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.
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
Nullsoft Module Decoder v1.21
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
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.
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]
Plug-In v.80b (x86) [OUT_DS.DLL] Nullsoft WMA Output Plug-In v.90
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.
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
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.
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.