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Plug-In Information

Nullsoft Waveform File Decoder v1.15 (x86) [IN_WAVE.DLL]
This plug-in is designed to decode .WAV files. When you select the Waveform File Decoder plug-in and hit Configure, a small window is displayed (as seen below). By adjusting the slider, the decoding priority can be adjusted to allow for slower machines. Winamp prompts the user about where to save the files when streaming files are first started downloading over the Internet and the Prompt to Save Streamed Files box is checked.

  Nullsoft CD/Line Input Player v0.100 (x86) [IN_CDDA.DLL]
The CD/Line Input Player allows the Winamp player to read music directly from a CD, or even from a direct line in through the sound card. If you want to use the Winamp player to play music directly from a Line-In on your computer, open Winamp and hit Ctrl+L and Instead of typing in a normal URL, type in linein://. This pipes the music directly though the Winamp player.
If you want to use the Winamp player to play CDs, place a music CD inD-ROM drive. Open Winamp, hit L to load song, and go to your CD drive. You will note that the songs on the CD drive are all listed in a format like Track01.cda, Track02.cda, and so on. Click on Open and all the songs should be pulled into the playlist; the first song on the CD to the last track will play. You can also make Winamp play audio CDs automatically. Just go to the File Types tab of the Winamp Preferences menu and check the Associate with Audio CDs option.
One of this plug-in's excellent functions is the capability to go out across the Internet and access sites such as CDDB (CD Database, located at www.cddb.com), which is a large database of all songs and titles on compact disc. When Winamp contacts CDDB, it receives artist and song information for whatever CD is playing, provided the information is on CDDB.





To enable this function, open the Preferences menu, go to the Input Plug-in section, and highlight Nullsoft CD/Line Input Player v0.100 (x86) [IN_CDDA.DLL]. Click on Configure; in the Escient CDDB box, check the Use CDDB selection; when you load songs from a CD, Winamp will automatically go out, find the necessary information, and display it on the playlist and on the scrolling title bar.
Nullsoft Module Decoder v1.21 (x86) [IN_MOD.DLL]
The Module Decoder is an input plug-in that allows the Winamp player to play module files. MOD files are best described as a cross between MIDI files and digitized music. Instead of using synthesized instruments like MIDI, MOD files play back specific samples in place of instruments. This format, which was started on the old Amiga computer system, has had a cult following ever since. Here are the major options for this plug-in:
In the Channels box, users can have modules play stereo or mono or reverse the stereo output.
The Mixing Frequency box allows users to reduce CPU usage by downsampling the song to reduce the frequency from the default of 44100Hz.
The voices box sets the maximum number of active voices used in a mod file. Set this lower if MOD files seem to consume too much of your computer's processing power.
The Bits per Sample box is included to provide compatibility with older 8-bit sound cards. The Streaming box, when checked, allows users to save streaming module files when they first play the song.
Mixer options allow users to enable interpolation (which makes the music sound smoother), surround sound (which does some nifty stereo projection effects that make music sound better), clickless mixing which can increase sound quality by improving volume issues and disable 8xx Panning Effects (which gets rid of some annoying clicks), or to disable 8xx panning.
Skipping problems can also be averted by increasing decode thread priority from the default of Higher to Highest.
The final box offers the option to have Winamp prompt you to save MOD files which are streamed off the Internet rather than just played.


Output Plug-ins
This section of preferences lets you pick and configure settings for any of the installed Output plug-ins that are currently installed in Winamp. While you may have more than three available the main three to configure are:
Nullsoft WaveOut Plug-In v2.00 (x86) [OUT_WAVE.DLL]
Nullsoft Disk Write Plug-In v1.0 (x86) [OUT_DISK.DLL]
Nullsoft DirectSound Plug-In v.80b (x86) [OUT_DS.DLL] Nullsoft WMA Output Plug-In v.90 (x86) [OUT_WM.DLL]

Nullsoft WaveOut Plug-In v1.1 (x86) [OUT_WAVE.DLL]
This Output Plug-In allows the Winamp player to play.MP3s by converting them into .WAV files and playing them through your sound card. Highlight this in the Output category under the Plug-ins tree; you will notice that the Configure and About buttons are now accessible. Clicking on Configure pulls up a menu. If a song is playing, when you bring up the configuration dialog it will display information on what amount of music is currently buffered, how much has been buffered total, how many bytes have been transferred to the sound card, and the total output recorded. Click the reset button to set this data back to 0.


At the top of this menu there is a selection that allows you to control what WaveOut Device you wish to use to play the sound files. The default selection is generally correct, but users with advanced hardware may want to use other devices. This is especially true if you have two sound boards on your machine (useful if you're mixing files using a DJ plug-in like Pitchfork, or mixing other MP3 files). With this configuration option you can set different instances of Winamp to output to separate cards.
Under that is Buffer Length. Setting the buffer size is very much dependant upon your machine. The default buffer size is 2,000 milliseconds, or 2 seconds. This places two seconds of play time in memory in advance of playing and helps prevent skipping. Increasing this default allows slower machines. The Seperate Buffering Thread box is selected by default and allows the Winamp player to buffer more aggresively. Disabling this option can be useful for some problematic soundcards.
Below the Buffer Length setting are Advanced Settings.
Priority determines how much precedence Winamp takes over other programs when playing files.
The sliders for Maximum Blocks, Max Blocksize, and Min Blocksize control block size (in samples) which are the information blocks the Winamp player is using to output the music. Sometimes lowering the Max Blocks and Min Blocksize below the default of 8k samples can smooth out visualization and equalizer playback.
On the bottom of the Waveout Configure menu, you can set Winamp to allow volume control directly from the faceplate. You can also reverse the balance controls. If volume control on the Winamp faceplate doesn't seem to work, try selecting the Alt Setting Method box.
Nullsoft DirectSound Plug-In v.95b (x86) [OUT_DS.DLL]
The DirectSound plug-in allows the .MP3 player to utilize Microsoft's DirectSound drivers to play files and communicate with your sound card. This extends the Winamp player's capablities a good deal, allowing for more than one song to be playing concurrently. It also lets you play your favorite Winamps while games that may be using DirectSound are running.
Tip - You must have DirectSound installed on your computer to use this plug-in. If you've ever installed the DirectX drivers from Microsoft (usually installed as part of many of today's computer games) you will have it. If not you can download the DirectX drivers (which include DirectSound) from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/directx/
To configure the DirectSound Output plug-in, highlight it under the Output page under the Plug-ins tree and hit Configure. A menu allows users to set the default buffer size, which controls how many blocks of information is stored in the buffer. The default is 3 seconds; you may want to increase this if you experience skipping during playback on slower computers. Block Size (In Samples) allows the user to increase or decrease the block size stored the buffer. Sometimes setting the block size up from its default of 16k per block can smooth out playback for some cards.


  The first slider is labeled Buffer Length. Setting the buffer size is very much dependant upon your machine. The default buffer size is 400 milliseconds, or .4 seconds. This places roughly half a second of play time in memory in advance of playing and helps prevent skipping. Increasing the buffer size does help prevent skips, however, causes more memory to be used during playback. The second slider, DirectSound block size(in samples) controls block size (in samples) which are the information blocks the Winamp player is using to output the music. Sometimes lowering this below the default of 16k samples can smooth out visualization and equalizer playback. The Volume Control box allows control from the Winamp faceplate, while the reversing stereo balance control option lets you switch the way the balance works in case your speakers are not positioned in-sync with the balance control on the Winamp main console.


Visualization Plug-In Settings
In this section of preferences you can choose the visualization plug-in that is run when you start the visualization mode of Winamp. You can also start, stop and configure various visualization plug-ins here as well. Below the main window is a smaller drop down list that lets you select specific types of variants a single visualization plug-in might offer. Choose a plug-in (and the specific variant if ones are offered) listed in the top window and hit configure to bring up the configuration dialog for that specific plug-in.


The visualization plug-ins display some of the most incredible light shows available to computer users and add a whole new dimension to how you listen to music. In addition to adding colors and sound, many plug-ins also add excellent features such as fading one song into the next and top-notch sound wave imaging.

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