I'm looking for a software program that will take an MP3 or MP4 as input and produce as output a text file with peak or average volume for each second (or some interval of seconds or sub-seconds).

Essentially, I want to produce a volume graph, but need the raw volume numbers so I can align the sound volumes to other data.

Ideally, I would like a 'headless' script so I can automate the extraction from multiple, very long sound files.

Thanks very much for your help.

  • what have you already tried? what is the purpose besides measuring volume on mp3/4 files? do you have a budget? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 9:33
  • @ArnoudTraa I'm trying to validate actigraph data on sleep/wake time by overlaying sound recordings of snoring and movement (and luminosity). I haven't tried anything yet, although I've done a fair amount of googling to find something with this functionality. This is just for me, but I could spend a few hundred dollars if need be.
    – L. Blanc
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 11:42

2 Answers 2


As you don't mention which platform/OS you're running, I would suggest loudness-scanner.

Something like :

loudness dump -m 0.1 *.mp3 > data.txt

should provide you with a text file containing raw data (momentary loudness every 0.1 second).

  • I'm so amazed someone actually already wrote a program to do this. Is nothing left undone in the world? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 11:58
  • @audionuma This sounds like exactly what i want, but i'm having trouble getting it to build on OS X, which is my primary platform. I could run it on Windows or get a Linux box on Amazon if it comes to that. if i can get that sorted and run a successful test, I'll accept this as the answer
    – L. Blanc
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 15:40
  • @audionuma I have not been able to get a build on OS X, but will accept this answer anyway since it appears to be sound. Like your r128x library, btw. :)
    – L. Blanc
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 12:01

I'm suprised you didn't find this earlier...


If you read through the webpage it seems obvious that there is a scriptable option available as well. Can't test it as I don't have a Mac OS X test machine available currently though.


  • It is a nice program, but it doesn't provide the momentary gain data as an output, it only adjusts the gain on the file or files as a whole.
    – L. Blanc
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 0:22

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