume adjustment option in iTunes is essential if you don’t want to be constantly fiddling with volume controls. Once you’ve set up the adjustment it’s possible to mix classical, ambient, IDM and progressive metal (if you happen to have my taste) so they transition doesn’t sound too jarring.

Unfortunately when trying to get a playlist to work properly, I discovered that iTunes couldn’t save any changes to certain files. I changed the volume, and iTunes reduced it while the file played, but going back in to “Get Info” showed the previous volume adjustment.

It's stuck
It’s stuck!

This was clearly unacceptable and a solution had to be found immediately…

It was suspiciously looking like a tagging problem, and I didn’t have a program that could read out all the information in a file. Fortunately I found a program called Kid3 that reads any tags in an mp3 or AAC file, even ones it couldn’t recognise.

Weird "Unknown" tag

For this particular file there was a strange “Unknown” tag here, which Kid3 can remove. The next time you load up iTunes, you’ll be able to adjust the volume successfully.

The final recipe is:

  1. Use “Open in Finder” to locate the file in your library (on Windows I believe it’s “Show in Folder” or something similar)
  2. Quit iTunes
  3. Start up Kid3 and drag the file to the main window
  4. Check for mysterious tags and remove them
  5. Start iTunes back up and verify you can adjust the volume

The benefit of this method is that you don’t have to remove files from your library and lose rating or play count data. Removing and re-adding won’t affect any odd tags in your files.