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Old 6th August 2008, 07:29   #1
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Winamp breaks mIRC scripts, and maybe its API and conventions too

Disclaimer: I am not a programmer. I'm just someone who has been using Winamp since 1.x and has been on IRC for years.

I did a clean install of Windows XP, and installed Winamp 5.54. After restoring mIRC from backups, the scripts that rely on Winamp didn't work like they used to so I tried to fix them. One of the things I did while troubleshooting the problem was renaming my Winamp folder in Program Files, and restoring an older version from my backups. The backups worked just fine.

I tried to figure out why the new version didn't work where older versions had no problems, and one of the things I found is that Winamp used to save Winamp.m3u in its program folder, but now it saves the file in %appdata%\Winamp.m3u. This causes the file to be created somewhere within "Documents and Settings" or "Users" in Windows, and breaks many applications in the process.

I fixed the problem in Windows XP by creating a special shortcut to Winamp.m3u in the Winamp directory. To do this, open the Command Prompt or go to Start Menu > Run... and type:

fsutil hardlink create "c:\Program Files\Winamp"\Winamp.m3u "c:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Winamp\winamp.m3u"

Vista, Linux and other operating systems have more elegant ways to do this, such as symlinks.

EDITORIAL: I'm both surprised and disappointed to see fundamental changes in Winamp being implemented within minor updates. I can't help but think this is part of a bigger problem within Winamp's development. Common sense and community input have been taken out of the update equation. Versions of the program are released with far less testing than goes on in other popular apps. Changes are made without notice or transitions. Even if I'm way off base with my mIRC and Winamp workaround, the problem I encountered shouldn't exist. It should have been flagged in beta testing.

It's not the only questionable issue. Reason would've pleaded for a way to have a playlist tab in Bento without having to install hacked skins. Users should be able to choose the types of files they want Winamp to handle without going thru long lists of codecs no one's used for years. Etc, etc, etc.

I still can't find another Win32 program that does everything I demand from Winamp. I'm starting to think I should save the Winamp installer's files as I might find myself in the bandwagon of praise for old versions compared to newer ones.
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Old 6th August 2008, 11:22   #2
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winamp saving its winamp.m3u under appdata is the fault of your praised vista.

If you can't say something nice, say something surrealistic.
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Old 6th August 2008, 12:37   #3
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this has been a default since 5.5 on new installs and has been in place on certain installs well before then with the functionality having appeared at the end/start of 5.1x/5.2x

the problem is in the code of so many apps/etc which took it as granted that something would be there for what is effectively an internal file. there's so many plugins out there which do things on the hard coded path rather than using the api which has been in since 2.9x which is what 5 years ago now.

so you could say that it's down to MS/whoever but then again the standard accepted option has been to do that since win2k and the defaulting to the program dir is too much of a legacy to how the program began on win9x.

you can just delete paths.ini from the winamp folder and there you get the old way back. this is mentioned a number of times and shows up on web searches on how to 'rectify' this even though there was a far greater number of people wanting it to work like this *gives up*

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