Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Winamp 2.9 – Review

So, Winamp 2.9 is installed (after I downloaded it yesterday). Like the existing Winamp 2.8 it comes in 3 flavours: lite, standard and full – I went for standard as full merely adds Windows Media support.
So, in brief, the new features:

  • Video playback – now you can play AVI, WMV, MPEG-4 and various other formats in Winamp, with a skinnable video panel
  • Media Library – brought in from Winamp 3.0, allowing you to use Winamp more as a jukebox
  • Digital Audio Extraction – allows better CD playback of CDs and the possibility of CD ripping using the Disk Writer plugin
  • The usual bug fixes and minor tweaks

Although 2.x skins will work with this new build, they won’t work with the media library and video panel, since these weren’t included in the older skins.
So compared with dBpowerAMP (my current audio player), what do I think? Well, it’s certainly quick at launching (a few seconds, whereas Winamp 3.0 takes nearly a full minute), and the media library is a nice touch, but I still don’t like it. It seems cluttered, and was unable to get data for a lot of my music (its Ogg Vorbis support appears to be rather patchy). The ‘Thinger’ never got added either, which I liked from 3.0. So it’s an improvement, but not enough for me to switch.

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