I'm not sure to be honest. Just tried with mpg321 here to be sure and it works perfectly.
just to clarify, what Pi is this on? and this is with Jessie Pixel, not Lite, correct? did the compilation process of libpivumeter fail in any way? and if you airplay you get sounds but no VU (but sounds work)?
... if you are in at the weekend / Pi Party, come and see me/us... perhaps you can bring along that SD so I can check a few things. The mp3 you are using could be useful as well, if that is OK for you to leave a copy with us.
I'm in the process of assembling a few test files to try to channel troubleshooting meaningfully and I'll let you know when they are up and how to use them.