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Old 8th January 2004, 08:30   #8
DJ Egg
Winamp & SHOUTcast Team
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 35,799
Hi. Is the problem actually with WMA playback, and not Audio CD playback?

Gapless WMA Playback

As long as your WMA files are not DRM-Protected, then....

For gapless WMA playback, if video support is installed,
all you need to do is:

1. Close Winamp
2. Go to the Winamp\Plugins folder
3. Rename in_wm.dll to
(you can also move it to a backup folder somewhere if you wish)
4. Reopen Winamp
5. Go to: Prefs -> Plugins -> Input -> Nullsoft DirectShow Decoder -> config
6. Add ;WMA to the extension list

in_dshow.dll will now be the default handler of WMA files

Or, if video support was not installed...
You will need to replace the current version of in_wm.dll
with this older non-crippled version from Winamp 2.5

Basically, as from Winamp 2.60, the wma plugin licenced from Microsoft was hard-coded to use WaveOut only, therefore any changes you make to the DirectSound Output config are pointless and non-effective when playing back WMA files.

[Edit: June 2005]

Note: DirectSound Output (if selected) is now used again for WMA playback as from Winamp 5.092 and later



Which brings me to your config....

Those settings are way over the top.
You will notice it if you try play any MP3, WAV, OGG, MOD file.

Your main buffer is currently set to 20 seconds.
That means 20 seconds of audio will be buffered into memory.
The default setting is 2000ms (2 seconds)

If the problem is with WMA only, and not Audio CD...
before playing anything, all you will need to do now is:

1. Go back into DirectSound Output config
2. Set the main Buffer size back to 2000ms
3. Set Prebuffer back to 500ms
4. Set 'Buffer ahead on track change' to somewhere between 500ms and 1500ms
(start low at first, and increase only if necessary)
5. Other tab: Set cut-off value to -35dB (default is -40)

Ok everything

Assuming this was a gapless mix CD that you ripped to WMA,
you should now have perfect gapless WMA playback.

The only 3 formats which need extra tweaking are:
1) AudioCD: requires Digital Audio Extraction enabling in the in_cdda.dll config
2) WMA: Requires the above-mentioned fix
3) MIDI: Requires a few tweaks in in_midi config, which we won't go into here.

If the problem persists, or the problem was with Audio CD all along,
then post back and we'll take it from there... *gulp*


[Edited in at a later date]


Sticky: Help! My protected Windows Media files don't play in Winamp anymore!!!

As from Winamp 5.08e, you can no longer use in_dshow or an older version of in_wm.dll to playback drm-protected WMA files. Therefore, if the same fixes for gapless mp3 playback don't work, then alas you are out of luck.

If your WMA files are NOT drm-protected, then you can still use any of the above workarounds (in_dshow.dll or older in_wm.dll).



What is this DRM thing you keep referring to?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management.

When you rip Audio CD's to WMA with Windows Media Player 8/9/10
unless you go into: "Tools > Options > Copy Music tab" first,
and uncheck "Copy Protect Music"
(Note: older versions might say "Enable Personal Rights Management")
then this means that all your WMA files will be encoded with DRM-Protection.

What this means is that your WMA files are encrypted with some extra code which links to a DRM license stored on your pc.

The DRM protection means that the WMA file is licensed to only play on the pc that it was encoded on. In other words, you won't be able to copy it to another pc, because it won't play on any other pc but yours.

If you lose that drm license or if you reformat or upgrade windows then you will lose those licencses in the process, thus rendering your WMA files useless.

Note, you may still be able to retrieve these licenses.
See here for further info/details:

DRM-Protection is also used by sites/services like Napster and Walmart.
A variation of DRM is also used by the likes of iTunes iTMS, except the encrypted format is M4P instead of WMA.
Basically, it means that you are paying money for a crippled format.

Sure, you can burn them to Audio CD with WMP9/10 (or with iTunes if M4P) and then re-rip them to MP3, or you may be able to use some other software to convert them, but by doing this you will lose even more quality (lossy compressed format to another lossy compressed format equals even more lossy result).

Lessons learnt?

1. Do NOT use Windows Media Player to rip Audio CDs to WMA.
Use any of Winamp, CDex, EAC (or any other decent ripper which uses the LAME Encoder and supports --alt-preset standard presets) to rip to MP3 instead.
Sure, you could also rip to any other decent lossy compressed format such as OGG or MPC, or a lossless compressed format such as FLAC.

2. Do NOT purchase drm-protected wma/m4p files.
Use one or more of the many other alternatives instead.
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