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Oct 28

WinAmp

Winamp logoFor years, Winamp has been the audio player of choice for many discerning audiophiles. Not only does it play standard MP3 files (which can be purchased from Amazon or – if you pay for the upgrade to the Pro version, created from your own CDs), but version 3 added a video player. And a music library that tracks your play information, so you can see what you listen to most.

Created by the company Nullsoft (who are now owned by AOL), WinAmp is a shareware product, the base audio and video player is free, essentially meaning you pay for the bolt-on modules such as the MP3 encoder. That said, there are a plethora of free codecs (decoders to play other file formats) as well as a visualisation library that can create glorious visual effects while listening to your music – great on holiday if you’re using your laptop as a music player (although plug it into the mains, eh?)

Winamp also pretty much invented the idea of the “skinnable” application. Its polymorphic abilities can see it turn into a futuristic and stylish player, give it an organic, alien-themed look, or even a tribute to Doctor Who. At time of writing, there are 2,809 different skins for WinAmp, so there’s something there to suit all tastes.

As for plugins, there are 942 of them – as well as the usual plugins such asĀ graphic equalisers you can add surround sound, pretend you’re listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks by altering the speed and tempo, or just post what you’re listening to MSN messenger.

Winamp may not be the newest player on the block, but its impressive array of built in formats, the plethora of plugins, and the bewildering array of skins makes it an essential for anyone with an MP3 collection.

Oh, and it plays CDs as well, just in case you were wondering…

3 comments

1 ping

  1. avatar
    simon

    Wow, might have to rethink this idea of adding all the file types as tags, eh? :-)

  2. avatar
    Rebecca

    Very good info, cheers! can someone tell me how to get the little avatars to show up in my comments section? thanx!

    1. avatar
      simon

      Sure – head on over to http://www.gravatar.com/ and use the email address you used in this comment :-)

      If you’re using WordPress, the plugin is here – http://www.sterling-adventures.co.uk/blog/2008/03/01/avatars-plugin/

  1. avatar
    Goodbye, iPod classic? - simon collis

    […] product. iTunes is a fairly nice piece of software, but other MP3 managers are available (WinAmp, for one). The iTunes store is nice, but I prefer the Amazon MP3 store […]

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