Sunday, July 18, 2010

A WinAmp Rant

John Marine | 7/18/2010 06:17:00 PM | |
Okay, I just have to discuss this. I downloaded WinAmp 5.8 last night (the most recent one). When I installed it and everything, it has gotten me to feel like WinAmp doesn't seem to care anymore for some of the most basic formats. A Wave file (or *.wav) is the most basic audio file on any computer. Recent installments of WinAmp have pretty much disregarded finding and using WAV files. Same goes for MIDI files (though I don't use WinAmp to play MIDI). I think I have even tried to play some MP3 files (which is what WinAmp does better than any other program), they wouldn't play, and I think it even deleted some of my MP3s as I tried to play them. So what I did was replace the ones that were deleted with the ones from my SanDisk Sansa Fuze.

If recent versions of WinAmp is so bent on playing back all of your favorite media, why disregard many basic formats? Not everyone is listening to Lossless Audio or the most advanced MP3 files. Some people still prefer listening to a variety of different formats. Sure, you can download plugins to be able to use various formats, but what good is downloading a quality media player like WinAmp when there is no support from the outset for even the most basic formats nowadays? Even support for OGG Vorbis files is disregarded by recent versions of WinAmp.

I remember even back on my very first computer (all 8 MB of RAM, all of its 75 MHz processor, and all of its 14.4 kbps modem) that WinAmp was king. No other media player could do what this could provide in playing back MP3s and a variety of other media. Now, recent installments have further removed or disregarded the existance of certain other file formats. The WinAmp plugin for recognizing and playing back WAV files is just NOT THERE when I upgraded from 5.7-something to 5.8-something. So you know what I did to get WAV file playing back? I downloaded WinAmp 5.1 on my expansion drive, and then took that specific plugin (in_wave.dll) and copied it to the latest version of WinAmp to play WAV files again. I may also need to download some other plugins to get WinAmp back to the WinAmp that I've known and loved in my past. WinAmp now, is basically a hot mess of fail, especially in playing most of the common and favorite ones. I even just tried listening to Unreal Tournament (as in the first first one) music with the *.umx files. I could easily listen to them in a past version of WinAmp from the start, but not with the latest one. Just because hardly anyone listens to a certain format anymore doesn't mean you should abandon it entirely. So if installing a newer version of WinAmp, back up the folder containing all of your plugins, and add those plugins to your latest version of WinAmp to retain playability of the various formats you choose to listen to.

So all in all, I'm not very pleased with the latest versions of one of the finest media players on the Internet. Think differently? Comment away! For more information on WinAmp, visit www.winamp.com.
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