All entries for Wednesday 18 October 2006

October 18, 2006

Winamp Features

Recently, the Winamp team have added a load of new features.

First is a ReplayGain plug-in. Don’t bother, it takes far to long to analyse your music to bother with it. Its a good idea in principle and would be great if it worked in the background slowly analysing your music whilst it played for the first time so on the second time through it played at a sensible volume and storing the information in the Meta data tag. It would also be good if it was hooked up to the shuffle/random button and knew when to change from track normalisation to album normalisation. Or that it had its own button so you don’t have to go traipsing through the preferences. But it doesn’t so forget about it. Also, it takes ages to process your music but once it is processed there is no easy way to see which have been processed, not useful if you cancel halfway through or add extra music to your collection.

Second is Predixis MusicMagic. This has changed its name since being incorporated into Winamp. There is almost no help. And the plug-in doesn’t work with Vorbis… which is my codex of choice so forget it as well. I did download the MusicIP software standalone which works with Vorbis. It is supposed to scan through all your music and then create play list that don’t have style discontinuities but this doesn’t work very well until it has thoroughly analysed your music which takes forever, then it still is crap. Very disappointing. Not even worth wanting Vorbis support adding to the Winamp plug-in.

Finally, Autofill. Winamp is now able to automatically fill your portable media player. It randomly chooses songs from your collection and adds them to your player until it is n% full (with n being a variable you can set slight sarcasm). It is more likely to pick songs that are played more often or have high recommendation ratings. This is great for making a mix of songs from my laptop. My media player uses .ogg (and you can tell Winamp what files your player supports) which is great for reasonable quality music with small file sizes. As my laptop has a reasonably small hard drive all the music is in q1. This quality is OK for playing through tinny laptop speakers and through the cassette adaptor in my car. And its is small in size which is great for my player as it is only 512Mb. There is also a transcode feature but as Vorbis is not supported this limits me to using the files on my laptop and not from my main music repository which are at q6 which is transparent (lossless to your ears). I have far too much music for a large player and hence knew that I would need to change the music on my player often so didn’t bother with getting a bigger one. I also like quality sounds and hence chose the a Samsung player as they support Vorbis, have long battery lives, are drag-n-droppable in Window & Linux.

So, one of the new-ish features of Winamp are OK but the others are crap…

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