This is a short guide to show how to use Winamp in general and as an audiophile music player.
I have recieved alot of help here at head-fi, and wanted to give something back. Hope you will enjoy this little guide!
No particular reason...
No really, if you already use Foobar2000 or mediamonkey with asio or wasapi, winamp won't give you any advantage in SQ, but it may do so if you use other music players without these output plugins (e.g. iTunes).
One of the reason I use Winamp with this WASAPI output is that it can run in shared mode (explained later), what that means is that you can run other audio applications (like youtube, games etc.) while playing music in WASAPI mode.
You can also customize your skin and so on. If you prefer your layout looking something like this...:
(Sorry for the bad quality photo, that's my personal simple version)
...to any of these:
There are alot more skins and customization, but this guide will focus on setting up how to get the best soundquality out of winamp.
I personally like simplicity and stick with the big bento skin.
Winamp, step by step:
-After download and installation you can add music in Winamp:
File ---> Add media to library ---> Choose the folder which you have stored music
-Then go here:
Download the plugin, cut and paste it in the winamp folder named "plugins"
I will come back to how it works later.
-Now to Winamp again:
Options ---> Preferences
In preferences go to playback, and "allow 24-bits".
Then go to output, and if you did everything right you should see the "maiko WASAPI output" ---> Press "configure".
This is (aprox.) what you should see:
Choose what device you are using for source (soundcard or DAC), and close the window.
Congratulations, you now have Winamp with WASAPI!
"But, but, is it just that easy? Isn't there more to it?"
-Yes and yes.
For the more than average interested computer geek, there is more. However, the "more" in this case will (in most situations) not ensure a better SQ. It only gives better control over your bits and bytes.
For the advanced!
This picture show how the output plugin work:
You can also read more here where you downloaded the plugin:
As you can see there are two options on how to use the plugin, shared or exclusive mode.
As said, in most cases and for the average user you won't need exclusive mode.
But if you are a computer geek, or just need full control over everything coming out of your computer you can start looking here:
Like I said before the exlusive mode is not for a better soundquality (although in some special cases it might), but if you are like me and want full controll over your 0's and 1's, this is the way to go. I present to you: Exclusive mode!
The short story look like this:
"This looks hard, should I just check all the boxes?"
Yes! Just check any of the boxes and you almost have bitperfect wasapi in exlusive mode!
There is however one important thing to remember. The only important thing is the "Slave to sample rate". If you are listening to 44,1KHz, 96KHz or 192KHz music, you should set slave mode to 44100, 96000 or 192000 to "force" the plugin to play that sample rate.
For more info, see the link in More!
NB! This will stop any other audio from playing (youtube etc.). You must close winamp and restart your browser/other music players to use them.
I personally haven't played with the mixer, so I just leave it at automate. Se More! for a link with better explanation.
This is a balance mode, it's newly implemented and can look a bit wacky, but if you tinkle with it enough it will provide a great asset for those who hearing are better (or worse) in one ear. This is quite rare, and seldom implemented in a wasapi output. For those with a hearing impairment and want a better sound, it is in itself a reason to use this plugin,
Need more info? Click on the link below, this takes you to the forum from the maker of the plugin with alot of additional info:
This is the plugin forums FAQ which goes over all the features the plugin has:
When ripping cd's I suggest you use EAC, but if you are gonna rip ALOT of cd's, this method may take alot of time.
Winamp have a really easy ripping feature, and it gets all the info like band/album/song from gracenote automatically .
If you are gonna rip a large amount of cd's in FLAC quality, this may save you some time.
I suggest to rip in FLAC with the best compression, you do this by:
Options ---> Preferences ---> CD Ripping ---> choose FLAC - best compression
I don't use EQ that much and are not too familiar with, but I hear this is a great plugin for winamp:
You can read how to use EQ properly here:
Thank you for reading and I hope that this little guide was usefull!
Also, creds to Maiko/Kitchen-Fu for developing this awsome output plugin for winamp, and PiccoloNamek for the EQ-guide.
Disclaimer and update 16.03.2015:
Maiko/kitchen-fu has stopped development for this plugin (happened a couple years ago really).
The latest version is: 0.53.test.04, and are known working with Windows vista, 7 and 8.1.
While the development has been suspended, the plugin still works, and sounds great! Enjoy!
Edited by BleaK - 3/16/15 at 2:12am