When it comes to
media players there is no doubting on the popularity of
Winamp. Its ease to use and extensive customisation via
plug-ins have made it quite a legendary piece of software,
being one of the most downloaded programs ever (reportedly
Similarly to our
foobar2000 guide, this guide will take you through
options available and additional plug-ins in order to
enhance your playback experience.
First thing you will
want to know is that Winamp is available in
differing packages. Which version you choose to use is
up to yourself, I personally use the
Basic Full version which is free of charge and comes
with pretty much everything you should need to get started.
When it comes to
selecting features to install itís worth noting that you can
uninstall features within Winamp itself, so if you are not
sure if you require one of the components you can install
it, and remove it later without going to the installer
again. I would recommend that you at least install the
Player Support (if you have a supported portable player)
sections will cover the various aspects of Winamp.
As mentioned before
Winampís functionality can be greatly enhanced through the
use of plug-ins. These can provide support for many
features, e.g. audio/video decoders, visualizations or DSP
effects. These can be installed or uninstalled as desired
and you can use as few or as many as you wish to.
Plug-ins are stored
in Winampís plug-ins directory (usually C:\Program
Files\Winamp\Plugins\) and are listed in the appropriate
Plug-ins tab in the Options > Preferences menu.
To install a Plug-in
simply save/extract it to the Plugins directory (may require
restarting Winamp if opened). Uninstalling a plug-in can be
performed in Winamp by selecting the Plug-in from the
appropriate tab and pressing the Uninstall button,
alternatively the Plug-in file(s) can be deleted from the
Plugins directory directly.
In this guide we will
cover customization of some of the most relevant plug-ins
available in Winamp.
Preferences menu and select the Input tab. The plug-ins
listed provide support for decoding various formats, e.g.
WMA, MP3, and CD.
Of most relevance,
alternative MPEG decoders are available which offer better
quality/features than Nullsoftís decoder, however the only I
would recommend is
Shibatch mpg123 (Extract in_!mpg123.dll from the appropriate Bin subdirectory in the archive to the Winamp Plugin directory, if unsure extract the file from the Bin\normal subdirectory) as it is regularly updated. Some
MAD decoder, although that hasnít been updated in some
years and exists only as a Beta.
Next I will cover
options for the more important of the decoders available.
Select the appropriate Plug-in and skip to the appropriate
section and press the Configure button.