Old 9th January 2016, 05:24   #1
MrSinatra
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Feature REQ: Smart Crossfade

so this has been talked about in many threads, but i figured it deserved its own thread officially requested in the proper sub forum:

right now (5.666) a user can assign winamp to crossfade tracks, or not. its an on / off option, but not one you can easily get to by default, nor one you want to have to deal with if there is a better way. what is the better way?

smart crossfade. smart crossfade analyzes the playlist and determines if the songs are in increasing sequential track order from the same album. if they aren't, (like in most random mixes), user defined crossfading is used; if they are, (like when playing an album), crossfading is temporarily deactivated.

[this feature would only need to be aware of the current track, and the next track in the playlist. this feature would also be invaluable if beat matching is ever made part of winamp, so that beat matching can also be turned on and off automatically as appropriate]

this feature has been implemented in other software, such as Logitech's Squeezebox Server [aka SqueezeCenter / LMS] which is open source.

thanks for considering to include this.

see also:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=388525

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
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Last edited by MrSinatra; 9th January 2016 at 06:31.
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Old 28th January 2016, 09:33   #2
djpete
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or at the very least a better crossfader.
I've rambled on about SQR before but it DOES degrade the sound to my ears, maybe because it's so old I don't know.
Winamp crossfader does a 80% good job. Image if it could be improved to be a match for SQR with better sound quality?

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Old 28th January 2016, 11:38   #3
DJ-Garybaldy
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Lets face it Winamp needs a decent crossfader...

Every plugin I've tried was pile of poop esp SQR. Could never get the program to smoothly crossfade always got car crash mixes or complete silence between tracks.



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Old 28th January 2016, 11:45   #4
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thats because you prob didn't use SQR 1.72 version. It's the only version that works perfectly when set right. Use the radio preset and switch off "truncate tracks longer than" and you're all good to go.
Had no issues on XP or Win 7 for 10 yrs or so

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Old 28th January 2016, 11:59   #5
DJ-Garybaldy
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Quote:
thats because you prob didn't use SQR 1.72 version.
Nope tried pretty much all versions of SQR even with volume levelled properly ripped tracks it just wouldn't crossfade smoothly. Didn't matter what settings I tried.

It kept freezing and crashing winamp if memory serves me right it was 2003 since I last used winamp to stream.



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Old 28th January 2016, 12:05   #6
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I'm surprised. What OS?
I don't use it with streaming. But for playing normally it's bulletproof. Please PM me if you want help. This is getting off topic now..

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Old 28th January 2016, 17:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybaldy72uk View Post
Lets face it Winamp needs a decent crossfader...

Every plugin I've tried was pile of poop esp SQR. Could never get the program to smoothly crossfade always got car crash mixes or complete silence between tracks.
Have you tried thinktink's crossfade plug-ins (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=379988)? Look in post #26 for the link to the latest versions.

They were designed for SHOUTcast users, but they also work fine for local playback. They provide for starting the next song while the first song is still playing, no beat matching or other advanced stuff like that. There are zero artifacts at the crossfade point and zero change in the way the songs would sound if these plug-ins were not being used. The crossfade is done after the applicable input decoder decodes the song file instead of at the output end of the sound processing chain.

There is an option called "Logarithmic Transitions" in the "in_bpxfade.dll" plug-in. When it is enabled, the volume of the ending song is 'ramped down' to zero and the volume of the next song is 'ramped up' to it's normal level. When this option is not enabled, the songs' volume end and start as they normally would. There is also an optional re-sampling feature that works very well.

The other companion plug-in is called "out_bpnoflush.dll". This should be selected as Winamp's output plug-in and then configured to 'chain' to another output plug-in, like DirectSound. If you use DirectSound, be sure to configure it to turn off all 5 of the fading options on the "Fading" tab. Also turn off the silence remover on the "Other" tab. I also use a DSP plug-in (Stereo Tool), so I set DirectSound's main buffer to 500 ms and the pre-buffer and buffer ahead buffers to 250 ms in order to reduce latencies (i.e. I'm able to hear DSP and seek changes almost instantly). If you use another output plug-in with these same features, be sure to set them up the same way.

djpete tried these plug-ins and didn't like the result. If you just want to be able to start another song while the previous is still playing, these plug-ins will do that reliably and smoothly without any period of silence.

If your songs have a few seconds of silence at the start and/or end, then be sure to select a crossfade point that is several seconds greater than the length of the longest silence period (end + start, if applicable). There is an excellent utility for mp3s that lets you manually cut out periods of silence at the start and/or end of a mp3 without having to re-encode the mp3 (http://mpesch3.de1.cc/mp3dc.html).

I suggest starting with a crossfade point of 15 seconds and increasing or decreasing it as needed to get the 'affect' you want. Of course the 'affect' depends greatly on the genre of songs that are being played back to back and the differences in their BPMs. The "in_bpxfade.dll" crossfade point can be changed while Winamp is playing songs.

Please excuse the length of this post. I really like these thinktink plug-ins and wanted to describe them properly for local use. They have additional options for SHOUTcast users.

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Old 28th January 2016, 21:38   #8
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i haven't tried any of the 3rd party crossfaders. they seem to have features that aren't what i'm after.

just to be clear, what i described in the first post basically boils down to 2 things:

1. when to fire off a new track simultaneously with a playing track
2. when NOT to fire off a new track simultaneously with a playing track

...and making that choice automatic via playlist analysis.

i don't really understand why a crossfader should be involved, or get involved, in ANY way, with sound quality? it is simply a matter of triggering events, and if they are simultaneous or not.

i really believe what i describe should be native to winamp.

now, if you had a beat mixing plugin, the crossfader should signal if its crossfading or not, (and how much, i.e. time/length of the crossfade) which would be an on/off indicator to the beat mixer (and would let it know how much time it had to work with). in that scenario, i could see the beat mixer getting involved in sound quality, but thats another discussion.

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Old 29th January 2016, 21:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
...
just to be clear, what i described in the first post basically boils down to 2 things:

1. when to fire off a new track simultaneously with a playing track
2. when NOT to fire off a new track simultaneously with a playing track

...and making that choice automatic via playlist analysis.
What you're suggesting should be rather simple to do as long as the tracks contain the applicable metadata (or their media library records contain the required info for formats that don't support embedding metadata).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
...
now, if you had a beat mixing plugin, the crossfader should signal if its crossfading or not, (and how much, i.e. time/length of the crossfade) which would be an on/off indicator to the beat mixer (and would let it know how much time it had to work with). in that scenario, i could see the beat mixer getting involved in sound quality, but thats another discussion.
The thinktink plug-ins I was talking about are best used for short periods of overlay, mainly to ensure there is no silence between tracks (similar to what is achieved by 'true' gapless playback). This works well for me when I'm playing a random list of tracks with Winamp and I don't want any silence between tracks.

Properly configuring the silence remover in the DirectSound output plug-in can do a good job of providing 'gapless' playback, imo. But large buffers are needed (when tracks contain a second or so of silence at their end or beginning) which slows down the response when seeking within the playing track (i.e. moving between cue points).

Long periods of crossfading (> 30 seconds) usually require beat mixing to work best. The tempo of the next track may need to be temporarily increased or decreased automatically to allow the BPMs of the 2 tracks to be matched during the period of overlay. The BPMs of the current and next track would also need to be fairly close to keep any tempo changes small enough so that they are not noticeable.

Some DJ apps allow the tempo of both tracks to be temporarily changed automatically when their BPMs are not fairly close to each other.

I've demoed some very expensive DJ apps and have yet to find any software that can automatically do this well for large BPM differences. In these cases, the human touch is still needed to make great mixes (with or without intentionally noticeable tempo changes).

I've yet to find a suitable tempo changing - beat matching plug-in for Winamp. When making playlists for Winamp, that I intend to use long periods of crossfading with, I sort the lists by BPM and make sure there are no significant BPM differences between tracks, so that tempo changes are not needed.

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Old 5th February 2016, 11:00   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminifu View Post
What you're suggesting should be rather simple to do as long as the tracks contain the applicable metadata (or their media library records contain the required info for formats that don't support embedding metadata).
indeed, and not only simple to do, but very worthwhile as well. its the kind of feature nearly all users would benefit from, and be impressed by, without them having to lift a finger. its very popular with LMS users, as is smartgain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminifu View Post
The thinktink plug-ins I was talking about...
...so that tempo changes are not needed.
all of that kind of stuff is what i was talking about when i said the thread / REQ is getting off topic, ("beat mixing is another discussion"). i want this thread to stay laser focused on the simple request, make it plain this request has nothing to do with sound quality in and of itself; and i just wanted to hint at how it could be useful to related behaviors, without getting into those behaviors. they should have their own threads, (and feel free to reference back to this one if this feature would be a foundation for them).

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Old 13th February 2016, 01:09   #11
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does winamp already gracefully handle crossfading when the two tracks have different sample rates?

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Old 13th February 2016, 03:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
does winamp already gracefully handle crossfading when the two tracks have different sample rates?
Winamp's default crossfading relies on the default Direct Sound output plugin that comes with Winamp. By dint of the fact it uses the Direct Sound API (that does alot of things in the background on the fly) Winamp doesn't need to resample the audio. AFAICT it just starts sending audio from the next track (after enveloping it for fading of course) before the previous track completes (enveloping it as well) and Direct Sound does the rest. That's my theory anyways and I'm sticking to it unless a developer says otherwise.
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Old 13th February 2016, 15:59   #13
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winamps crossfader fades out each ending track? (and fades in each new one?) i thought it simply overlapped the two tracks in question...?

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
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Old 13th February 2016, 16:37   #14
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Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
winamps crossfader fades out each ending track? (and fades in each new one?) i thought it simply overlapped the two tracks in question...?
Change the options on the DirectSound "Fading" configuration tab to disable fading. You may need to also increase the buffer sizes on the "Buffering" tab if you want a larger overlap period. The volume control options on the "Other" tab may also need adjusting if you want to use fading.

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Old 13th February 2016, 17:35   #15
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interesting. since i don't recall messing with these options before, i'm assuming i have the defaults, and the first 3 are already disabled, which is what i would want and expect.

the overlap period is set in the UI, as a matter of seconds. i'm not sure how the buffering affects that, but it doesn't actually determine the actual overlap.

in general, i don't want automatic fade ins and fade outs. when i did radio, we would set the EOM on each track, which marked both when the next track started, and the current track needed to start fading out. our experience was that automatic fading never sounded that good. of course, no fading can be abrupt, but imo its better than automatic.

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=304269
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=335325

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Old 13th February 2016, 17:58   #16
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interesting. since i don't recall messing with these options before, i'm assuming i have the defaults, and the first 3 are already disabled, which is what i would want and expect.

the overlap period is set in the UI, as a matter of seconds. i'm not sure how the buffering affects that, but it doesn't actually determine the actual overlap.

...
If you just want to overlap songs, you could try thinktink's plug-ins, BogProg X-Fade and BogProg NoFlush. Look in post #26 of (http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=379988) for links to the latest versions.

Disable all 7 of the options on the DirectSound fading tab. Change the buffer length to 500 milliseconds and the pre-buffer and buffer ahead to 250 milliseconds on its buffering tab (this allows seeking to be almost instant when using thinktink's plug-ins).

In the configuration for "in_bpxfade.dll" select the amount of overlap in the "Crossfade Time" box and disable the "Logarithmic Transitions" and "Resample" options. I suggest you start with a crossfade time of 12 seconds and increase or decrease as needed. You don't need to restart Winamp when making changes to any of X-Fade's options.

Select the "out_bpnoflush.dll" as the output plug-in and in its configuration box select the DirectSound output plug-in.

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Old 13th February 2016, 19:56   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminifu View Post
... and disable ... "Resample" options. ...
With X-Fade you have to keep the resampler enabled for it to crossfade songs of differing sample rates. The only reason why I have it as an option to be disabled is for broadcasters that already resampled all of their music to the same sample rate and want to save some CPU cycles.

Last edited by thinktink; 13th February 2016 at 19:57. Reason: spelling
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Old 13th February 2016, 20:19   #18
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Originally Posted by thinktink View Post
With X-Fade you have to keep the resampler enabled for it to crossfade songs of differing sample rates. The only reason why I have it as an option to be disabled is for broadcasters that already resampled all of their music to the same sample rate and want to save some CPU cycles.
Thanks for that clarification. I use the resampler, but I didn't think MrSinatra would want to use it.

Is there a limit on how large the crossfade time can be? I've used up to 30 seconds without any problems. I usually use just enough crossfade to prevent any silence between songs.

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Old 13th February 2016, 22:19   #19
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...

Is there a limit on how large the crossfade time can be?
Just the practical ones.
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