Winamp Full

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Description

So you want a well designed simple to use media player for your Windows based PC or Android device then the first place you should look is at the Winamp player from Nullsoft.

This media player was is almost synonymous with the growth of mp3 file sharing and since its release in 1997 has grown to become one of the most popular players available today. This is not just because of its wide ranging file reading capabilities but also because its appearance on screen can be modified as well.

Features

Part of the reason for the players popularity is the design of the system. It is multi format, can be extended with plugins and its appearance on screen can be altered by changing the available ‘skins.’ By changing the ‘skin’ it is possible to personalise the appearance of Winamp to suit the users taste. Its graphic sound visualisation is one of its popular features and this in combination with the playlist and media library features make it one of the most versatile media players available. So it is possible to not only create playlists that suit you and your tastes but you can also modify the appearance of the player to that which best suits your mood at the time.
It not only supports mp3 file formats but also MIDI, AAC, FLAC, MOD, MPEG-1 WAV, and WMA. This being the case it is an ideal platform for all music, or audio, playback. A further feature is ReplayGain which allows the volume to be levelled across tracks. This means there is no more need to dive across the room to alter the volume when the playback function has been set to shuffle through the library.
Winamp is also capable of allowing playback of most video formats supported by Windows Media Player.
Its ability to import audio CDs, with the option to use CD text, and burning to CD allows the user to create their own playlist for use in most CD players.

Comparison

The main advantages of this system are that the file formats that can be read are wide ranging and yet it is easy to use. At the time of installation Winamp will not simply overwrite any media that is currently stored but it will read it and add those files to its media library database. If any files that are subsequently added to the library are missing the artwork or id tags the Get Album Art retrieves the artwork but asks you for confirmation before adding it to the file. The Autotagging function uses Gracenote to retrieve the tracks ID2 and ID3 data then adds that to the file.
It can also support a variety of media players from burning simple audio CDs to iPods or Mass Storage Compliant devices to any form of generic mp3 player. Another feature is Winamp Remote. This allows remote streaming of media files from the users PC via the internet. In operation the bitrate is adjusted to the available bandwidth which can be controlled by a web interface such as the Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or even a mobile phone.

Conclusion

As a programme that is free to download it could be expected to have any number of bugs or faults and yet it does not. It has been carefully modified to work seamlessly with most, if not all, file types and then balance the volume level of all the tracks to enhance the playback when in use. Then the abilities to add the appropriate artwork and metadata tags needs to be taken into account and it is easy to understand why this system has been growing, and undergoing its own form of evolution, since it was first launched in 1998. With its plugin architecture it has been able to adapt to the rapidly changing world of the music and computer industry while remaining at the forefront of technological innovation.

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