Is Winamp gonna die?
"If you had a PC and you listened to MP3s in the late 90s, chances are you managed your playlists with Winamp." This is how TechCrunch begins the news of AOL going to shut down Winamp website, community, services and upgrades on December 20th, 2013. Now, a few hours into the 21st, it appears Winamp can still be downloaded on the official website, but we don't know for how long.
So what happens now? On the still alive forum there's a good summary made by user Victhor; I copy and paste it here before the forum gets shut down.
License: Freeware (registration required); Professional version is shareware and it's included with the freeware version for a trial period, after that the professional version's features are disabled.
Author: CodeLobster Software
Install: yes, but in the setup process there's a check to choose between portable and classic setup.
Size: about 50 MBytes (about 17 MBytes setup)
Requirement: Windows ME or later
- how to set up Icecast and Shoutcast plugin to broadcast audio over a LAN or the internet
- how to reduce the audio delay between the server source and the client playback
- how to use Icecast to replace Skype or MSN voice chat when using RDP
How to catalog audio files (MP3, OGG, etc.)
This is one of the many ways to keep order amongst audio files and to catalog them. The purpose of cataloging is to have an instrument to always know where a MP3 or OGG file is, if it has been backed up on cd or dvd, how many audio files or hours of music there are on disk, nonetheless to generate playlists by genre or author or by other criteria.
- I name the audio files using this schema:
Author - Title.mp3. When they are many, a big help come from tools to rename multiple files at once, such as Total Commander Multiple rename function (Ctrl + M) (Total Commander is shareware)
- sometimes a MP3 editor to cut and paste pieces of MP3s can be useful, for instance when you bought a remix cd and you want to keep on the disk the single songs, or you want to cut a boring piece at the begin or end of a song (some techno remixes are long and boring at the begin, but great after the first 1 or 2 minutes). A fast and very small editor is mp3DirectCut.
- correct the ID3 tags of title and author to make them identical to those in the file name: this way all MP3s will be displayed in the same way in MP3 players such as Winamp (for Windows) or XMMS (for Linux) and in the car audio system display (if some MP3s miss the ID3 tags or have them all uppercase or all lowercase). To do that, a useful program is ID3-TagIT: select the files, then select the menu item ID3-Functions, Filename -> Tag ver. 2 and type
<A> - <T>(artist, hyphen, title) or whatever you like, then ID3-Functions, Filename -> Tag ver. 1 and still
<A> - <T>; finally File, Save to apply the changes
- I lower the bitrate to 128 kbps when it's too high, for instance 320 kps. Why? It would occupy too much space while having no hearable advantages (for my ears). The program I use is CDex: Convert, Re-encode Compressed Audio Files; the encoding options can be customized in Options, Settings (the encoder, the bitrate, etc.).
To see the bitrate of many mp3s at the same time, Windows XP Explorer is very useful: View, Choose Details, Bitrate; the files can be ordered by bitrate, selected and moved in another folder, so that when you have to reencode them with CDex you can select all the files in the "wrong bitrate" folder instead of selecting the "wrong bitrate" files one by one.
- when some mp3s have a volume that's too high or too low compared with the average, with MP3 Gain the volume can be normalized to the dB specified (I use 96.0 dB): Track Analysis to see the current dB, then Track Gain.
- if I'm going to add a bunch of mp3s to my collection and I want them to have the same date and time (to know they came together), I touch * them in the temporary folder they stay before moving them to my collection folder: touch.exe is a command coming from unix which sets the current (or the specified) timestamp to the specified files.
- organize the audio files in folders as you wish, for instance by genre or author.
- first I generate a list of mp3s with MP3 Lister, a tool which can be configured to export all the ID3 tags you want in the order you want, and it can create a txt, csv or html list
- then I import the text file in a spreadsheet (I wrote a macro to make the import automatic).
- I wrote other macros to automatically order the MP3 files, check for duplicates and generate playlists by genre.
m3u files (Winamp playlists) are simply text files containing a mp3 path and file name on every row.
- Making a flat surface
- Installing - ouch, it's not compatible with some MSI K9N Platinum
Mounting a second fan on the back of the case (Antec SLK3000B)
With the summer approaching, I am making some experiments trying to cool my pc as much as possible while keeping it quiet. Now, airflow in the case is made by 2 fans: the intake fan, a Papst 4412 F/2GLL, pulls air inside the case from the front, the exhaust fan, a Antec Tricool coming with the SLK3000B, pushes air out to the back; in addition, the psu fan pulls air from the top of the motherboard through the psu to the back.
Since I bought a second Papst 4412 F/2GLL, I tried positioning this fan in different locations to see which one conributes the best to the cooling. One of these is the back of the case, in the bottom, where there would be additional cards: it pushes air out of the case through the back slots.
Hard disk suspension in an Antec SLK3000B
The main problem of the Antec SLK3000B case is it converts hard disk vibrations to noise, and this is the most annoying noise coming from my pc when the fans are set at the lowest speed. In the SLK3000B the hard disks lay in a cage with grommets that are supposed to dampen the vibrations of the 7200 and more rpm hard disks.
The trend spreading amongst silencing modders is to suspend the hard disks in the air to avoid contact between the case and the hard disks.
Size: 50 KBytes
Requirement: Windows 95 or later, comctl32.dll
With this very little tool you can change the Created/Modified/Accessed dates of one or more files at the same time.
Author: Josh Madison
Install: no (optional installer available)
Size: 560 KBytes (153 KBytes compressed)
Requirement: Windows 95 or later
Convert is a compact and simple unit conversion program: it converts distance, speed, pressure, temperature, time, volume, angle, area, mass, power, and many more measure units, and it allows to create custom conversions.
License: freeware for private use
Author: Karl Maloszek
Size: 250 KBytes (114 KBytes installer)
Requirement: Windows with COM support
Panorado Flyer is a compact program that gathers GPS coordinates from Google Earth and writes them into images EXIF information.
Size: 8 MB (1.3 MB install), 33 KB codec
Requirement: Windows 95 or later, comctl32.dll
CamStudio is a free screen and audio recording tool and comes with a swf flash converter and a lossless codec.
I'll try to answer these questions:
- What is AMD Cool'n'Quiet?
- Does it really work?