Friday, July 08, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Using Winamp with iPod
ml_iPod includes many additional features, including the ability to synch multiple iPods with Winamp. Users may create smart playlists through this plug-in. Finally, the most significant of the features, ml_iPod allows the user to copy songs from an iPod onto a hard drive.
Another amazing fact is that iTunes for Windows is a 21-MB download and uses far more resources than Winamp. By contrast, Winamp is 4.7 MB and the ml_iPod plug-in is a mere 130 KB of space. Winamp is known to be faster and more efficent than iTunes software. Furthermore, iTunes is not compatible for Windows 98 users, as Winamp is available on nearly every platform.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Winamp Tips & Tweaks
Make Sure You're Using the Latest Version of Winamp
With every new version release of Winamp, the Nullsoft team not only bundles in new features and functionality, they also make sure to include bug fixes and cleaner code. Many times, simply upgrading your software might be enough to kick whatever issues you may be experiencing. Problems that you might find lurking around Winamp 5.0 may already be long gone in 5.08.
Winamp 2.x users should also note that Winamp 5 is a continuation of version 2's code, unlike Winamp 3, which was rewritten from scratch. Winamp 5 is a direct upgrade from Winamp 2, adding in new fixes, security enhancements, and plug-ins (which can be easily disabled if needed). Consequently, Winamp 2.x users are highly advised to download the latest version of Winamp.
Clean Install Winamp and Check Your Plug-Ins
When installing Winamp, you may want to install into an empty directory (new folder), or uninstall your previous version first. Clean installing helps avoid configuration conflicts that may occur when overwriting existing files. Please consult these procedures when looking to do a full uninstall and/or reinstall.
For an introduction to plug-ins, please refer to Winamp's "What is a Plug-in?"
Many instances of Winamp crashing or slowing down could be attributed to unsupported, third party plug-ins. Problems you are experiencing could be the fault of a plug-in, and not Winamp's. If you have reason to believe that a plug-in is in fact causing conflict with Winamp or any other plug-ins you may have installed, you can do one of the following:
- Uninstall the plug-in by first hitting Ctrl - P to go into your Winamp Preferences settings. Under Plug-ins, choose the category of your plug-in. Select the offending plug-in. Click the "Uninstall plug-in" button.
- Uninstall the plug-in by locating and deleting the appropriate files in your Winamp Plug-ins folder. (e.g. C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins)
- Download the latest version of the plug-in, and hope it fixes the issue.
- Contact the author about the issue, and hope he/she fixes the problem in their next release.
If you wish to install Winamp with just "basic functionality", you have the option of downloading a powered-down "Lite" version. Though Winamp Lite is able to play your MP3 files and is compatible with Winamp 2 plug-ins and Classic skins, it lacks the following Winamp 5 features: Modern skin support, video playback, the redesigned Media Library, integrated visualizers, ripping/burning support, and the integrated radio/TV tuner. Winamp's product overview provides some information on the above elements.
If you'd rather not lose out on all of those items, you can download the full version, and uncheck the specific features in the installer that you do not plan to use. For example, you can uncheck "support for cd burning/ripping" if you do not plan on using Winamp for CD burning/ripping, but leave the other options marked to install those. Though Winamp runs fine on most systems with all of the "extras" installed, if you do not plan on using them, Winamp will be wasting it's time (and yours) loading them up.
Use Classic Skins or Keep Your Modern Skins Trim.
For an introduction to skins, please refer to Winamp's "What is a Skin?"
Running Winamp in Classic skin mode drastically decreases the startup time of Winamp, while increasing overall speed. While Modern/Freeform skins typically come equipped with extra functions and are oftentimes more visually impressive, you pay for that all with longer load times and more CPU. Classic skins can usually be differentiated from their Modern counterparts by their rectangular shape. Winamp's default Classic can be selected by going to Options > Skins > Winamp Classic. There is a Classic skin that closely resembles the look of the default Modern skin, for those of you wish to use that instead You can choose not to have support for Modern skins at all by unchecking the feature when installing.
If you decide to use Modern/Freeform skins, there are several tweaks you can apply to your preferences, improving your performance while using these skins. All of these preferences can be quickly accessed by hitting Ctrl - P.
- Skins > Modern Skins > General tab. On the Timer's Resolution, experiment with what works best for you by moving the slider to the right. The farther right you move the slider, the less CPU this function will use.
- Skins > Modern Skins > Alpha Blending tab. Uncheck: enable desktop alpha blending (if using Win2k or XP).
- Skins > Modern Skins > Font Rendering. Checkmark: allow use of bitmap fonts that have not been mapped.
- Skins > Modern Skins > Current Skin tab. Uncheck: enable beat detection
- Skins > Modern Skins > Current Skin tab. Checkmark: disable song ticker
Listed below are several options in Winamp's preferences that you can choose to either enable or disable. While each of these options should add some speed to either your load times or general usage, you should make sure that Winamp retains the functionality you need before turning off any features. All of these preferences can be quickly accessed by hitting Ctrl - P.
- General Preferences. Uncheck: show splash screen.
- General Preferences. Uncheck: check for new versions at startup
- General Preferences. Uncheck: allow Winamp to report anonymous usage statistics
- General Preferences > File Types. Uncheck: restore file associations at start-up (Leave this checkmarked if you find that your other media players are resetting your file associations.)
- General Preferences > Titles > Metadata Reading section. Select either the 2nd or 3rd options.
- General Preferences > Global Hotkeys. Uncheck: enabled (Leave this checkmarked if you wish to use Global Hotkeys.)
- General Preferences > Media Library > Library Options tab. Checkmark: do not load database at startup
- General Preferences > Media Library > Media Importing tab. Uncheck: rescan folders at startup
- General Preferences > Media Library > Recent Items tab. Uncheck: track playback count and last playback time of all files (Leave this checkmarked if you wish to use the Recently Played view and keep track of your play counts.)
- General Preferences > Media Library > Recent Items tab. Uncheck: track playback count and last playback time of streams (Leave this checkmarked if you wish to use the Recent Items view.)
- General Preferences > CD Ripping > Ripping tab. Uncheck: read audio data from CDs using bundled Sonic extraction engine (Only recommended if you have an ASPI Layer Manager installed.)
Many users report that Winamp requires less CPU when in it's minimized state. You can usually find the minimize button on the main window's top right corner, third from the right. If you have Global Hotkeys enabled, a keyboard with multimedia buttons, or a plug-in that provides you with alternate playback controls, you should still be able to carry out basic functions with Winamp while the player is minimized.
Consult the Winamp Forums.
If worse comes to worse, and none of the above tips help you, your problems might require a lot more than this guide can help you with. If that's the case, I suggest you either visit #winamptech (irc.zirc.org), or the Winamp Technical Support section of the Winamp forums. There should be a lot of good folks ready to help you in both of the above spots. Please make sure to run a search on your problem first before posting on the forums. Also, make sure you include your system specifications, along with what 3rd party plug-ins you are using and whether or not you have done a clean install.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
File Sharing Services
- 11mbit: 10 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads. Does not state time limit for hosting files.
- Come2Store: 10 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files last for unlimited time limit so long as active.
- Data Pickup: 250 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files last for up to 7 days. Users report unlimited claim is entirely false, as downloads disappear after a mere handful of downloads.
- ezUpload: 10 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files hosted for unlimited time limit so long as active.
- Glint.Files: 30 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, does not specify how long file will remain hosted. Users report of unsuccessful uploading, corrupt files, and transfer timeouts.
- Libero Mail: 1 gigbyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files hosted for 7 days. This service requires a free signup for a webmail service. Users report files with a popular amount of downloads are deleted without notice.
- Mytempdir: 25 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files are hosted for upto 14 days.
- QuickFile: 50 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, does not state how long files will be hosted.
- Rapidshare: 30 megabyte upload limit with limited downloads per hour unless using a premium account. Files hosted for unlimited time limit so long as active for 30 days.
- Share Big File: 250 megabyte upload limit with 250 downloads. Files hosted for unlimited time, upto 250 downloads.
- Upload Hut: 50 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads. Files hosted for unlimited time so long as active for 30 days. Many report problems of transfer timeouts.
- Upload Porn!: 30 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files last for unlimited time limit. Users report of slow transfer speeds and transfer timeouts.
- Upload Temple: 30 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads. Files hosted "at least 30 days".
- Xdrive: 5 gigabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files hosted for unlimited time with purchase of an account. 15 day trial is free (thus, the file will expire in 15 days unless purchase of a premium account).
- YouSendIt: 1 gigabyte upload limit with 25 downloads, files hosted for 7 days. Please note that files will automatically expire if downloaded 25 times, before the 7 days is up.
- YouShareIt: 50 megabyte upload limit with unlimited downloads, files hosted for 7 days.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Macintosh & RAR Compression
The following quotes should (hopefully) assist Macintosh users painlessly download and decompress rar compressed files:
- Uploading doesn´t work at all, downloading doesn´t work with opera, but with the Internet Explorer it does. To un-rar i use Stuffit, only the drag and drop method works though. - libertine (on mac os 9.2.2)
- No problems ever. I use MacPar Deluxe 3.2 freeware. - Lords Of Karma
- I have no problems using Netscape (or better Safari). Internet Explorer is pretty much worthless. I am running 10.3.8 and just using the software that came with it (Stuffit expander). - selopan
- I have no problems up and downloading with Rapidshare on my Mac 10.2.8 using the Safari 1.0 brower. There are some issues using 'other' download managers (iGetter etc) but using Control-Click Download-To-Disk works fine. I use Stuffit v8.02, and this has worked with most 'rar' files. The few that it did have problems with, UnRarX v2.0 fixed. - K. Angaroo
- UnRarX is GREAT! I used to use StuffIt but kept getting error messages when I'd try to unrar half the time. UnRarX hasn't given me ANY problems yet. Hope this was helpful. - Alex
- As a Mac user, I have no problem with Rapidshare. I use the Safari browser on Mac OS X 10.3.8. I've had some problems with RAR files, but I find "RAR Expander" pretty reliable, but not perfect. It is certainly better than "Stuffit Expander." - Filbert
- I'm a mac user. I just use Stuffit expander. its free and opens sit, sitx, zip, rar, tar, cbr, and just about any other compression format. - sanskrit
- I use "UnrarX", it works seamlessly. - s-junk
Friday, April 22, 2005
Rapidshare Upload Tips
- Always compress the files into a rar or zip file. Do not directly upload mp3 files.
- Choose a discreet filename for the rar or zip file. Do not use the exact name of the artist or album in the title. Furthermore, never use numbers to differentiate the files (example file01.rar, file02.rar). Also, stay away from using sequential letters (example filea.rar, fileb.rar)
- An option for further security is setting a password on the rar or zip file. Most applications make this quite easy to do. Remember, however, if you do use a password on an archive, to be careful of case sensitivity and to list the password when submitting the archive!
- Use a proxy when uploading, preferrably an anonymous server. This option is not at all mandatory but is a good safety precaution for the "ip logging" claimed on the site.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Capture Streaming MP3 Audio
- Download the MP3 Stream Recorder and follow installation instructions.
- Locate the Server area and enter the server address in the box.
- Select a specific file where you would like to save this stream.
- Press the Record button. This will begin recording the live stream directly to the file. This program saves file information (name, url, bitrate, version, etc) in addition to the audio.
- Users may painlessly specify the amount, however long or short, of the stream to record. Simply specify time amounts in the recording options.
- Pull up the main system menu by right clicking on a empty part of the program. The pop up system menu allows access to more options, including the option to search for certain mp3 servers by category. Moreover, the user may set up proxy and login settings.
Recovering Data from Scratched CDs
- Alcohol 120% software
- Cooking oil
- Small piece of cotton
- Dry cleaner paper
- In step one you must do some preparation work on the CD. Begin by wetting the cotton with water. Begin to clean the CD in a vertical motion; three firm wipes shall be sufficient. Dry the CD with the dry cleaner paper.
- Using another piece of cotton, apply oil to the CD surface. Be sure to do this with caution and not overuse oil. After a through cleaning, dry carefully. Particles from the oil will stay on the microsurface of the scratch. It appears that the oil helps the laser of the CD/DVD driver
to read the surface again.
- After downloading and installing Alcohol 120% software, run the program and select to create an ISO - image making wizard. Attempt to read the CD drive and test if the program can read the Alcohol 120% software is recommended for this, as it is known to recover data more efficiently than other ISO software.
- If a sucessful read is obtained, I recommended creating a new CD immediately. Copy all the data from the CD to the hard drive or create an ISO of the CD for immediate use. With a favorite burning utility, burn the ISO or data onto a new CD.