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A Few Favorite Programs

Apart from its excellence as a player and its stability, I like Winamp 2.x because of the availability of a huge variety of plug-ins. My favorites for playback are discussed here.

While I'm thinking of it, if you ever have need of an older Winamp, all old versions are available at Winamp Heaven.

You can get plug-ins that will...
  • Play formats other than MP3
  • Convert back and forth from MP3<>WAV<>WMA<>etc.
  • Record from line-in or CD
  • Cross fade
  • Provide a variety of visualizations
  • Edit tags
  • Maintain a database
  • Allow you to use multiple DSP plug-ins
...and a whole bunch more. Spend some time browsing the plug-in section at

Two that I particularly want to mention are Winamp Hotkeys and Reproduction Control. Both of them let you do things with Winamp by using keyboard hotkeys. By "things" I mean increase or decrease the volume, play, stop, pause, next, that.

Why use them when Winamp has so many built in hotkeys? Because the ones built in only work when Winamp is the active window. Using these plug-ins, you can control Winamp even when it is minimized.

Why use them if you have a "multi-media" keyboard? No reason...if your keyboard will control sound generated by programs other than from audio CDs. Many (including mine) won't.

I use both plug-ins because neither by itself will control all the things I want to do.

Another reason I like Winamp is that there are many skins for it. A "skin" is a group of bitmaps and text files that Winamp can use to change its appearance. Additionally, it is easy to modify a skin - all you need is Paint and a text editor. I like things clean and tidy and I hated the base skin so this is the way mine wound up...


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