MP3 playback is crackling

My MP3’s are crackling when I play them on the WDTV Live. If I play them via my PC which is using HDMI, they work fine. If I play them with the WDTV Live, they crackle (mostly near spots where a songs volume goes up quickly). I can play video just fine, no audio problems or crackling. I don’t have an optical port on my other gear so HDMI is my only solution.

Has anyone else had this problem?

I have had this issue since the last 3 firmware updates.



Someone else was having the same problem and made the comment that it sounded like the audio was being clipped. She recommended running all my MP3’s through a program called MP3Gain and adjusting the gain on all the songs so they would not exceed a certain point.

I ran the MP3Gain program on all the MP3’s and BAM! They all playback with no crackling or clipping on the WD TV Live.

What it looks like is that the WD TV Live has no function to normalize or “limit” peaks in the audio and that is why the crackling noise occurred.


Did mp3gain show in red that your mp3’s were clipped.

No, MP3Gain did not show that anything was clipped. I think that doesn’t really indicate anything though. I grabbed a couple of new songs I have and played them on the WDTV Live and the crackling was there. I analyzed them with MP3Gain but it did not flag anything as clipped. I went ahead and ran them through MP3Gain and replayed them on th WDTV Live. The crackling was gone.

I think the lack of indication of clipping simply means that for a PC, the MP3 is probably ok but if it still crackling through the WDTV Live it is likely due to no reference or information for the WDTV Live that talks about its gain levels and how it processes audio that it might see as something above an arbitrary gain level.