My car has nothing special for music. A 2009 and no place to plug in a smart phone/mp3, no usb. Just CD Audio.
It has been ages, but I thought I was on linux, and was able to raise the volume before the actual burning. I don't remember using much on linux at the time, being such a new person. I remember K3B, and, well, that may have been all I remember. I see the normalize, how exactly does that work? Does it take all tracks into consideration, and find the medium? or average? or does it a single track and find the average? or loudest point?
I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear earlier. That's a failure on my part, so let me try again to find the words that will do the trick:
Normalization in K3B analyzes each track in the project individually, finds the maximum peak in that track (or track pair for stereo tracks) and amplifies/attenuates the entire track such that the maximum peak in the track is set to a -3db level. It does this on the fly, in turn, for each track in the project. As a result, some tracks may be amplified and others may be attenuated, depending on what level they were at originally.
As an example of this, say a stereo track's maximum peak signal is at -5db in the left channel. The entire track pair would then be amplified
by 2db to bring the new maximum to -3db. The rest of the track's levels would rise by the same amount, and so would remain in proportion - the entire track would get "louder" by the same amount, with the dynamic variations within the track preserved (just as if you had reached for the volume knob on the stereo and turned it up a bit.)
If another track in the project had a maximum level of -1db, the normalization would attenuate
the overall signal by 2db, and it's apparent volume would be lessened to bring it to the same level as the previous track, -3db.
The result is that the maximum levels of all tracks in the project are the same, namely -3db. Dynamic range for each track is preserved, as everything in the track is altered by the same amount (e.g., no compression or other effect to selectively alter softer parts is applied). This usually works pretty well for all types of music for most purposes - the -3db level is generally where commercial CDs are mastered, for reasons already discussed. If you need to do something more sophisticated, such as removing DC Offset, hiss, pops, or scratches, or are wanting to boost CDs to higher levels (BE CAREFUL with this), K3B's normalization is not the way to go.
In those cases, Audacity or something like it would be better. That said, normalizing in K3B is an easy process, and is far less time-intensive than individually editing tracks which you would then burn to a CD anyway. (I say be careful with higher levels of amplification because it can cause clipping and other distortion to creep into your recordings and make them sound worse. Very high levels of amplification can also do damage to your playback equipment over time.)
The advantages of doing the normalization in K3B are that it does pin all the tracks to the same safe maximum level quickly and easily, and makes burning a CD from multiple diverse sources (which may be recorded in different formats and at different levels) a one-stop process.
Does that help clarify it for you? The best way, of course, is to experiment with some known track sets that contain enough variation in signal levels for you to be able to hear the difference
any processing makes. Burn a couple of CDs - one without normalization and one with it, and give them a listen. If the original tracks were of sufficiently differing levels, the change will be immediately apparent.
The biggest single thing you can do to improve CD "listen-ability" is to start with the best quality sources for your audio projects. Normalizing junky little 56kbps MP3s will still sound like crap, only crap at a consistent volume level. Even FLAC can sound bad if the original source was not up to par to begin with, but FLAC that is recorded on good equipment from clean original sources can have truly amazing sound quality.
Good luck in getting what you want to do done. One word of warning though: getting good results with audio recordings can become a quite addictive little hobby. Have fun, and enjoy your music!