Monday, July 16, 2007

WinAmp and Enhancer Plug-In for Better Music

If you listen to music on your computer, you'll be interested to know that there's software that actually improves the playback quality of CDs, mp3s, and other media formats on the PC. I was shocked at how big a difference it made and how much richer the songs sounded.

To get this experience, you'll need to install Winamp with the Enhancer plugin. Remember Winamp? Back then it was pretty popular and it's still widely used as of the present time. It's a free media player that was designed to be extensible through plug-ins - software components developed by third parties that enhance and add new functionality. You take the basic player and optionally install whatever plug-ins you want. You can also add skins to the program, that is, add a user interface template to it to give it a different look. I remember back then my brother used Winamp with some sort of customized anime skin.

I was intimidated with the complexity and customizability of Winamp, preferring instead to use Windows Media Player, the default music player in Windows. I didn't really understand why other people would take the trouble to select different skins and experiment with various plug-ins on their Winamp when I could just simply double-click an mp3 file to open it in Windows Media Player, listen to the song, and close it when done.

I get it now though. There are many reasons why you would want to use Winamp, but let me tell you mine. The main reason is simply because if you use it with the Enhancer plug-in, it dramatically improves the sound quality of the music played. You'll have to try it yourself to know what I mean. Everything sounds sharper and more pronounced, and I can hear the different layers to the song.

The Enhancer plug-in also allows you more control over the equalizer depending on the type of song played and your musical preference. For instance, if you like deep loud bass, you can set it so that the bass is more pronounced. If you like drums and cymbals, you can isolate it so that it sounds louder. I discovered that I'm more of a Treble guy, and would adjust for a higher treble setting on some of my favorite songs.

There is also a nifty Volume function that automatically adjusts the volume when playing multiple songs in the playlist. A frequent case is having a list of songs queued up, with some songs recorded at a much higher volume than the rest, causing the sound to go loud in one song, then quiet in the next. With Enhancer, it adjusts the volume automatically so you don't have to do it yourself.

But the most important reason for using Winamp is because it's fun. You can try out new plug-ins, rearrange the window components (much like a stackable mini component stereo system), select different skins to reduce tedium and many other things I haven't experimented with yet. Winamp adds much enjoyment to the music listening experience.


Daphane Angeli said...

Hey Rob, thanks for this! I may try it out if my laptop permits me (too many stuff now..hehe). I remember using winamp and really liked the sound of it before. I'll go check out your links!

도라지 said...

Thx! Great Plug-in..
Got more? let me know..Am a novice in Winamp. Still learning...

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