Winamp Tweak Guide


Nullsoft Vorbis Decoder

Select the Decoding tab.


Priority. This slider determines the thread priority level for Nullsoftís Vorbis decoder, and itís recommended to leave this set to default unless experiencing choppy playback, in which case try increasing the priority level. You might find it useful to lower the priority level if you have more critical processes running (though only if faultless playback is maintained).

Buffer full files from disk. Ticking this option sets that tracks are fully buffered in order to avoid playback hitches. If youíre playing tracks solely from your hard drive it should be fine Unticked (disabled).

Output format. This drop-down menu specifies the output bit depth used during playback. Higher bit depths provide a greater Dynamic Range (The difference between the quietest and loudest signal), as indicated beneath.

Bit Depth

Dynamic Range







This allows for greater precision and more headroom when processing a track (For example, MP3s are not encoded with a specific bit-depth). For 24-Bit Soundcards, 24 bits is recommended as the preferred mode to select. Users of 16-Bit Soundcards should select 16 bits.

Dither. Dithering is the process of adding noise to audio in order to provide improved sound quality. This might strike you as contradiction, a detailed explanation of why it isnít can be found here. If youíre using 8 or 16 bit output format then itís recommended Ticking this option for optimal sound quality. If youíre using a higher bit-depth output format (24 bit) leave this Unticked, itís not necessary (given the greater dynamic range), nor would you notice any difference in playback quality; youíd only be increasing CPU use. Noise shaping is used to further enhance the dithering process by distributing noise across the frequency range.

Use Replay Gain. Detailed information on Replaygain can be found here, but basically it allows for a gain adjustment to be stored in a track, the point being to reduce the need to adjust the volume level during music playback due to varying loudness levels in different tracks/albums. Some of the benefits to using Replaygain are that the Replaygain information doesnít actually alter the track itself, unlike, say, normalizing a track while encoding Ė Replaygain info can be removed/changed as needed (similar to ID3 tags). Additionally, this also tends to resolve clipping issues with many tracks. Ticking this option allows the use of Replaygain info stored in tracks as described above (recommended). Two modes are available as regards the application of Replaygain during playback.

Radio / Track. This selects the track gain adjustment which is recommended for maintaining a constant volume level between tracks, regardless of any intended loudness variation between tracks. This may function best when playing tracks from a variety of albums.

Audiophile / Album. This selects the album gain adjustment which is recommended to maintain the intended loudness variation between tracks, particularly if playing from a single album.

Unticking this option disables applying ReplayGain adjustments in tracks. This isnít particularly recommended as it can exaggerate volume differences between tracks and increases the chances of clipping.

Use 6dB Hard Limiter. Ticking this option applies a 6dB limit to audio playback, which eliminates clipping from occurring although can cause noticeable distortion when active (though not as bad as clipping). Again, bear in mind that ReplayGain scanned tracks should have clipping issues resolved in the first place.

Preamp. A preamp is used to boost/reduce signal strength before being sent to an amplifier. Set this to your own preference, although bear in mind that boosting signal strength may introduce clipping to tracks; as such it would generally be recommended to apply a negative value.

Apply preamp only when RG info is available. Ticking this option specifies that preamp adjustments are only applied to ReplayGain scanned tracks. Untick this option enables both scanned and unscanned tracks to have the preamp adjustment applied.

Now select the Multichannel tab.


Apply conversion and Source channel order. Due to issues with earlier versions of Vorbis, audio channels were not mapped correctly for output. Selecting the remap 6 channels and correct options respectively will ensure channels are mapped correctly. Should you not be using a 5.1 speaker system select an alternative downmix option, in particular noting the following 2 options:

Downmix to 2 channels (DS). This downmixes an audio source to Dolby ProLogic (A 4-channel audio format matrixed into Stereo); when connected to a Dolby ProLogic decoder the additional 2 channels will be played, otherwise the content will be played as standard stereo (2 channel).

Downmix to 2 channels (DS2). This downmixes an audio source to Dolby ProLogic II (A 6-channel audio format matrixed into Stereo); when connected to a Dolby ProLogic II decoder the additional 4 channels will be played, otherwise the content will be played as standard stereo (2 channel). Note Ė Connecting to a Dolby ProLogic decoder in this instance will yield only 2 additional channels being played.

Downmix all to mono. Ticking this option downmixes sources for mono output (Single channel). There shouldnít be much reason to do this, leave it Unticked.

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