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Plug-In Information
Nullsoft MIDI Player v0.60 (x86) [IN_MIDI.DLL]
This plug-in allows the Winamp player to decode MIDI files. You will notice that the Configure and About buttons become accessible when you highlight this plug-in in the Input category under the Plug-ins tree. Clicking on Configure displays a dialog box which allows you to do two things: Selecting the first box allows the Winamp player to query your sound card to display visualization. Your sound card must be able to record at 44khz with 16-bit stereo quality while at the same time playing MIDI to do this. Selecting the second box prompts you when streaming MIDI files to save them on your hard drive.


Plug-In Information
Nullsoft MPEG Audio Decoder (x86) [IN_MP3.DLL]
This plug-in is the very heart of the Winamp player. This plug-in tells Winamp how to decode .MP3 files. The plug-in has single configuration dialog that includes five key areas of settings.


Title Formats

%1  - ID3 Artist 
%2  - ID3 Title 
%3  - ID3 Album 
%4  - ID3 Year 
%5  - ID3 Comment 
%6  - ID3 Genre 
%7  - File Name 
%8  - File Path 
%9  - File Extension 
%%  - If for some reason you want to display a % itself 
File types
The File types box contains the default MPEG layer data files that can be decoded with the Nullsoft MPEG audio decoder. By default, the MPEG Layer III and Layer II file types are enabled, however, you do have the option to enable Layer I manually. There is very few data files available that still use MPEG layer I, so this is unnecessary. If you have renamed your files to other to another extention, or are aware of the decoder being able to decode those files, you may manually specify additional extentions to be associated with this decoder.
Default thread priority
The Decode Thread Priority box controls how much CPU power is allocated to decoding the file. If it is set too low, it can cause skipping in file playback.
ID3v1 Title Formatting
This section provides a simple but very neat way to customize Winamp. Winamp can read information from the song in a format called ID3 to determine the name and title of the song. It then displays this information on the Winamp faceplate and playlist. Through this tab, you can select how you want that information to be displayed by Winamp when it is playing the song. Of course, the information has to be in the song for Winamp to display it, so if the song were ripped from CD without specifying what album it came from, it won't appear until you enter that missing information. This menu lists how Winamp interprets the ID3 information.
All of these %x are just abbreviations for how Winamp will display the song either in the scrolling titlebar or on the playlist. By changing the abbreviations in the writable area on this tab, you can customize the way songs display. Say you want to add the album and year to the display of a band's name and song title. Since Winamp defaults to displaying Artist-Title, you are going to need to add a couple abbreviations. For example, a song called SongX by the band, ArtistX, off the album AlbumX made in 1999 would be typed in like this: %1[nd]%2 off %3 in %4. It would display like this: ArtistX SongX off AlbumX in 1999.
If you want no information, just use %7, which will just state the file name.


The Output area controls how much of a load Winamp places on the CPU to decode and play .MP3s. The tradeoff in freeing vital system resources is diminished quality. Simply turning off Stereo Output can cut processor usage in half on stereo-recorded .MP3s, since it only has to decode a one channel mono stream versus a two-channel stereo stream. The 16-bit Output box is included to make sure that Winamp will work on older soundcards, as some old sound cards can only accept 8-bit mode. (8-bit sound is noticeably worse sounding and uses more CPU time, though.)
The Quality choices allows you to set the processor usage, but it's set at the cost of sound quality. Full is the default setting. Half and Quarter were both designed to allow 486 processors to play Winamp. They downsample the original recording, losing accuracy from the original, but allow processor usage to be greatly reduced.
Full File Buffering
The Full File Buffering section simply loads a file into memory if it is equivalent or smaller to the size typed in the box on the bottom left. This is done to reduce skipping, ensuring smoother playback of smaller files. Users with more RAM can adjust this to whatever seems to work best for them. Generally (depending on how many other applications you typically load into memory at one time) if you have 64MB or more of RAM, you can raise this value to 4,000Kb or higher and get smoother playback.
Decoder Mode
The Decoder Mode area allows you to optimize the MPEG Decoder for specific processor classes. If you have a Penitum MMX/II/III we recommend setting the option to "MX / Pentium II/III" because this will improve overall performance and may in some cases CPU load by using the MMX optimized instructions rather then the basic FPU instructions.


Streaming Data Buffer
The streaming data buffer is designed to stream MP3 audio. There are many ways to do this, including plain HTTP (i.e. you can pass Winamp an URL to an MP3 on a Web site), Microsoft's NetShow streams, as well as through Nullsoft's own SHOUTcast radio. SHOUTcast allows music to be sent over the Internet in the MP3 format and received by Winamp. Much like a radio station, the Winamp user has no control over the songs being played, but he can select a broadcast that fits his connection and personal taste music.
The Streaming Prebuffer box allows users to minimize gaps in the music due to Internet traffic when streaming an MP3 file like you do when listening to a SHOUTcast station. Streaming can be disrupted in many ways, and setting larger buffers can often slow the load time significantly. Users with unreliable connections and users in high traffic areas, however, can often smooth playback by increasing how much they prebuffer at the start of a stream. This is done by increasing the Prebuffer amount by sliding the first Initial Prebuffer slider more to the right. The second slider the Buffer underrun prebuffer, determines how much of a song to buffer after there has been a disruption in the connection. This also works to smooth out song play; increasing the buffer can eliminate further disruptions.
The Streaming Buffer Size is a numeric setting you can change to increase or decrease the amount of ram used to buffer an incoming stream in memory. Increasing this value on machines with good amounts of memory can help provide better skip protection due to Internet congestion.
Finally the Enable SHOUTcast title streaming checkbox should be left blank on machines with slow Internet connections.
Enable SHOUTcast title streaming (disable for slower connections) is a setting you click if you want your SHOUTcast 1.1 server to send through the title information of the song to listeners. If your are broadcasting your SHOUTcast station on a slow connection you can disable this feature to help with reducing the needed bandwidth on your SHOUTcast station.

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