If you ask a crowd of people what software they use to play music on their PCs, most are probably going to say Winamp. Winamp has been a favorite of many since its early days and continues to enjoy popularity with each new version, which brings us new and attractive useful features. The purpose of this article is to teach you about the many ways you can customize your Winamp program with plug-ins that will make it even more sleek than it already is!
First of all, you need to have Winamp installed on your PC. To learn more about it and download the latest version, click on the link: http://www.winamp.com/player/free.php.
Now, on to the plug-ins!
Toaster is meant for a simple purpose and it accomplishes it effortlessly. Every time a new song plays in Winamp, Toaster pops up a notification with information about the song, including the album/CD cover art display. It uses the ID3 tags of the Winamp files to display the album art. You can customize the settings to add animations like slide ins or fade outs, as well as, change the title formatting. Toaster can be skinned to the classic Winamp or any of the modern skins.
Another functionality that Toaster has is the automatic change of your MSN messenger status to the current song playing in your Winamp. This can be pretty cool especially if you want the world to know about all the cool music you are listening to or if you just simply want to show off your 150 GB MP3 collection. : ) Toaster also supports the global hotkeys for rating songs in Winamp.
To download Toaster, click here.
This is probably one of the most useful plug-ins ever made. Leo’s plug-ins read the ID3 tags of your Winamp files, connects to Leo’s Lyrics Web site and searches for the lyrics to a particular song. It then displays it in the lyrics window. It’s as simple and efficient as it reads. Once the lyrics have been fetched, it stores them in relation to the particular song, so every time the song is played, it finds the lyrics and displays them automatically.
You can download Leo’s Lyrics here.
Milkdrop is a sound reactive visualization plug-in for Winamp. It uses 3D graphics combined with interactive image based rendering techniques to create a visual journey through sound. It creates detailed graphic images which mesh up along with the beats of your songs, using beat detection. It’s a good plug-in if you are just listening to songs on your PC and would like something extra to accompany it.
To download Milkdrop, click here.
iPod Support Plug-in
This plug-in allows you to copy songs to your iPod. This way you can get rid of your iTunes library and do the iPod synchronization from Winamp. This is very useful if you don’t have proper ID3 tags for songs. This way, you can listen to the song to find the right ones and transfer them to your iPod. It efficiently supports all kinds of iPods, from the classic first generation iPods to the iPod mini, photo, nano, shuffle, etc.
Download this iPod plug-in here. Once there, go to the bottom of the page and click on the download link next to the picture for this plug-in.
Pacemaker lets you play with tempo, pitch and speed settings of the songs being played in Winamp. The tempo function lets you alter the tempo of the song without affecting the pitch. It’s also useful when you are learning songs and want to slow them down. Pacemaker allows you to raise or drop the pitch to your preference. If you want to sing a song in a pitch higher or lower than the original, this does the job. The speed function lets go of all rationality and just speeds or slows up a song. It can be very funny or irritating, depending upon the state of mind you are in. This plug-in is very useful for musicians and people who want to learn new songs. It’s also good for those of you who are doing step classes at the gym and want the song to play at a certain tempo.
To download Pacemaker, click here.
The installation of these plug-ins is very simple. They are all .exe files and they install in the default Winamp plug-in directory. To control the setting of the plug-ins, you can go into your Winamp preferences (press Ctrl + P) while you are in the main Winamp window.
While you are installing these plug-ins, take a moment to remember the days of the stereo tape recorder you used to play your favorite tapes in. How good do you feel about your mescal life now? It’s changed a little, hasn’t it?! And if you find yourself asking, “What is a tape”? I just say, “Nevermind!” : )
~ Yogesh Bakshi