Audio Sounds Distorted in Video Sequence Editor -- Please help!

I’m running Blender 2.58 and I’ve encountered some weird behavior in the video sequence editor. I’ve got some footage that I captured, and the audio levels appear fine when played through another program like quicktime or VLC. When it gets imported into Blender, it sounds like the audio got recorded entirely too hot, and there is lots of clipping and distortion. The video is an .MP4 file using h264 for video encoding and AAC for audio, I believe.
How can I make the audio sound like it’s supposed to, and not make it sound like I’m playing games on a dying NES?

You could try turning the volume down for that clip?

Select the clip, press the N-Key to reveal the numeric properties for the clip. At least for audio, there is a volume control, perhaps for video as well. Try lowering it by 3db-12-db.