TechSpot

WinAMP 5 Final release

By Julio Franco
Dec 16, 2003
  1. Nullsoft has quietly released Winamp 5.0 final build which will finally make a good upgrade for all of us WA 2.x lovers.

    We have been following 5.0 beta releases closely for the past few weeks so I won't outline what's new with this release, let's just say it feels as light as 2.0 but is more feature packed without getting bloated.

    BTW, the download URL above does not point to Nullsoft official website, apparently the files were temporarily removed from their server so we are pointing to an available mirror.
     
  2. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    excellent. i've stayed away from the betas from the most part, and stayed far away from w3. this looks promising, i'll have to play around with it over break now that i have some time.
     
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Please someone provide me with information on the ripping ability of the final. We had a discussion when it went beta about there being limited ripping features compared to the alpha. I'm still running the Winamp 5.0superearlyalphaness and its awesome. Convince me to change.
     
  4. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Well, for me, it ran as badly as the beta did, at least most things work in the alpha(same one sngx is running)
    IMO, they should have just fixed the problems with 3.0 instead of going backward with it. For now I'll keep the alpha as well.
     
  5. chuonthis

    chuonthis TS Rookie Posts: 38

  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Winamp 5.0 has been working beautifully... Which I cannot say for Winamp 3.0. Even the final release of 3 is guaranteed to crash once or twice while I'm using it.

    5 feels lighter than 3 and looks nicer out-of-the-box in my opinion.

    I guess it depends on how we use Winamp that makes the difference. Some people load playlists.. Some people queue from explorer.. Some people just play their music directly. I imagine things like these probably affect operation enough that it works fine for some people, while others it does not (ie. crashing).
     
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Yes, I'll agree 3 was very bad, the problem I have is that 5 seems to not like mIRC at all, it takes a long time to open and will periodically crash if I have mIRC open while using it. 3.0 did the same thing. 5 also seems to have some issues with being told what to do, it sometimes decides to not play when I load a song(I have to manually play each track as it loads, even using a playlist) I also have a very different opinion of their video support in this release "not sucky"? I beg to differ, the alpha support was pretty good, but this final is horrible, it seems to have some problems with codecs, it might play the file, then next time it just gives audio with missing video.

    I'll likely keep tinkering with it in case there is some little conflict with another app that is causing all this. It may be the fact that I keep a copy of 2.8x around for use with mIRC, which I am certain is the problem with it not wanting to run while mIRC is open.

    To answer your question sngx, ripping/encoding and burning is not available in the free version of 5.0, you need the paid version for that.
     
  8. will_is_awesome

    will_is_awesome TS Rookie

    Anyone using this yet that has taken a look at the video streaming? I was watching it stream on another computer using 3.x and it was quite choppy and cut off all the time. Just hoping they upgraded the one feature I'd like to use, so anybody test this yet?
     
  9. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Yes Video streaming isn't too good, but I think the main problem is with the servers feeding the streams. Some of them were pretty good, as far as being smooth, quality is tolerable, but there is a lack of good content. There also isn't much to choose from currently and many of the servers are constantly full. I also can't get a Radio server list, I don't know if this is a problem with the server or if it is with Winamp 5, but it doesn't even appear to be trying to connect to the server to get the list.

    On a lighter note, it seems that uninstalling and completely removing all traces of all previous versions of Winamp and reinstalling Winamp5 seems to work better. I'm still having a few issues, but it hasn't crashed again yet. I'd also like to note that the 3.0 style skins don't seem to be as much of a resource hog as they were in 3.0.

    While it is currently running good, with a few annoyances, I'm still not sure about it, for one thing, removing 2.x has left me unable to use Winamp through mIRC
     
  10. chuonthis

    chuonthis TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Actually, the free version of Winamp does have ripping support. It's just that the rip speed is limited to 2x and you can't encode in MP3 (only to WAV or AAC). The reason for the MP3 restriction is because Nullsoft has to pay for the MP3 encoder license.
     
  11. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    i wonder why a lot of users are saying that winamp is crummy with video. all winamp is supposed to do is use the same video codecs to play the file. it is just wierd how performance suffers a bit when common sense says it should not suffer.
     
  12. Curl

    Curl TS Rookie

    It's about time
     
  13. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A codec only decodes/encodes chunks of data fed to it. Reading data, feeding it to the decoder, receiving the raw data, interpreting it and making the OS display it is all up to the player app. Making all that go fast is not an easy task. Especially if it is just an extra feature to a sound player.
     
  14. chuonthis

    chuonthis TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Exactly, video playing is just an extra feature in Winamp. It is still primarily a music player. If you wanted to play videos, you'd use Media Player Classic :D
     
  15. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    I haven't yet tested Winamp 5 myself, but I am in the process of downloading it right now (56k :( ). However, I can assure you that if it is anything like Winamp 3 it will not be staying on my hard drive for long. Just too slow, clunky and bloated feeling for my taste.

    I have been eagerly awaiting an update to Winamp 2.91, which has been sitting happily on my HDD since I downloaded a few months ago. Perhaps this will be it?
     
  16. chuonthis

    chuonthis TS Rookie Posts: 38

    If your computer isn't the latest and greatest and you feel that Winamp 5 is a little sluggish still, don't uninstall it just yet! Try switching to a classic Winamp 2.x skin instead of the default Modern skin. That'll help lighten the load on your CPU and return Winamp to 2.x speeds.
     
  17. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Personally, after tinkering with it a bit(see my previous replies) Its much faster than 3.0, much more responsive, the skins don't hog resources, and it doesn't feel as bloated. I still have a few issues with it, such as the video, which I strongly disagree with chuonthis about, I feel if they added the feature, it should be done right or not at all, I've been using Winamp since its early development and with the exception of 3.0, have always been happy with it, if they can improve the video support soon, then ok. If not, they should remove it.
     
  18. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I've been using Winamp 5 since it came out, and all I've noticed is how much better it is than v3. I LOVE Milkdrop, as I first saw in the superprealphaleetness version. It's also better at handling large amount of songs - it reads the ID3 tags and duration much faster than any of the earlier versions. And it definitely beats both Windows Media Player and iTunes at resource management.
    Anyone know what happened to the playlist manager? I really like that feature of v3, and it's gone. It was very useful, mainly because when you open a new media file it clears your whole playlist and replaces it with that. Very irritating, but I can live with it, as it's still awesome.
     
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Actually veh, you can change the preferences in Winamp5 (or at least in the superprealphaleetness version) so that it doesn't clear your playlist, it only adds it to the playlist when you double click a file.
    (Preferences -> Configuration -> Shell Integration -> far right hand side -> Enqueue files doubleclicked in Windows (default is to play))
    AFAIK they have killed the Playlist Manager, which I have mixed feelings about, but it definately helps Winamp5 feel lighter.
    And yes, milkdrop is the sweetness - and I believe I was the one that told you about how awesome it was in the IRC channel :p

    Edit: Veh has told me this "it's in General Preferences - File Types actually" for you guys that have the final version.
     
  20. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    The playlist manager being gone is a bit saddening, but as you said sngx, it does make it lighter. I haven't noticed a change in ID3 reading speed, but its always been fast for me anyway.

    As for Milkdrop, its been around for years as an available plugin, and yes its quite nice and it has gotten better.
     
  21. khosw

    khosw TS Rookie Posts: 36

    as StormBringer mentioned is does take a long time to open, it
    looks nicer with the modern skin, but the music still sounds the
    same. The built-in movie (mpg-mpeg/avi/asf/wmv) player is almost
    useless, since there's bsplayer out there which is much better.

    The really cool feature is the built-in media library snap-in.
    You can configure it to update as frequently as you like and upon startup of winamp, to scan your selected dir for new files.
     
  22. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I don't remember saying that, matter of fact, it seems a bit faster than 3.0 was, though 2.x was quite a bit faster at opening.
     
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I'm surpised you guys don't like the video playback of Winamp5. It plays video clips just fine for me and it doesn't toss up all that other crap around the video like Windows Media Player 7-9. Infact it is my player of choice now, just above PowerDVD for movie rips.

    Maybe they really did mess it up after the alpha.
     
  24. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    sngx, IMO, the video support in the alpha was much better than in the final release. With the alpha I was pretty much playing all my vid clips in it, but the final seems to have trouble with some.
     
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    I may download this final release and install it to a different directory. But it could screw up something in the registry still and rape my alpha.
    Oh well, worst case I'll uninstall it and clean up my registry, and then re-install my alpha.
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...