WinAmp 5.56 Review

winamp WinAmp 5.56 Review

Next up in my series of software reviews is an old champion that hasn’t changed much over the last few years. How will it hold up to the more updated music applications?

Download and installation

Like MediaMonkey, WinAmp is available as both a free, limited version and a premium paid version. This review covers v5.56 free version. WinAmp can be downloaded from WinAmp.com. During install, you will be prompted to choose what files to associate with WinAmp, so make sure you tweak these options if you don’t want WinAmp to take complete control of the media on your computer. WinAmp will also try to shove more or less useful “features” in your face during install, including browser toolbars, background services, free MP3 offers and so on. Basically, spam. If you don’t want these to be installed, you have to read make sure to pay attention during install and actually check what’s checked off in the install settings when they appear, instead of going next-next-finished.

Skins and extensions

WinAmp is one of those applications that rely heavily on plugins and skins, and the layout of the application changes in some ways from theme to theme. In this review I’ve used the Big Bento theme that’s bundled with the installation as it’s the most modern of the included skins. I have also used only the stock plugins. The review will therefor reflect the applications with that skin as a basis and no extra plugins installed. As I’ve said in other software reviews, it’s impossible to cover all the extensions and tweaks you COULD do to the application if you wanted to, so to make things fair the ground rule is stock skins, stock plugins.

Media Library

The WinAmp media library is more or less completely text based, and frankly looks more like an ebook than anything else. Basically the concept of default views is redundant in WinAmp as it instead operates with a list of custom layouts available in the sidebar. You enter the settings and then select to “edit view” or “add smartview”, at which point you’re prompted with a variety of settings to add columns, what the columns should show etc. These layouts will then be saved in the sidebar under the name you give it, so instead of using the sidebar to sort by artist, album, folder etc like most software you use the sidebar to switch between various custom layout styles. If you want to sort by artist, you have to have a layout profile that has that in it, etc, at least with the theme I used. Sounds confusing? It is. Basically, with Foobar2000′s excellent custom layout settings in one end and MediaMonkey’s tree structure filter mode in the other, WinAmp’s solution is some sort of weird mix of the two that requires a bit too much time to make work properly IMO. As an example, to get the music library that is on the main screenshot on the WinAmp website, you first have to make a custom view with only album art list, and then go into the settings on top of the viewing box (not the same place as the other settings) to choose to display only album art, no info. This basically reflects the main issue with WinAmp; every setting is hidden so deep within random sub menus that making sense of any of it is very frustrating. Half the view mode settings are located in a sub menu you can’t actually access from the windows you’re trying to customize, while the other half may or may not be located on top of that window, depending on what view mode you have chosen. Certain settings should not be dynamic.

The sidebar also contains other items than the custom layouts, such as a podcast feature, bookmark list, playlists, online services and various external devices. There is also a video listing which you can also customize like the video to display either lists of text, text plus thumbnails, or thumbnails only.

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Other features

Video

WinAmp supports video and can even have the video running somewhat in the background as a tab in the music library window. However you will probably not want to use WinAmp for video, as it has very poor format support by default and very poor performance. Not only was it incapable of playing back h.264, perhaps the second most used format today, but it used a lot more resources to play Xvid than dedicated video players like VLC or Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Again this is a case of “you can use it, and you can make it work better if you want, but why would you?” since there is free dedicated software that is so very much better.

Podcasts

The podcast feature is also extremely limited, offering only two settings: when to download, and whether it should download automatically. Considering the MediaMonkey podcast feature which is very extensive, this is frankly useless. Podcatching is a feature where if you need it, you need it to work well, not just “barely work”- which this does.

Internet radio and services

Internet radio support is one of these things that I hate seeing advertised heavily as a massive feature with music software. The reason is that Internet radio is really only a playlist file that tells the software to play a track from a URL instead of a local file. Internet radio directories are just collections of bookmarks. I’m not saying that it’s a useless thing to have, I just hate to see it being as advertised as heavily as it is with WinAmp, with Internet radio being several items on the feature list. Then again WinAmp is owned by AOL now.

CD ripper

WinAmp also comes with a ripping feature which is limited in several ways. The free version can rip to a few formats (not MP3) but with limited speed, and the free version can also burn at a limited speed only. It will find the track information for you online so you don’t have to manually tag it, which is nice. You also have the option to rip both to AAC, WAV, WMA and FLAC, so not all is lost, but if you’re going to rip CDs I’d really recommend some free, dedicated software with more features and no restrictions such as EAC.

Browser

WinAmp also has a built in browser like the one in MediaMonkey, which is used to access online services like music stores. It’s also available as a tab in the music library windows, which means you could use it to su
rf while listening to music, although you wouldn’t really want to as the window height is limited by the playback controls and as a web browser it’s a gimmick. You most likely have at least one good browser on your computer that you have tweaked to work like you want, and you don’t need one inside your music playback application in my opinion.

Playback

Once you get past WinAmp’s “creative” media library organizing and actually find your files to play, you get the standard list of features for the playback bit. There’s a visualizer which is also one of the tabs in the music library windows along with browser, playlist and video (again, this is skin specific). You will get a window on top showing album art and song information as well as playback controls, a few small visualizers and some playback mode settings easily accessible. There is also a basic equalizer available to tweak the sound. You can as always download a myriad of extensions to improve the sound quality, add more visualizers etc if you so please. There is also a plugin that will add Windows 7 jump list capabilities to WinAmp (see WMP12 review) and this will most likely become integrated into the application in later releases.

Syncing

As with every feature in WinAmp the syncing options are very limited. As with all WinAmp settings they’re hidden in a sub menu of a sub menu and from the looks of it when you plug the player in there is no sync feature at all since all you get when you right click the device is an option to eject the player or create a new playlist. In the main preferences however you can find your device and then you can configure auto-sync, including syncing selected playlists, podcast sync, autofill , transcoding and advanced settings. The advanced settings are only available if the device is a MSC device, and allows you to specify the location of playlist files, file name format and select what formats it supports. With MTP devices that’s all automatic. The autofill option will let you randomly transfer files until the player is X% full, as well as specify some parameters for what files are transferred. The transcoding option will let you select to transcode files if the player doesn’t support it (MP3 encoding is pro only according to the website) but this is audio only, not video. Sounds good so far, but unfortunately the sync part is not really working that well. When I selected to specifically transfer only a single playlist with 5 songs and then hit sync it prompted me that 650 songs would be transferred. Apparently you can tell it to sync only specific playlists, but it wills till transfer the entire library as well. In other words there doesn’t seem to be a way to transfer only a playlist and the content it links to without transferring the entire library, at least I can’t find the setting for it.

You can also handle music manually. You can select files from your library and send them to the device and they will then be added. If this is done with a playlist, it will act somewhat randomly. On a Sony MTp player I tried, it seemed to transfer the content but not the playlist. On a Sansa Clip I tried in MTP mode, it transferred the playlist but not the content, making the playlist show up empty on the player. Both Windows Media Player and MediaMonkey managed this fine, transferring the playlist and the required files so it would work on the player. To make a playlist on the device that worked, I had to create a playlist by right clicking the device in the sidebar, create a new playlist and then find the songs on the player (not the media library) and right click -> send to playlist -> “playlist name”. Dragging and dropping onto the playlist in the sidebar doesn’t work. Where other applications have the “send to” feature as an alternative, WinAmp has it as the only option for creating playlists manually. You can however drag files form the music library onto the player icon in the sidebar, however this doesn’t work with videos.

Conclusion

WinAmp is one of those applications that should come with free aspirin as it will most likely give you a headache if you’re a first time user. As with all software it has some users/fans that will protest to the criticism saying that you can do this and that to tweak it to do what it should have done in the first place, but you shouldn’t have to perform brain surgery on your music software to force it to do a job. There is software out there- free software- that will give you a stock install that does what WinAmp does wrong the right way, without having to turn the screen upside down and look at it in the mirror to make the settings make sense. Yes, you can tweak WinAmp heavily, make it your own, make it work for you. Many people have, while others hate it, and some even use versions before 3.0 to get the pre-AOL WinAmp. Bottom line is that for an off-the-shelf music organizing application for your MP3 player, the features it has are vastly inferior to MediaMonkey and standalone applications, the settings menus are messy, the music library hard to make sense of out of the box and the syncing feature very flawed despite having some nice settings. The free version also has limitations which you need to pay to remove, and using the free version also means it will try to spam you with various ads and background processes during install (which you can of course uncheck). If you’re a long time WinAmp user you probably have your reasons and that’s fine, but if you’re looking for straight up software that pays off quickly without investing a lot of time forcing it to work, I’d go with MediaMonkey or WMP12. To end it off with I want to add a quote from a commenter, Aaron, which I think captured the essence of WinAmp incredibly well:

I think Winamp’s biggest problem is that it’s always targeted the power user. Let’s face it – most of us using winamp today were using it 10 years ago. We love it then because we were managing our library in a very different way than most people… /on our computer/. Winamp has grown with us, but at the same time it’s kept true with its user base (not becoming intrusive like iTunes, or babying like WMP12). Most of it’s history pre-dates other surviving media players – and the fact it still exists and has a great user base is because it fills a niche. There are things found in Winamp that I can only wish for in other players (mostly because of it’s long lived and prolific plugin architecture). That said i’m still amazed by the searching capability for large libraries, shade mode for that minimalist in me, and milkdrop still amazes me with it’s visualizations. Sure – I wish AOL would just give up – release the source and let the community take it over (and drive new features). I think the key here is that if you’ve been around long enough to learn it’s quirks – you find Winamp to be charming and powerful. To you, it will always whip the lama’s as*! For the rest, well they’ll carry on with their mp. Sometimes there is no ‘best’ solution in software – there are only ‘solutions’. Winamp is a good solution for those willing to pay the cost of entry – figuring it out.

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42 Comments

mk on October 31, 2009 8:38 AM

I never got all the ‘love’ about WinAmp and your review captures my sentiments completely.It’s confusing to use, not efficient, and certainly a niche product.

bert000l on October 31, 2009 8:39 AM

Three words:younailedit

MarvintheMartian on October 31, 2009 8:50 AM

I briefly tried Winamp, and went right back to MediaMonkey and foobar2000.

Mookalafalas on October 31, 2009 9:01 AM

After you get winamp you can upgrade (for free) to something called “cPro”, which has its own skins and features. Lots of them are really beautiful skins. It can play everything and looks great. I don’t know about syncing and such because I don’t need those features. For a straight player that you just drop stuff into, manage playlists, etc. I think it is really sweet.

Fecal Face on October 31, 2009 12:44 PM

I LOVE Winamp, simply because I have the WVS “Dancing Lights” mod working on my Logitech G15. Looks awesome.Great review, keep it up.

MoJoo on October 31, 2009 1:33 PM

Hey you should test the AIMP Player. Its from russia freeware and really good.http://aimp.ru/index.php

Ken on October 31, 2009 3:20 PM

I only use winamp for playing music, and for that it works like a charm. I don’t use the Bento skin (I tried it and it was a pain), the “Classic” skin is all I need.

ultrauber on October 31, 2009 3:58 PM

So true. A few months ago I decided to find a better media player. Winamp was one of the first I tried. Took me like 20 minutes to get through all that trial crap. I finally opened it and was greeted by some techno voice saying “WINAMP.”I expected gnomes to start dancing on the screen. Fail.

DJAttreides on October 31, 2009 4:12 PM

Did you reinstall your PC to get rid of all the crap WinAmp installed?EVERY MEDIA PLAYER IS BETTER THEN WinAmp, EVEN WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 12! That one sucks badly too, but it doesn’t install crap on your Harddisk! Or, even better, use iTunes!

Max Power on October 31, 2009 6:54 PM

I’ve tried pretty much every music player out there at least once, but I always come back to Winamp for one simple reason: on-the-fly queuing. Winamp can do it, everything else can’t. Click any song in your playlist, hit ‘Q’, and voila, that song will play next, after your current song. You can even queue multiple songs, and Winamp tracks what order they will play in with a number in brackets beside each song.So Winamp may show its age compared to other players, but until someone else implements this incredibly simple (but killer) feature, I’ll never switch.

quintets_man on October 31, 2009 8:23 PM

I tried all the main media players including Winamp. In the end I stuck with foobar2000.@MaxPowerYou can do on the fly queuing in foobar2000 as well. Just right click a song and click ‘Add to Playback Queue’. It can queue multiple songs as well and adds a little number besides each song to show the order they’ll play like in Winamp.And there might be way to set ‘Q’ to do this as well.

eboyer93 on November 1, 2009 1:08 AM

I love foobar2000, I tried Winamp and my tags were not read write and the design of the program is annoying, foobar2000 is the only music player I’ve ever used with a sane menu system.

Clement on November 1, 2009 2:28 AM

Max Power has it exactly right from my perspective. I can’t live without on the fly queuing of files.I know some people say just shuffle up the playlist then drag the files you want to the top, but I just can’t do that because I love to have my music sorted alphabetically by artist, into their albums by release date and track number. I also use the winamp modern skin because I like the layout and it gives me everything I want right on player without having to go into the file menus, etc.I’ve tried Itunes,, the zone software, foobar and media monkey and I can say without a doubt, I hate Itunes the most. I hated how when i tried I tunes it reorganized the music folder on my PC and screwed everything up. foobar, zune software and mediamonkey were passable but I just prefer winamp. As for WMP, I jsut don’t like it. It just never caught on with me.

Corey on November 1, 2009 4:16 AM

I’ve been using MP3s since 1996. Back then it was command lines to play files! As far as I know, Winamp was THE FIRST media player.It’s annoying that AOL purchased Winamp, because since then development has been slow at best. I’ve used the ‘Pro’ version since the 90′s, so I don’t know about all this ‘unwanted software’ that it dumps on your computer.But I think that the ‘love’ for Winamp is that:1) It was the first MP3 player2) The lite or pro versions use almost 0% CPU and very little memory (other players have caught up, and these days we’ve got so much CPU and memory power anyway)3) The media library, whilst not awesome, does what it needs to do for many. It indexes their library and lets them quickly find what they need. I don’t care about sync’ing, and many people who’ve been using MP3 software and hardware since the 90′s don’t care about that either.4) The queuing features as others have noted are 2nd to none.5) Foobar2000 is the best alternative to anyone who was considering Winamp in the first place, but it just takes too much effort imo.Good review though. I just don’t agree completely. I still think there is a good user base for Winamp (although I’m TRYING to give WMP12 a go since I’m running Windows 7 on all my systems now).

Dan on November 1, 2009 8:45 AM

Winamp isn’t perfect, but I think your review is a little too harsh. I have never had a problem with the media library; it takes only a few seconds to get it to filter music by album artist and album art, and that works fine for me.Some things about winamp are complicated, but the flipside of that is that winamp is a very powerful and customizable player. Winamp lets you adjust and personalize the player and its UI in ways that are not possible with other players like WMP; most other players have very few options and many of them try to mimic iTunes’ UI. Winamp can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I’ve tried most of the other music players and it’s still my favorite.I should point out, however, that winamp’s syncing isn’t very good so I use WMP when I have to load music on my mp3 player. But I only do that a couple times a week, and I listen to music with winamp for hours every day.

Tucker on November 1, 2009 7:39 PM

While I understand that Winamp has its flaw, I also agree that you are much too harsh. Once over the initial setup I find Winamp to be the most superior media player on the market. Its the only player that I have used that is capable of handling my media collection, which contains a large amount of WAVs. Its configurability is at the heart of my love, and milkdrop too.

Stephanie C. on November 1, 2009 7:56 PM

I only use the Pro version because of the automatic tagging and LAME MP3 enocoder. There are also several AAC encoders. It’s also good for playing back CDs. But the best is Media Monkey.I agree that WinAmp has a terrible interface and too much spam on install that you have to watch for(AOL bought it, no wonder).

The0ne on November 1, 2009 8:08 PM

Winamp is hard to use and litter with annoying ads and stuff? O.oAnd one guy actually took 20min to mess around with the adds that he/she didn’t deselect in the first place? O.O 20min? Are you fcking kidding me. This player in classic and modern is so simple even a chimp can click on Play, Stop, Forward, etc. It’s not like the UI is fille with junk icons and designs.This review is a joke. And while winamp isn’t the best player out there it does play music and manage them with ease. I have vlc, foobar, mpc, mpcc and others and winamp is still the simplest to use in addtion to mp12.1. A lot of “free” software includes junk that you can de-select during installation. If you’re too stupid or too lazy to uncheck then don’t complain. Many of your favorite applications does this; Winamp, Daemon tools, games that install dx9c over dx10/dx11, adware, etc.2. Don’t use ML except to update my playlist and transfer to my PMP, which is 5 clicks or less. What are you syncing that is hidden in sub within subs of menus? Create a playlist, add the songs, sync to playlist to your PMP…in 1 right click menu. Jesus Christ! The problem is that the syncing itself sucks and loses it’s place after a while if you sync multiple playlists. Wtf is this “it can’t transfer single playlist”? This is total BS. LEARN to use the app! And for the record Winamp’s ML isn’t that different from WMP12. Do the comparison.Seriously, those complaining about winamp being “too difficult” should shoot themselves in the head…like right now. I mean take a look at the UI, is it that difficult? How much simpler can one get besides Winamp and WMPC (windows media player classic).If you need a truely simple player use the CLASSIC! If you need the library use the Modern default view if only to have the ML UI on the compact player for easy access. How one fcks up not being able to use it in these modes is beyond me. Don’t believe me? Go take a look of the UI of winamp and tell me wtf is so complicated about that.Love the site, but this review is just total BS.

The0ne on November 1, 2009 8:18 PM

Just skimmed through your mp12 review and you had good words to say about it. That’s nice. Let me tell you it takes about the same mouse clicks to manage and then sync a playlist in winamp and mp12. How do I know this? Because I use only winamp and wmp12 to manage and sync to all my PMP players. That’s either a single playlist or multiple playlists to be clear.My comments is not being formatted properly although I am formatting them into paragraphs.

Marcel on November 1, 2009 8:55 PM

@Corey: Thank you so much man! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your comment. I use Winamp (Version 2.81) since almost 10 years now and I have never seen the live-queue function before!Unfortunately, Winamp got worse since AOL bought it and especially since release of Version 3. That’s why I still use 2.81 which works absolutely tremendous and doesn’t give me any reason even to look for another media player.

Will on November 1, 2009 9:20 PM

Winamp, I believe is THE best mp3 player out there. It has extensive plugins which make it unbeatable, like firefox. You can almost find any plugin to do what you wish for winamp. It’s actually gotten better, as the oringal developers did not want winamp to have unicode support, but now it does. I love winamp, and I’ve tried most of the media players out there and it just dosen’t beat it, when you customise it to what you like. The milkdrop visualiser is just the best visual representaion of music I’ve even seen. Not forgetting Shoutcast stations. Huge skin library. And a huge DST plugins. Bad review IMO.

joe on November 1, 2009 10:17 PM

I think one of the best features of winamp is the fact that it is commercially backed yet supports ogg vorbis and FLAC. Nice to have.VLC has gone downhill IMHO. I’ve always liked mplayer better, and smplayer helps with the gui side of things, especially in Windows.

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 12:32 AM

@The0ne, I think you have misread or misunderstood the majority of the review. As i wrote, you can deselect the ads that install, the point is that winamp offers them as “features” which is basically lying to people as these “features” arent in the paid version and theyre selected by default, not de-selected. Other apps have them, but not that much. I also didnt say you couldnt transfer a single playlist, what I did say was that when i transferred a playlist from the music library to a sony player it copied the songs but didnt add the playlist. I specified this might have been a case with that player only, and explained in detail what was needed to manually create a single playlist on the device. Finally, you say it yourself: “winamp isnt the best player out there”. Indeed it isnt. This is a competitive market, with other applications that do things way better. Winamp being “not the best but plays music and organizes it” would be a valid point if Winamp was free and other software wasnt, or it was the cheapest of the software out there. Bottom line is, if you want an out of the box application to handle your music on your player (again, I only look at the stock setup so how many plugins are available has nothing to do with this review, @Will) WinAmp isn’t the best choice because MediaMonkey is better. If you want a clean application to just play music, foobar2000 is generally better. If you have any specific reasons to stay with winamp, such as plugins, you should. All of this is already written not only in this review but in several other recent software reviews, so I don’t see why I have to repeat it in response to comments based off reading things the wrong way or completely ignoring half of what the review says.

A on November 2, 2009 12:56 AM

Winamp is a great music player.After using Windows Media Player 11, im surprised how fast Winamp is. There is no delay at all when double clicking on a song.If you want something that does it all, in one box, (video, syncing etc) then maybe Winamp wont satisfy everyone. But if you enjoy listening to music, without slowing down your system, or like a fast and responsive player, then Winamp will serve you very well.

Andrew on November 2, 2009 4:27 AM

I’ve been using Winamp for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried other players such as songbird and itunes, but in the end, Winamp just has so much more support and customization in the form of plugins and add ons. I’m so attached to all of these features that I just haven’t been able to duplicate or find all there in any other options. Winamp does show its age when compared to some of the newer players its true, but honestly none of them have such an extensive library of plugins and customization found in Winamp.

kugel on November 2, 2009 11:24 AM

AFAIK you can use almost all Winamp plugins with MediaMonkey, so even that killer feature is useless.

Ravecat on November 2, 2009 6:12 PM

A bit harsh, but Winamp really is something you learn to love.

WinampRocks on November 2, 2009 6:25 PM

OMG This is the Worst review ever a stupid atempt to bash something you dont like using retarded humourIs not even a review is anti-winamp propagandaHow on earth did you come up with this garbage the conclusion could be written like someone on drugsThis review suckI am sorry to have to tell you this becuase most reviews are goodWinamp is good for what is made for listen to musicGo into any folders click music and play it and put a cool skin on ,few ressources great soundThis is the best skins i use:http://takanory.deviantart.com/gallery/Sure Winamp is not so popular considering other programs such as itunes theese daybut for me and many millions others it work PerfectWhat you doing with this review is very bad it make me very sad to see such anti-winamp propagandaplease dont do this mistake again

Aaron on November 2, 2009 7:24 PM

I think Winamp’s biggest problem is that it’s always targeted the power user. Let’s face it – most of us using winamp today were using it 10 years ago. We love it then because we were managing our library in a very different way than most people… /on our computer/. Winamp has grown with us, but at the same time it’s kept true with its user base (not becoming intrusive like iTunes, or babying like WMP12). Most of it’s history pre-dates other surviving media players – and the fact it still exists and has a great user base is because it fills a niche. There are things found in Winamp that I can only wish for in other players (mostly because of it’s long lived and prolific plugin architecture). That said i’m still amazed by the searching capability for large libraries, shade mode for that minimalist in me, and milkdrop still amazes me with it’s visualizations. Sure – I wish AOL would just give up – release the source and let the community take it over (and drive new features). I think the key here is that if you’ve been around long enough to learn it’s quirks – you find Winamp to be charming and powerful. To you, it will always whip the lamals as*! For the rest, well they’ll carry on with their mp. Sometimes there is no ‘best’ solution in software – there are only ‘solutions’. Winamp is a good solution for those willing to pay the cost of entry – figuring it out.

The0ne on November 2, 2009 11:03 PM

@Andreas OdegardI don’t think I have. I’ll begin quoting what you actually said to defend my comments. Firstly, however, programs that offer “features”, “addins” or any spam typically has them selected by default. You HAVE to de-select them. For “power” music users this should be a no brainer but apparently people still have to spend 20min to play music.Secondly I don’t use any plugin for winamp unless I have the urge to improve the sound quality or watch my favorite but very old visual plugin, Vistan :) I actually don’t know wtf you are saying in your media library comments. Truly. Again, I use the default classic or modern. I don’t see any issues that you’re stating but then again I’m not in the bento mode; and yes the screenshots of what you review certainly does look stupid. If only I could attach pics I can show you how quickly and easily you can manage your librarly of music with ML. It’s not hard and the “spreadsheet” comment baffles me to no end. Do you mean to say two column is too much to handle? Or is it that in the leftmost column you have to expand the parent names to see what’s underneath? Again, this is not that different from wmp12, sigh, and I’m looking at both right now.”Apparently you can tell it to sync only specific playlists, but that means it won’t sync other playlists, not that it won’t still sync the rest of the library. In other words there doesn’t seem to be a way to transfer only a playlist and the content it links to without transferring the entire library, at least I can’t find the setting for it (then again with the settings menus in WinAmp I wouldn’t be surprised if I simply missed it.” This right here is as confusing as it can be. Once you have your playlist in winamp you can right click on the playlist(s) and highlight “send to” and choose whatever and whereever you want to sync to. One mouse click and 2 highlights to sync. A monkey can do this.”You can select files from your library and send them to the device and they will then be added. If this is done with a playlist, it will transfer the files in the playlist, but not actually transfer the playlist itself- at least not on the Sony player I tried it with. Both Windows Media Player and MediaMonkey managed this fine, but considering my experience with WinAmp so far I’m not surprised it screwed this up as well.” See how you bash something you’ve only tried with your one device? You’re so quick to come to a conclusiong that since other programs work it must be winamp that is screwed up. I’ll give you credi that winamp probably doesn’t like your device but there are tons that it does and it does transfer playlist, completely. Please STOP spreading false info and advocating it’s winamps fault. Yes, I know you did say “at least not on the Sony player I tried it with.” but then you went and concluded “…I’m not suprised it screwed this up as well.” What you said afterward is also a mystery to me.And for those non-power musci users, winamp can’t be any simpler unless you just want the play,stop,direction buttons without the skin…like a plain old horizontal bar. That winamp can do as well. Seriously, how can one get confuse by playing music with winamp :/To sum it up please re-review and write a more un-bias and comprehisive review. This one just lacks the attention it really needs and too much personal opinion is injected where lack of experience with Winamp is clearly present. It is so bad I am offering my expertise if you should need it, free. I’m a multi-discipline engineer who test and write reports all the time.Again, reviews are usually good but this one is really not.

Andreas Ødegård on November 3, 2009 12:15 AM

@The0ne:I’m not saying two or more handles is too much to handle, what I am saying is that what you need to do to customize these columns requires way too much work for something that should be built in. Even with a customizable layout you should be able to sort by artist/album/folder etc straight from the sidebar. As for the playlist transfer, the fact that every other software did manage to do this right does in fact point to an issue with WinAmp. To give it a second chance I just plugged in my Sansa Clip, and tried the same thing there. It did actually transfer the player…however none of the music that belonged to it this time, leaving me with a blank playlist on the player. With the first sentence you quoted about syncing that was badly written, I’ll try to rewrite it to make more sense. What happened was that I tried to sync ONLy playlists and their content to the player (auto-syn in the menus) and it decided to transfer the entire giant music library to the player on top of the playlists. Meaning if I had a player and wanted to transfer a playlist with 20 songs and the playlist, it would sync the entire library and then the playlist. This means that unless theres a way around it, you have to sync manually or you must have a player with room for the entire library. I may have overlooked something though, let me know if I did. I will edit the review to be a bit less subjective, but my opinion still stands that for a fresh user winamp doesnt have much to offer. Or rather, what it does offer it offers in a way that makes it inferior to applications like mediamonkey

Bartek on November 3, 2009 2:22 AM

Thie review pinpoints some but not all of the problems that I have experienced personally with winamp, the most annoying being the playlist managing. Everyt time I tried winamp (due to convincing speeches from friends) I had severe problems while managing my playlist. Winamp would randomly, for no apparent reason, double every song in my playlist. I thought that the menu feature “remove double entries” should take care of it but as expected from the most flaw-filled software (next to windows and other microsoft products) it didn’t do a thing. So listen to the voice of years of experience: Winamp is BADLY flawed in every possible way. I tried foobar2000 a few years ago and it was such a relief! Finally a music player which has the best of all worlds.

Rudhra on November 3, 2009 10:34 AM

Will you please consider reviewing AIMP2? I would consider it the BEST allround Musicplayer and Musiclibrary… better than FOobar and Winamp.. even for noobs.

Rudhra on November 3, 2009 10:35 AM

BTW AIMP2 even supports Winamp plugins and I have Milkdrop working with AIMP2 :) :)

naoan on November 4, 2009 10:35 AM

aimp has :-queue, yes this is simple but killer feature.-simple ui-plugin support, winamp plugin included-tray control-mini player-easy to use audio library-all the thing winamp has, except it’s done right-best of all it’s light on resourcetry it, i was winamp classic lover too before i installed this app.

andy on November 5, 2009 3:16 PM

I have to agree with the smart few that know about the russian program AIMP2.They cut the shit off of winamp, and made some smart, resource light improvements.Do yourself a favor and have a look at it.

Andreas Ødegård on November 6, 2009 12:05 AM

I tried AIMP2 but couldnt for the life of me find any way to interact with MTP players. The point of these reviews is music organization on DAPs, not music playback on computers, wtih the exception of foobar2000 which i was already using and so it didnt require that much time to learn from scratch.

Parody on November 6, 2009 12:16 PM

I’m with Aaron. I’ve been using Winamp as my computer music player for as long as I’ve had MP3s. I don’t use any of its media library functions, just the basic playlist editor. Most of the time I’m on my main computer it’s docked to the top of the screen playing music, just like in the 90s.I do use MediaMonkey to send files to my “recent” MP3 player, but don’t use it for anything else. (Unfortunately, neither it nor my computer supports my Creative NOMAD anymore. :)

lunaticprophet on November 6, 2009 9:57 PM

Has one of those 10+ years ‘power users’ I can echo the spot on points made by Aaron. For me, Winamp is today, as it was years ago, the most powerful music player/library that I have ever used and I can’t imagine not using it.I’ve looked at all the media players has they have become available and it just seems that none offer the versatility and ease of use that winamp does.I have loved many of the custom mods that I’ve seen from foobar users. But I don’t have time nor the inclination to learn all that is needed to produce such works of art — especially considering that I can have it just the way I like with winamp.Of course, winamp and I have a long history and I’ve delved into its mysteries just enough to “have it my way” and see no reason to leave. If there was some app that could make my music sound better than I’d switch in a heartbeat, but as a music library and player (which is all I ever use it for) winamp just can’t be beat — for me.

The0ne on November 12, 2009 4:29 PM

Andreas,”I will edit the review to be a bit less subjective, but my opinion still stands that for a fresh user winamp doesnt have much to offer. Or rather, what it does offer it offers in a way that makes it inferior to applications like mediamonkey”A fresh user will have trouble. I work day in and day out with Excel and Office and I have trouble with the new 2007 UI. That does not mean it’s a horrible application. It means that user, for some reason or another, will always have a hard time trying to use the program. And yes, winamp is not the best.All I’m saying is that your difficulty isn’t seen by many of us. But as you’ve said, it’s a personal opinion much like mine for Office 2007.

Thor’s hammer on November 13, 2009 6:42 AM

The only thing that bothers me on using WinAmp is u need a plugin to view the lyrics!! I would really appreciate if someone would just build something just so that when I right-click a song I can see the Id3 lyrics!! Is that too much to ask for?

Dan on February 10, 2010 1:27 AM

Back in the day Winamp kicked ass (pretty much like Icq), now, is just bloated software. Nice review, nice blog. A suggestion: review XMplay (it doesn’t sync, but playing music, oh man…)

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