Old 5th April 2004, 17:16   #1
lukeprog
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Better than Winamp

Genrally, I've been very impressed by Winamp. I know it is a great player, and near-perfect for many, many people, but not for me.

I like the media library and the quick-search features of the media library. I like the playlist. I like the winshade mode and the winshade mode skins that display the song title, song time, and volume/slider controls.

However, I don't like all the resources that winamp consumes. Quite often, response time is slow for Winamp, even on my 2Ghz, 1 gig RAM PC. I hit my hotkeys for moving forward or backwards in the track or playlist, and it doesn't happen for 10 seconds. I do the same by clicking on the slider and it doesn't take effect for 5-10 seconds. Sometimes, when one song ends and another begins, it takes FOREVER to switch the displayed song title.

Does anyone know of a good media player that doesn't consume as many resources as Winamp but also has a very compact play mode that still displays song title, volume control, and a slider (or equivalent control), and is hot-key configurable? I know this is a very specific request, and I really haven't seen anything like that. The most commonly missing feature among those listed above is a very miniature player mode that still contains all those displays/controls.

Or, perhaps Winamp is still the closest thing to the media player that is right for me and i need to find ways to make Winamp respond to my commands in a timely fashion. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to achieve this?
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Old 5th April 2004, 17:22   #2
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run Winamp using classic skins, it will use less resources.
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Old 5th April 2004, 17:40   #3
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Yeah, I know, but classic skins don't have the display features I like.
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Old 5th April 2004, 17:50   #4
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Freeform Skins are the most resource intensive part of Winamp.

ok then, remove any plugins you don't use by going into C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins\ and moving the plugin files out to another folder
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Old 5th April 2004, 18:18   #5
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"I hit my hotkeys for moving forward or backwards in the track or playlist, and it doesn't happen for 10 seconds. I do the same by clicking on the slider and it doesn't take effect for 5-10 seconds. Sometimes, when one song ends and another begins, it takes FOREVER to switch the displayed song title"

Something definitely isn't right there.
That should not be happening.

Using any 3rd-party plugins?
Tried a clean install?
What's your current buffer size?
(Prefs > Plugins > Output > DirectSound)
Is the crossfader enabled? (latent buffer)

What's your sound & video cards?

How much cpu & ram does Task Manager say Winamp is using?
Without a vis plugin running, Winamp uses 0-3% cpu and 5 to 25mb ram for me
(depends on the skin/windows/features running and whether minimized or not).

Also depends on whether any other resource-hogging software is currently running...
eg. file sharing apps or spyware/malware.

I certainly can't reproduce the problem here.
Winamp runs smooth and fast on my system... with any modern skin.

btw, you've picked the wrong place to ask if there's anything "better than winamp" out there. There's lots of great pretenders
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Old 5th April 2004, 19:10   #6
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Well, sure, I have a couple programs running, but it's not like I'm running Photoshop or something, or playing a 3D videogame. The task manager shows my processor to be around 50% usage when these problems are occuring, and memory usage only about 15%. I frequently scan with Search and Destroy so I don't have much, if any, malware running. Buffer size? Um, I noticed that "buffer length" was 2000 ms and "prebuffer..." was 500 ms, is that what you were looking for?

This problem has been continual but not constant throughout my history of Winamp 5. Throughout that history, I have done a clean install of Winamp several times.

If it's true that I simply can't expect Winamp to run at top-notch speed while ANY other programs are running (Mozilla, emule, Incredimail) then I definetely need to get another media player just to play background music while I'm doing all my other work.

But hey, I'm not flaming Winamp. I tried to make that clear in my first message: I really like so much about Winamp more than any other media player I've found so far (and I've tried upwards of two dozen). For music, anyway.
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Old 5th April 2004, 19:13   #7
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Oops, for got to answer a couple of your questions.

I do have several third party plugins installed, but not running. I almost never have them running. Unless some of them run automatically if they are installed at all, like in teh background...

Winamp typically uses 15% CPU power and 13MB of RAM, which is much higher than you are reporting. Perhaps it is that some plugins are doing silly background things? I just want them to be available to use when I want, but I don't want them doing ANYTHING unless I tell them to.

Thanks for your prompt help!
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Old 5th April 2004, 19:49   #8
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Please provide a list of all 3rd-party plugins installed.
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Old 5th April 2004, 20:10   #9
lukeprog
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INPUT:

LineIn plugin 1.8 (x86) [in_line.dll]

Chun-Yu's MP3 Writer Plugin 3.0 [Out_MP3.dll]

VISUALIZATION:

I forget, is "advancaed visualization studio 2.81b [vis_avs.dll]" a third-party plugin?

DSP/EFFECT:

iZotope Ozone Free [dsp_iZOzoneFree.dll] (none is selected for DSP/Effect)

AnalogX Vocal Remover [dsp_vr.dll]

GENERAL:

AudioScrobbler for Winamp 1.1.6

Streamripper for Winamp

OKAY, SO:

Streamripper is not enabled.

Audioscrobbler supposedly doesn't use much power or bandwidth because it only send the artist/song title of the currently playing track to an online database once a song has hit the 50% mark of playback (like, half way through the song). And, I've had the Winamp performance problems off and on for months now, but I only installed Audioscrobbler about a week ago.
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Old 5th April 2004, 20:26   #10
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I'm running an outdated P4 1.7GHz with only 256 megs of RAM and a GeForce2 Ultra with Windows XP. On top of that, I often use modern skins in WA5. Yeah, so maybe the WA window animations are choppy so I turn them off, but other than that, everything else is fine.

I can't help but find it funny when I hear all these stories of computers that could literally kick mine's ass, have trouble running Winamp or some other small program. Try formatting, and disabling some features (in WA and Windows). AVS takes up a lot of processor power... that could part of it if you're using it.
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Old 5th April 2004, 20:44   #11
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Yeah, I hate my computer 2. I think it must be because it's a Celeron, but it meets minimum requirements of almost every game I have but can play almost none of them. I defrag, deselect performance things in Windows XP (shadows on menus, etc.), use msconfig for startup, and it's still slower than it should be.
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Old 5th April 2004, 21:01   #12
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If you have multiple plug-ins installed, that could be the problem. Some may be running even if you don't know it (especially General Purpose plug-ins).

I would recommend you uninstall WA5 (completely - leave no plug-ins), re-install, and set up the program how you like it. Install only the most important plug-ins, and see how it goes. If it runs fine, and you want to install more plug-ins, try it. But keep in mind what problems may occur, and what you installed last for it to cause problems...

I've done this before, and it worked - I've cleared my plug-ins installation folder of bad (buggy, WA-crashing) plug-ins, and even found a couple plug-ins that don't go to well with other plug-ins. Watch out for those General plug-ins though, most of them require that you go to their configuration/options to turn it off, and I've seen some annoying ones that need uninstalled to turn off.
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Old 5th April 2004, 21:20   #13
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Disable the song title scroller. It's a resource hog just like certain modern skins.
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Old 6th April 2004, 18:07   #14
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Just for comparison I have an AMD Athlon XP 2100 running at 1.7Ghz 512 MB Ram and Geforce 4 MX 400, and Winamp 5.03 runs great. The only slowness I see is when starting winamp the first time. I can use any of the modern skins with no problem. Currently using "Venus". With Milkdrop running windowed along with "Cover and Tag" displaying an album cover and "Enhancer" doing it's DSP thing, my cpu usage varies from 16 to 33%. I also have Thunderbird mail running along with a couple other apps including Helium 2 with a large database loaded. With this configuration I can even run Newsbin and as long as I don't go over about 800,000 headers in a group, no problems. Songs change instantly. There is definely something wrong with your comp. Maybe time for a windows reinstall. I end up reinstalling about every 2-3 months just to keep things snappy. I have it down to a science with all my data on another drive including all drivers, service packs and installation programs.
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Old 6th April 2004, 21:32   #15
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Perhaps, then, it IS just because I have a stupid celeron and often use 3-7 programs at a time.
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Old 6th April 2004, 22:33   #16
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lukeprog go to Winamp Preferences > Modern Skins and then click 'As fast as possible for this machine'
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Old 7th April 2004, 00:01   #17
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Hmm, that could slow it down more. If anything, he should be decreasing the Timers Resolution value. The lower the value (further to the right), the less cpu is used for features like built-in vis and beat detector etc. Though it shouldn't really matter on 2GHz+ machines...
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Old 7th April 2004, 00:12   #18
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Well, because it's a Celeron, it is a "fake" 2Ghz. Or rather, 2Ghz that really can't operate that fast, especially when multi-tasking, because it has no L2 cache.
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Old 7th April 2004, 01:13   #19
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Another comparison:
I have a 2.4Ghz computer that should have been formated ages ago (when I upgraded I had to reinstall windows over the old install for not to loose anything), hasn't been defragged for months and months, I only have 1Gb left on the OS harddrive and I use Win2k Pro which in itself isn't the optimal choice these days.
I can run the most CPU intensive programs you can imagine. not just games but things like 2d and 3d applications (almost always ran at the same time) video editing systems and so on. I've *never* experienced winamp skipping one beat. (not counting Winamp3)
Right now Winamp uses between 0% and 2% CPU power and 6Mb RAM (default Modern skin windowshade mode with Directsound Output set at 5000ms buffer length and 500ms on the others) and the in_mpg123 input plugin.
My computer is faaaaar from optimal at the moment (I'm about to format and install XP actually) and still Winamp is about the most reliable program on the computer.
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Old 7th April 2004, 02:12   #20
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Damn it. What the hell is wrong with my PC? :-)
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Old 7th April 2004, 02:38   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by lukeprog
Damn it. What the hell is wrong with my PC? :-)
you awnsered your own question when you said it was a celeron

Proud Winamp user since 1997
(Winamp 1.006)
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Old 7th April 2004, 21:49   #22
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I don't think having other programs open at the same time should really be a factor in this problem. Considering almost every minute I have atleast 10 programs running in the foreground, and an additional 10 in the background; somtimes reaching as high as 20 in the foreground. Winamp, usually, is a part of those 10-20. At the most I use is 40% CPU, unless I'm encoding/loading a program. And I'm only on a P4 1.9GHZ.

It's possible the problem is the celeron, but chances are a 2GHZ Celeron could perform atleast equal to a P4 at 1.5GHZ, which wouldn't slow me down much. I think the problem is in the plugins, but that's opinion I guess.

[@imho] man
[@imho] I had dreams about unit testing last night :-(
[@sim`a] i have nightmares about syntax errors, whats your point
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Old 8th April 2004, 09:19   #23
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It's defentily the celeron. If have winamp running on 2 machines here. one PC with AMD 1.66 runs very smooth no problems even when playing heavy games.
The other is a laptop with a P4 2.66 and well wina,p does sometimes have some problems running along side some of the games.

This shows that not all processors are equal. And because the celeron are the cheaper brother of the pentiums it performs less.
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Old 10th April 2004, 02:28   #24
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It is the Celeron. You have to think of hertz like this:
Imagine all cars have only one gear and no speedometer. You can kind of judge how fast its going by reading the tachometer (RPM's), buts its not like reading the speedometer.Different cars have different gear ratios and engine displacements. Hertz are a cpu's RPM's. not its speed. I would never buy a celeron. it's engine revs really high, but it can't really go anywhere.

[edit] Try changing the thread priority it could be on lowest or something like that


elevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladyelevatorladylevitateme

Last edited by shakey_snake; 10th April 2004 at 04:04.
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Old 10th April 2004, 02:49   #25
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Somthing is probably wrong tith your computer. Have you checked for spyware or viruses.
Winamp 5.03a with classic skins is the fastest media player on my PIII 533 MHz. It can run effortlessly, even when I am running other programs such as Mozilla Firefox, and AIM.
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Old 10th April 2004, 03:19   #26
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Just another to be said, I have an Old, DAMN old Pentium 100, with 32mb RAM ...
I use Winamp 5 and run other problems with any problem !

I Love You Ana Luiza
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Old 10th April 2004, 04:34   #27
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holy cow, Pentium 100? Whatever, man.
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Old 10th April 2004, 04:40   #28
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/me Using my new geek singal that I've learned here

I <3 IT !!!!!
It was my first computer dude .. will never forget it !!! I have it on my gramma house .. when I'm there I use it !

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Old 10th April 2004, 11:21   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by shakey_snake

[edit] Try changing the thread priority it could be on lowest or something like that
What he said, try giving Winamp high thread priority.

Additionally, look down the bottom of your computer where the system tray is and notice what background programs you might have running (anything listed there)

Normally you only actually want a program loaded or partly loaded when you are actually using it, the rest of the time you don't wnat them loaded at all. If you have things like Quicktime, Real Player etc in your system tray then go into those programs options and stop them running at start up.

Another thing to do is run adaware and remove any junk spyware & the like which could be installed and running in the background (unless you want any of these programs).

Okay, let's say you've done the above. Then you should restart Windows.

Now you might want to run msconfig & look at the startup list. Generally you are safe to untick pretty much anything except for anti-virus software or anything else that you specifically know that you want to run all the time in the background. What you should do is make a note of everything in the list & research on the web what they are before making decisions about what to untick. Anyway, when you have done with the startup list & applied and then restarted Windows then try Winamp again and see how it runs.
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Old 10th April 2004, 17:51   #30
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Yes, yes, I do everything on that list quite frequently. Anyway, thanks for all your help, but I've come to the conclusion it's probably just because I've got a damn Celeron and I'm trying to use it like a regular Pentium :-)
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Old 10th April 2004, 20:10   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by lukeprog
Well, because it's a Celeron, it is a "fake" 2Ghz. Or rather, 2Ghz that really can't operate that fast, especially when multi-tasking, because it has no L2 cache.
Celerons have had L2 cache since the 700mhz range, It is half of the processor they are based on, in this case the crappy P4, older 1.6 cely's can run circles around 2.0 and any P4 below 2.4Ghz as they run on the proven PIII core not the extende pipe P4 core. Pipe length, while allowing insane speeds for the P4's destroyed their performance. The only real reason that Intel had to go to the P4 cores on Cely's is because the PIII architecture could not scale past 1.8 Ghz and be stable and cool. They also killed the PIII line because it was destroyong the sales of the P$'s and they got sued for falsely reporting that the P4's performed better than their own chips. The current cellys I believe are on 256k l2 cache as oppsed to the 512 on pre prescot P4's and the 1024 on Prescot's, Celly's also do not make use of the 800Mhz FSB.
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Old 11th April 2004, 00:21   #32
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I'd say a big part of it is the Celeron.

The P3-Celerons weren't too too horrible, because the P3 had a much shorter pipeline then the P4 does.

When P4 came out, Intel doubled the pipeline length in the CPU; this means that you have to have a large cache to keep the CPU working when it his a branch mispredict.

The P4-Celerons don't have this cache, obviously. Hence, a Duron 1.6 is faster then a P4-Celeron 2.6.

I love how Intel tries to sell CPUs based on the Ghz numbers alone. I saw an option to "upgrade" a new laptop from an Athlon XP-M 2500 ("Runs at 1.83ghz" said the ad) to a Celeron 2.8ghz for $250... What a deal. Intel's marketing deals w/retailers at work.

However, I would still expect Winamp to run at least "okay" on such a system. My family has an Athlon 1.13ghz back home that runs 5.03 perfectly fine, my little sisters use it all the time.
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Old 11th April 2004, 00:33   #33
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Woah, check this out, though: when Winamp was taking up a ton of CPU no matter how many times I tried a different (modern) skin or restarted my computer, I finally tried out Windows Media Player and WOAH! It used almost no resources at all, even when I was using a skin, one of the built-in visualizations, playing a song, and adding thousands of mp3s to its media library in the background. On Winamp, all I was trying to do was play the song. Now what the hell is up with that?

Too bad WMP doesn't have assignable hot keys, or else I'd use it all the time from now on.
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Old 11th April 2004, 01:59   #34
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Have you tried a completely fresh install yet? without plugins first to see where trouble may be coming in?
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Old 11th April 2004, 03:46   #35
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Weird, both winamp and windows media player use the same amount of CPU on my computer, with windows media taking up slightly more occasionally.

I dont have a celeron so I am unsure of its performance, but my current computer is a Pentium 3 900 MHz and it handles winamp fine.

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Old 11th April 2004, 07:11   #36
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WMP 6.x (mplayer2) is okay in some respects, not too bloated.
But WMP 7 to 9 are pigs! They are badly designed, and quite resource hungry relative to other media players.

I have been using Winamp for years, and this includes upgrading to the new versions that come out, I am currently using Winamp 5.03a. It is much better and faster than WMP. and it runs fine even on budget chips.
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Old 11th April 2004, 07:27   #37
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After further investigation, I have determined that most of the problems were actually specific to certain tracks! On Winamp, I had been playing some tracks I ripped from the new Delgados CD, and Winamp was using about 60% CPU. I played different tracks with WMP. However, when I played the Delgados tracks with WMP, it also used a ton of CPU. VERY strange, but I'll just re-rip the tracks and see if I can get them to not use as much CPU. Why would one track require more CPU to play than another? They are all MP3s with a bitrate of 128...
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Old 11th April 2004, 07:57   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jumper001
I'd say a big part of it is the Celeron.

The P3-Celerons weren't too too horrible, because the P3 had a much shorter pipeline then the P4 does.

When P4 came out, Intel doubled the pipeline length in the CPU; this means that you have to have a large cache to keep the CPU working when it his a branch mispredict.

The P4-Celerons don't have this cache, obviously. Hence, a Duron 1.6 is faster then a P4-Celeron 2.6.

I love how Intel tries to sell CPUs based on the Ghz numbers alone. I saw an option to "upgrade" a new laptop from an Athlon XP-M 2500 ("Runs at 1.83ghz" said the ad) to a Celeron 2.8ghz for $250... What a deal. Intel's marketing deals w/retailers at work.
Yes, AMD and Intel have 2 kinds of CPUs.

One high-end, for gaming and other powerful applications. (P4 and AthlonXP) and on the other hand there are low-end CPUs like Duron and Celeron.

Better for office, because this low-end CPUs are not so loud like their big brothers, because they use smaller CPU-Fans.

AMD Duron is faster then Celeron, thats right, because of the cache.

But it doesn't matter, if you have an AthlonXP (less MHz) or a Pentium 4 (more MHz), because they are both very fast, and there is no big difference.

I have access to 2 Systems, my own with a fast Pentium 4, and to a Duron 650MHz.

Winamp runs with modern skins on both fast.
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Old 11th April 2004, 08:11   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by lukeprog
would one track require more CPU to play than another? They are all MP3s with a bitrate of 128...
This does sound strange. Especially if you used one ripper for all the mp3s. even the ones that works. maybe the tracks got partly corrupted for that CD. if so reripping could work. and if not in_mpg123 can play pretty much anything without problems if you set it to "force decoding when error is detected". I've often come across files only that decoder alone can play.
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Old 13th April 2004, 18:36   #40
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you guys should give a staright answer.

If you want a barebones media player that is completely customisable then it is probably best to try foobar2000.
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