Old 26th March 2007, 06:38   #1
mathesar
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Winamp sound quality vs. VLC

Ive always used Winamp to play MP3's and basically any other sound format but tonight I noticed when playing an MP3 in VLC player the sound quality was MUCH better than Winamp?? Am I possibly overlooking something? I had both players set at max volume when comparing and I made sure both had any EQ's disabled, The sound quality difference is noticeable when comparing .flac files as well, I tried it with my main speakers (Logitech Z5500s) and headphones with the same results ,everything is louder , crisper and "fuller" sounding in VLC, Just curious if anyone else has noticed this , Im using a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic soundcard & WinXP, Latest versions of Winamp 5 & VLC (VideoLAN) Thanks.
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Old 26th March 2007, 07:25   #2
Benski
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It's likely because of volume differences due to Windows having two different audio paths that programs can use. Try switching your Winamp output plugin to waveOut (or to DirectSound if it was already set to waveOut).

For more discussion, read here:
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....hreadid=266757
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Old 29th March 2007, 04:19   #3
mathesar
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Hmm thanks I tried everything but VLC still sounds a lot better , i did try Windows media player and it sounds exactly like winamp , so i guess VLC is doing its own thing with the audio, cant seem to figure out exactly what tho.
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Old 15th November 2010, 22:43   #4
mwake
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I know this post is old but I agree

I am also think VLC has a really better sound than winamp but vlc is to geeky a software to use causally. Any body else know why VLC might sound better than winamp.
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Old 16th November 2010, 09:24   #5
betedeouf
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Quote:
Any body else know why VLC might sound better than winamp.
I am surprised, can you explain me why ?
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Old 31st March 2013, 06:05   #6
Chronicwilly
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Well I use fedora linux, with vlc, I dont use the vlc equalizer, All I use is the parametric EQ on VLC. And I use alsa plugins, with pulseaudio expansions, and the pulseaudio full band eq,
(My parametric VLC settings-For me this is the sweet spot, makes them subs kick clean)
low freq 60.00
gain -1.00
high freq 10000.00
gain -10.00
freq1 41.20
gain -4.00
freq1q 20.00
freq2 1500.00
gain -8.00
freq2q 15.00
freq3 2700.00
gain -1.00
freq3q 20.00
PS: I always keep this parametric eq setting on vlc, My pulseaudio equalizer varies depending on what speakers I use...

Anyway, Playing mp3's movies etc on vlc through linux, also using the pulseaudio eq, I get crystal sound quality, pindrop sounds, etc...

Using the same parametric eq settings with vlc on windows, Well pfft, not even happening... And my windows sound card audio driver isnt as good either, mainly because its not open source, No matter what i do or tweak , Vlc simply does not sound as good on windows as it does on linux with the proper audio drivers.

I was always a winamp user when i used windows, before i started to use linux, And it was always good ish to me, But Ive noticed more clarity with vlc, and think im guna stick with it.

If your into your audio a ton, and u really want great sound, either install linux, or install a dual boot, of windows, then linux on either a partitioned drive, or a seperate drive, itl change the way u listen to music
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Old 1st April 2013, 15:37   #7
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A good DSP plug-in will improve the sound of files played with Winamp. I'm currently using "Stereo Tool". Warning, it is not for the casual user.

http://www.stereotool.com/

Winamp Pro v5.666.3516 fully-patched - Komodo X Touchscreen v1.0 by Victhor skin
Windows 10 Home 64-bit v1809 desktop - Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker system
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Old 1st April 2013, 18:43   #8
bobn42855
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I've noticed this as well. I just found a really good song that makes the difference more obvious. It has a good separation of full-bodied sound coming from the center and both sides at the same time. When I play it with VLC, the volume of the sound from both sides is noticeably greater than when I play it with Winamp even though the volume from the center is the same in both cases. It's like there's a loss of gain with Winamp as the sound moves further out to the sides. With VLC, being able to better hear the sound from the sides gives the overall impression of a fuller-bodied sound. There may be other reasons as well but I can definitely hear that difference using this song.

Update: Maybe I'm just hearing things but I have a 2.1 speaker set up and noticed I had "Allow surround sound" checked. I unchecked that, restarted Winamp and now I seem to be getting equal volume and separation from the side speakers as I get in VLC (which is set up for a 2.1 speaker setup). If what I'm saying doesn't seem possible, then please just ignore.
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Old 4th April 2013, 18:33   #9
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Winamp and VLC do sound different with their default input and output settings, especially when playing lossy formats like mp3. Of course, which is 'better' depends on what the listener is listening for (sound staging/separation, tonal/frequency emphasis, etc.). Purists want the output to match the source (what the recording engineer/artist intended). Others like to enhance one or more aspects of the sound.

I can understand why some/many users would like a different 'out-of-the-box' experience with Winamp. I still prefer Winamp because there are a lot more options available (official and 3rd party) to 'tailor' the sound and I like to tinker (play at sound engineering). It is possible to have both apps sound virtually the same, but this does require some adjustments to one or the other (or both). It is also possible to totally 'screw' things up.

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