Chapter TWO (continued) MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES — WINamp

MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES
WINamp MEDIA  PLAYER
WINamp media player is a free player for Windows users developed and offered through Nullsoft as a client device compatible with the SHOUTcast Streaming Server platform.  WINamp is generally defined as an MP3 player, so although developed by Nullsoft and used in conjunction with the SHOUTcast platform, it will play an MP3 stream originated from a source other than SHOUTcast.  Recently released version 5.02 (2004 release) offers the basic free version.  This version has received continuous upgrades due to error checking and debugging and thus the current version in 2012 is 5.623.
The free version is all a listener would require to receive the stream from a webcaster, as it includes integrated Internet Radio and TV support as well as the ability to play downloaded audio/video files, and select files from a multimedia library.   However, there is there is an upgraded version currently available as WINamp Pro for $19.95.
The upgraded version offers the ability to function as an encoder and rip/encode songs from a raw audio source such as a CD, into an MP3 formatted file for incorporation into a radio stream.
When you register your copy of WINamp 5, you will have access to the following features:[i]
Unrestricted CD Burning — WINamp Pro enables you to burn your favorite music compilations at your computer’s full potential. Once registered, WINamp Pro will allow you to burn your Audio CDs at speeds up to 48x, 9 times the speed of WINamp 5.x! (Actual speeds may differ, depending on your computer’s specifications.)
Unrestricted CD Ripping — Purchasing WINamp Pro enables you to convert all of your favorite music CDs into digital files at you computer’s maximum potential. Once registered, WINamp Pro can rip your CDs at speeds up to 48x, 9 times the speed of WINamp 5.x! (Actual speeds may differ, depending on your computer’s specifications.)
MP3 Encoding — With WINamp Pro, you can rip all your favorite music CDs into the industry leading MP3 format. When all your songs are encoded in MP3, it provides you the freedom to play them in all MP3 capable hardware and software media players.
MPEG-4 video support — With WINamp Pro, you can play all of your MP4, M4V, AVI, MKV, NSV & FLV videos with MPEG-4 video content (h.264/avc, mp4v2, Xvid, DivX4/5, etc) without needing to install any extra codecs.
With the Nullsoft DSP Plug-In, the WINamp player becomes the interface to the SHOUTcast server, so that Webcasting can be a simple process.  Required steps include converting the audio source into MP3s through WINamp, establishing a connection to the SHOUTcast server (which can be downloaded and installed for free as already described), and Webcasting your stream of MP3 files so that your radio station can be selected through the SHOUTcast Showcase list available at http://www.shoutcast.com/.  All this can be done at no charge, and offers a great introduction to the Webcasting process.
Also available for WINamp are Plug-Ins offered by another privately held company called SpacialAudio that really take WINamp from media player to encoder   SpacialAudio offers a suite of products that really fall more into the authoring/encoding technology realm, and we will look more closely at the capabilities of WINamp with the Encoders DSP Plug-In within that section.
The SHOUTcast or MP3 player recommended for MAC users is Audion, now offering version 3, player and encoder.  Audion 3.0 offers more than just player capability, it will play MP3 streams, CDs, NET audio, but also includes encoding capability, CD burning, MP3 stream recording, and many other user customization tools.  Audion is now offered in a free basic version as WINamp is (not so in 2004, but product is now considered retired);  essentially you are buying an encoder that also serves as a player.  For additional information on the Audion Player/Encoder, refer to http://www.panic.com/audion/index.html
The comparable player recommended for Linux/X Windows users is XMMS.  XMMS is modeled after the WINamp player, but was written from scratch for the Unix platform.  X Multi-Media System (XMMS) can play media files such as MP3, MOD, WAV and others with the use of Input plug-ins.
>>XMMS remains as a stand alone player modeled after WINamp and the link below is still active in 2012.<<
This is also a free player that can be researched and downloaded from: http://www.xmms.org/about.php


[i] WINamp FAQ.  Downloaded 03/06/12 from:
http://www.winamp.com/help/FAQ

mike

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