Old 9th October 2020, 23:55   #1
rstew
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Can I retrieve a lost Playlist? How?

I am using Winamp V5.666
Today I went to delete an entry from a playlist. Highlighted it, clicked on Crop Selected Item, and POOF; the entire playlist was magically gonzo, except for the entry I wanted to delete. This playlist was some 375 items, so I am pretty bummed out.

Is there some way to retrieve it, and if so from where?
Where does V5.666 actually store playlists? I can't find anything in my main music library folder, where older versions used to store playlists.
Any help appreciated, thanks.
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Old 10th October 2020, 00:52   #2
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Sorry, that playlist is gone. Crop does what you described (i.e. removes everything that is not selected). Use the Remove command to remove selected items from a playlist.

Get and install this plug-in (https://winampplugins.co.uk/plu.html) so that you can recover an accidentally lost or changed playlist in the future.

WACUP (a replacement for Winamp) being developed by the developer of this plug-in does make a backup of the playlist that was active when a WACUP session was shutdown and started again.

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Old 10th October 2020, 17:43   #3
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OK thanks for that info Aminfu, sad though it is. That's a giant PITA for a once-in-a-while user, that you can fall into a landmine trap such as that, with no way back. At the very least there should be an Undo feature!

Now I am faced with the joyous multi-hour task of recreating the entire playlist from scratch. Lovely. I certainly do hope the new WACUP app is more user friendly.
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Old 11th October 2020, 00:10   #4
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Unfortunately you did this to yourself by using the Crop command. It is painful learning things the hard way. I know since I did the same thing myself, although the playlist I lost was no where near as long as yours.

Many users have fallen into the same situation and have asked that the Crop command be removed. But other users want it to remain since it helps them edit their playlists. There is no way to please everyone.

The plug-in I provided the link to adds an Undo feature to Winamp for playlist changes. WACUP provides this plug-in by default. Winamp and WACUP do let you save copies of your playlists to external files. I assume the Winamp developers thought this was enough protection.

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Old 12th October 2020, 17:33   #5
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Instead of "Crop Selected Items"; what would have been wrong with something like "Crop all Non-Selected", or "Crop All Others"??? I think something like that would save a lot of drama and grief for the unwary user. (Obviously the developers of Winamp learned English at a different school than I did!)

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Old 12th October 2020, 18:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstew View Post
... (Obviously the developers of Winamp learned English at a different school than I did!)

rstew
You probably don't realize just how true that statement is. Some of the Winamp developers were not born or raised in the United States. Most not born to, or raised with, American English say that it is the most difficult language to learn. Mostly because it has so many contradictory elements and usage patterns across the country.

I agree that the "Crop selected" command could (should?) have been worded differently. However, the "Remove selected" command is right next to it and both are in their own section of the context menu. This should imply that they do not do the same thing. This makes sense to me now, but only in hindsight because I got caught by the same misunderstanding of what "Crop selected" does. Truth be told, at the time I clicked on it I had no idea what it would do and clicked on it to find out.

One last thing, I have been mostly using WACUP for the last 3 years. In Winamp v5.666.3516 the commands are called "Remove item(s)" and "Crop files", in WACUP they are called "Remove selected" and "Crop selected". Sorry for my naming error, the Winamp wording is better.

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Old 13th October 2020, 23:12   #7
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OK thanks for that input; all good. I rebuilt the lost playlist today so all is well again. Lesson learned. And don't get me wrong; I am not trying to slam anyone here, North American or otherwise. English is a god awful language to learn, even for those who grew up with it. It's just a different understanding for the same word, in this case "Crop".

Another question, if a person switches over to WACUP, is there an easy way to import the existing Winamp playlists?

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Old 14th October 2020, 04:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstew View Post
...

Another question, if a person switches over to WACUP, is there an easy way to import the existing Winamp playlists?

rstew
Well, of course, "easy" is a relative term.

There are currently 2 versions of WACUP. One is for those who join the beta test group and a public preview version for those who don't want to join the beta test group. The beta version contains an 'easy' way to import Winamp managed playlists.

Winamp and WACUP provide 2 ways to handle playlists, app managed or user managed. User managed playlists have names that the user gives them and are stored in a folder or folders that the user selects. App managed playlists are copies of the original user created playlists that are placed in a folder that the app selects and are given names selected by the app that are internally associated with the original names selected by the user when they were created and saved in folders selected by the user.

Both apps provide options that allows them to work with the original user created playlists or their copies. This allows for the original playlists to remain (or not) if there are copies, tracked in the media library database, that are deleted. WACUP also allows for the original playlists to remain (or not) if there aren't copies, and their names tracked in the media library database are deleted. If the user chooses to work with app managed copies, then additional work is needed to sync the originals and copies when either is edited.

In the beginning, Winamp only worked with copies of the original playlists. App managed playlists is the default for both Winamp and WACUP. The change that allowed Winamp to work directly with the original playlists removed the need for the additional work that is needed to keep the originals and copies in sync.

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Old 15th October 2020, 23:06   #9
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Aminifu, thanks for that very detailed explanation. I guess I need to play with those options and figure out how they work. Ultimately I want to have a saved copy of each playlist so as to avert disaster with that silly crop command.
Also I want to copy all playlists with all music files to a usb drive to use in the car.

When I click on Export Playlist in the non-patched version of Winamp V5.666; where exactly does it export it to? I would have expected a window to open where you can specify a drive and file path. But nothing like that happens.

Thanks, rstew
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Old 16th October 2020, 01:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstew View Post
...

When I click on Export Playlist in the non-patched version of Winamp V5.666; where exactly does it export it to? I would have expected a window to open where you can specify a drive and file path. But nothing like that happens.

Thanks, rstew
I don't see an Export Playlist command in the fully-patched v5.666.3516 that I'm using. Where exactly is it? Maybe it is provided by a plug-in I don't have.

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Old 19th October 2020, 04:23   #11
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Quote:
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I don't see an Export Playlist command in the fully-patched v5.666.3516 that I'm using. Where exactly is it? Maybe it is provided by a plug-in I don't have.
It's the very topmost item when you open Manage Playlist; at least in my version. It just doesn't seem to do anything meaningful when you select and click on it. Weird?

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Old 19th October 2020, 06:37   #12
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That is weird. I don't believe what you see is an official part of Winamp. What skin are you using? Any 3rd party plug-ins?

I'm using the modern skin listed in my signature below. When I left or right click on the Manage Playlist button in the Playlist Editor window, I get a context menu with 6 commands. The topmost is "Open playlist..." and the last is "Manage Playlists...". If I select the "Manage Playlists..." command, the Media Library window opens.

I do use a 3rd party plug-in to copy the files listed in the Playlist Editor to a folder of my choosing (with or without creating a playlist of the copied files). I do this when I want to group files in 1 place in order to make CDs to play in my car. The following is a link to this plug-in (https://winampplugins.co.uk/gen_yar/index.html).

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Old 19th October 2020, 09:49   #13
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Maybe you guys are talking about 2 different views.
Aminifu is giving help about the Playlist Editor, but rstew seems to be asking about a Media Library playlist.
Both views allow saving/exporting playlists.
And with my Winamp, a "file saving" Window opens when saving or exporting from either.

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Old 19th October 2020, 17:23   #14
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Quote:
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Maybe you guys are talking about 2 different views.
Aminifu is giving help about the Playlist Editor, but rstew seems to be asking about a Media Library playlist.
Both views allow saving/exporting playlists.
And with my Winamp, a "file saving" Window opens when saving or exporting from either.
I think you have a good point. The window I am talking about is the middle panel of 3 that Winamp shows when it opens. When I click on a playlist in the left panel, the center panel opens up with all selections in that playlist, and all the main editing options (8 keys) are displayed along the bottom of this panel, including Manage Playlist. I always assumed this was the kind of standard Winamp screen.

No "file saving" window opens when I click on Export Playlist. If it is exporting it, there is no indication of where it is going. I will search around in a few of windows default save folders and see if I can find where they are going.
I don't think I have any skins or plugins installed, that I know of. Not sure I would have any idea how to do that.

Meanwhile I have taken to saving a backup copy of the larger playlists every time I make any major changes. I just save it to the same name with "BU" added to the end. This way I at least have something to resurrect if I screw up that stupid crop command again. It's not pretty but it should work.

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Old 19th October 2020, 19:05   #15
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Meanwhile I have taken to saving a backup copy of the larger playlists every time I make any major changes. I just save it to the same name with "BU" added to the end...
How, exactly?

And what happens when you click "Save playlist..." in the Playlist Editor?
A window should open that allows you to choose a location in the Windows file system.
If it doesn't, then I suspect you have a damaged installation: try a clean re-install
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Save Playlist from Playlist Editor.PNG
Views:	80
Size:	54.0 KB
ID:	54656  

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Old 19th October 2020, 21:31   #16
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Quote:
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Maybe you guys are talking about 2 different views.
Aminifu is giving help about the Playlist Editor, but rstew seems to be asking about a Media Library playlist.
Both views allow saving/exporting playlists.
And with my Winamp, a "file saving" Window opens when saving or exporting from either.
Thank you for joining the discussion. Your expertise is appreciated.

I see various import commands in the Playlist Editor and Media Library Playlists view context menus and file saving commands, but no export commands (in Winamp and WACUP). Are you sure the export command you guys are talking about is not provided by a 3rd party plug-in or an official plug-in that I may have not installed?

Or are you and rstew referring to the various file saving commands ("Save playlist..." in the Playlist Editor and "New playlist..." in the Media Library view) as export commands? We can't see each others screens, so terminology is important. That's why I enclose the exact terms I see in quotes, but I also use quotation marks sometimes for emphasis. Hopefully the overall context of my comments make clear how any quotation marks are being used.

Pictures are best for preventing confusion. This website sometimes will not let me attach them to posts. At times the size or format is objected to and other times they are not. The image you provided is what I see in my Playlist Editor. At the moment, I can't attach a screenshot of what I see in my Media Library Playlists view.

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Old 19th October 2020, 22:41   #17
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.... We can't see each others screens, so terminology is important....
...Pictures are best for preventing confusion....
You're right, terminology is important.
Unfortunately, and as you well know, Winamp uses different terms for essentially the same action in different places.
And skins also change the names of buttons and menu items.
When we try and deal with WACUP too, things can get muddled quickly.

In this case, "Export playlist..." is used in the Media Library playlists and "Save playlist..." is used in the Playlist Editor.
I've attached a screen-shot of what I see in my Media Library playlists.
Maybe you'll have to switch skins to Bento or Big Bento in order to see the same.
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Name:	Export playlist from Media Library playlist.PNG
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Old 19th October 2020, 23:13   #18
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Your screenshot explains everything and makes me feel like a tin horn.

I had been using the context menu for Playlists header in the Media Library, which doesn't include the "Export playlist..." command. If I select an actual playlist then a "Manage Playlist" button appears at the bottom of the view. The context menu for this button contains the "Export playlist..." command.

Selecting the export command opens a dialog that lets me select a folder for storage and rename the selected playlist (if I want). If rstew doesn't see this dialog then i agree that his installation is probably corrupted in some way.

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Old 20th October 2020, 00:44   #19
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Quote:
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...
I don't think I have any skins or plugins installed, that I know of. Not sure I would have any idea how to do that.
...
rstew
A skin is the user interface that you see when you open the app. There are 2 basic kinds of skins, classic and modern. Classic skins are usually a group of separate windows that can be opened and closed separately. Modern skins are usually 1 overall window with various sections (panels) inside it. You probably did a default, instead of a custom, installation which installs a default set of skins and plug-ins.

There are dozens of skins (classic and modern) and plug-ins (which add additional features) created by 3rd parties that can be used with Winamp. You can search the internet for them. Some come with installers and some you have to install manually.

To change skins (i.e. change what Winamp looks like) right-click on the main player window/panel to open the main context menu. Look in this menu for the Skins command. Point at this command which then allows you to point to the classic and modern skins that have been installed. Click on any one of them to change what Winamp looks like (there is a check mark next to the name of the skin that is currently being used).

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Old 20th October 2020, 01:57   #20
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ryerman,
That screenshot you attached is pretty much what mine looks like with the Manage Playlist button clicked. Except when I click on Export Playlist, nothing happens.
I am pretty sure that I likely did just a standard install when I installed this version a few years back. I would have assumed that I would not know enough about the software to make any intelligent decisions about what options to install versus, which ones to not install.

So when you select Export Playlist, what exactly happens? What do you see?

You gave me another idea though. I am going to try to save the playlist to my desktop and see if that works.
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Old 20th October 2020, 04:38   #21
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The image below shows what my Export playlist dialog window looks like (click on it to see a larger version).

Click image for larger version

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Old 20th October 2020, 15:48   #22
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ryerman,
...So when you select Export Playlist, what exactly happens? What do you see?....
rstew
The same file saving window that Aminifu shows, above.
And this is not a complicated procedure, native to Winamp.
Winamp is merely using the native Windows file saving mechanism.

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Old 21st October 2020, 23:30   #23
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Wacup should consider as a goal standardizing to one set of terms (i think "save" is better than export) and using a different term altogether for the dynamic and impermanent upcoming tracks window, as opposed to an actual semi static hd file that is an actual playlist...

To me, an actual file listing tracks to play is a playlist. Whereas the window with upcoming tracks that dynamically updates is a "scratch list" or scratch area.

The basic difference is one is a persistent ML type of file, (playlist) whereas the other is just for feeding the player now and next or soon, but not to persist afterwards.

Of course one should be able to save the dynamic list as a persistent file, but the clear separation and nomenclature delineation as two wholly different purposes would imo go a long way in eliminating confusion and making it clear what's what, esp useful when bugs are reported.

Of course, I'm not really into playlists myself. I'm much more into dynamically updating smartviews that u can refresh and load on the fly easily. But playlists do still have their uses.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 00:07   #24
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Amen, brother. What he said.^
Too bad a Wiki page was never created: info like that could have been gathered together in some sort of users manual.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 01:26   #25
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It is important to remember that the Playlist Editor's listing does persist internally from session to session. However, I basically agree with the points MrSinatra made.

That being said and while it is no secret that many of MrSinatra's comments cause my butt to itch, some of his comments (like those above) are why I keep reading his posts.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 01:51   #26
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Amen, brother. What he said.^
Too bad a Wiki page was never created: info like that could have been gathered together in some sort of users manual.
Thx. Perhaps DrO has a wiki for his project? Long ago I suggested a users wiki and on every dialog in prefs, a small w in the top or bottom right corner of that dialog that linked to the section of the wiki covering that dialog, (which would have justified having a browser in winamp, and users would have written verbose info for in no time having an easy and direct method to do so).

I doubt any suggestions I would make directly to him would be heard or considered, but I do believe he would listen if someone else did so. A lot of this is just common sense and basic.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 02:53   #27
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aminifu, ryerman; that dialog box is what I would think should happen when I click on Export Playlist. But alas, nothing like that happens on mine. And I realize this is native to Windows and is similar to many other apps when you go to save a file. I wonder why it doesn't work with winamp? Very weird.
The PC where I use winamp is running Windows 7 HP 64 bit, in case that matters (still my favorite version). The laptop I am writing this on is running Windows 10 64 bit.

And I had no joy trying to use the save playlist toggle to save it to another destination. All that happens is a small window opens where you put in the new playlist name you want. There is no way to select drive, folder, desktop, or anything like that. And there is still no indication I can see that shows where winamp is actually saving the playlist. Outer space maybe?
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Old 22nd October 2020, 04:09   #28
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Assuming your Windows 7 OS is okay, I suggest you follow ryerman's advice and do a clean re-install of Winamp. A clean re-install requires you to completely remove all the Winamp program files and folders and the related Windows registry entries before installing Winamp again. Keep your digital media files and folders.

The uninstaller routines that come with Winamp and the Windows OS itself, do not delete everything. For this you need to use a 3rd party app like "Revo Uninstaller". Here is a link to it's website (https://www.revouninstaller.com), the free version will do the job. Let it run the Winamp uninstaller, then use it's advanced scan mode to look for anything left behind and then use it to delete anything that was found by the scan.

Here is a link to a secure site for downloading the Winamp v5.666.3516 installer (http://meggamusic.co.uk/winamp/Winamp_Download.htm), in case you need it.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 19:14   #29
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U could also post an info report which might show any weird issue with ur Winamp setup, and u could also try installing 5.8 over top.

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Old 22nd October 2020, 23:00   #30
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If I do a clean re-install of V5.666 will I lose all my playlists? I suspect so, in which case I don't want to do it.
What about if I install V5.8 over V5.666; will it retain existing playlists?

I checked my laptop and it is using Winamp V5.8. AND the Export Playlist toggle works as you would expect. So maybe its just an issue with V5.666 although I imagine many folks would have found the problem if that was the case.

Has anyone done an install of V5.8 over V5.666? Does it work and are there any landmines to be aware of?

Thanks, rstew
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Old 22nd October 2020, 23:44   #31
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If you saved your playlists in a folder of your choosing that is not a sub-folder of the Winamp installation folder, then they will not be deleted. You can copy or move them to a folder that is not related to any Winamp folder, for extra protection. After the new installation you can import them to the media library.

I don't think your issue is due to a correctly functioning v5.666.3516. As you can see from my screenshot above it works for me. By the way, you have never stated what build (the last 4 digits after the second decimal point above) of v5.666 you're using. More than 1 build of v5.666 was released during the last few weeks before Winamp was sold.

I have no experience with v5.8, which is an unfinished update that was officially released by the current Winamp owners after it was leaked to the internet. There are several threads discussing v5.8 on this website. I suggest you review those started by DJEgg and MrSinatra.

If you need further information about the info report MrSinatra mentioned, just ask. MrSinatra also stated that it is possible to install v5.8 over v5.666.

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Old 23rd October 2020, 03:20   #32
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[QUOTE=Aminifu;3196683]If you saved your playlists in a folder of your choosing that is not a sub-folder of the Winamp installation folder, then they will not be deleted. You can copy or move them to a folder that is not related to any Winamp folder, for extra protection. After the new installation you can import them to the media library.

Well that's exactly the point; I have no clue as to where my playlists are being saved. It would be the V5.666 default save folder, whatever that is. We are away for a few days but when we get home I am going to explore the main winamp folder to see if I can find them. If I do I will most certainly copy them to some other area where they are safe.

I will also see what the build number is for my V5.666 install. Don't know until I look. I will check the notes you suggested for V5.8 and go from there.

Meanwhile thanks everyone, rstew
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Old 23rd October 2020, 04:34   #33
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There is no default save folder. Winamp keeps track of the last folder used by any Winamp dialog that deals with folders. The name of the last folder used is saved in your "winamp.ini" configuration file. I'm not suggesting you mess around with that file if you don't know how because you could do serious damage to your installation.

Do me one last favor. Click on the "Save playlist..." command in the context menu shown in ryerman's screenshot of the Playlist Editor in post #15 above and tell me what happens. You should also be able to use the "Ctrl + S" keyboard shortcut instead of clicking on the command.

If you don't get a dialog titled "Save playlist" that is basically the same as the dialog shown in my screenshot in post #21 above, titled "Export playlist", then something is wrong with your installation.

Since you have playlists listed in your media library, you must have been able to save playlists in the past and you had to have used the save playlist dialog to do so or the Playlist Editor's context menu "Send to:" command. I could tell you where this media library playlist data is saved (so that you could copy and replace it after a clean re-install), but I hesitate to do so because I don't want to be the cause of further damage.

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Old 24th October 2020, 04:32   #34
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Thanks again Aminifu for staying with me on this thing.

When I click on Save Playlist I get a small box opens up where you can assign a playlist name to be saved as.
In my laptop V5.8 the Export Playlist works as expected with a box where you can select a destination and playlist name.
Not so on my PC V5.666. When I click Export Playlist on it, nothing happens. I need to find out what build number it is.

The playlists saved in my main music folder were created many many years ago (15+) using a very early version of Winamp. And I recall a while later when I updated to a newer Winamp version I had to change their format to .m3u from the previous format whatever it was; can't remember. At any rate those playlists are very old and the current Winamp does not use them I guess. I recall when I updated to V5.666 it imported all the .m3u playlists from the music folder, and has since re-saved them all in the .ini file I guess, from what you said above. And of course many of them have changed significantly from the .m3u versions anyway.

Thanks, rstew
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Old 25th October 2020, 01:01   #35
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Winamp was my favorite desktop digital music player for over 2 decades. I would still be using it, as my main player, if it's updates had not stopped. I enjoy sharing what I know about Winamp, however even after all that time there is still a lot I don't know. I also want you to to get back to enjoying Winamp, but I think it will take a clean re-install to do so. Since fear of losing your playlists is keeping you from re-installing, I will try to help you find them.

Playlists are not saved in the winamp.ini file or any other *.ini file. They are saved elsewhere. Playlists are simple text files and can have various extensions after their filenames. You can use Windows Notepad to see what's in them and edit them if you want. Winamp mostly uses the .m3u and .m3u8 filename extensions.

You have been using Winamp managed playlists. I don't know if Winamp automatically saves changes to these playlists (or makes copies of them) or if the user needs to ask it to save changes. I've always used user managed playlists and changes are not saved unless I save them.

You can use Windows Explorer to search your C drive for all files with the .m3u and .m3u8 extensions and then use Notepad to see what's in them. If they are the playlists you want to save, you can copy them to a safe location. If not, I will tell where to find the data files for the playlists listed in your Winamp media library.

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Old 26th October 2020, 01:38   #36
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Thanks I will do a search for my .m3u files and see what I find.
I located the build number, It is V5.666 build 3510; dated Nov 2013.
I wonder if I should try an install of the latest build for V5.666?
That might be safer than installing V5.8 over the current V5.666

rstew
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Old 26th October 2020, 04:14   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstew View Post
...
I located the build number, It is V5.666 build 3510; dated Nov 2013.
...
rstew
Yes, download (from that site I provided the link to in post #28 above) and install the last fully patched version of 5.666 over the version you have. Hopefully that will fix your issue with exporting and saving playlists.

If it does or doesn't, it's still a good idea to look for your .m3u and .m3u8 playlists.

It's your call, but I would stay away from v5.8.

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Old 26th October 2020, 04:22   #38
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play...playlist_files

I would add "pls" jic.

And imo, it's entirely safe to install 5.8, but I would do the last 5.666 first.

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Old 4th November 2020, 18:13   #39
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Well here we go again.
Today while one playlist was open I went to another, and when I tried to re-open the first one, I get a blank screen where the songs should be, except for this:
"The source for this playlist file cannot be located.
This can happen if the playlist has been physically removed."
Just bloody marvelous! I certainly did not INTENTIONALLY remove it!!

But the good news is it also showed the filepath where the playlist .m3u8 is located:
C:\Users\name\AppData\Roaming\Winamp\Plugins\ml\playlists\plf9556.m3u8
SO NOW WE KNOW WHERE WINAMP ACTUALLY PUTS PLAYLISTS!!!! YAHOO!

So armed with this newfound wisdom I navigated to the playlist, but I can't open it, and I can't figure out how to import it back into winamp. (The window for manipulating playlists is not in the toolbar when nothing is in the playlist window.)
I have no idea what format its in. I thought it was supposed to be a text file, but it doesn't look that way.

But the first thing I did was save the entire folder of playlists to a separate folder for safekeeping.
So any ideas on how I can retrieve the playlist?
If not, I guess I'll have to rebuild the whole thing yet again. One thing though, it's getting better each time I have to redo it.

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Old 11th November 2020, 03:20   #40
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Hi rstew,

Did you install the latest build or are you still using what you had?

You've gotten ahead of me, but I'm glad you found the folder where Winamp puts it's playlists. It's good (imo) that you're interested enough to try to figure things out on your own. There should be at least 1 other file in that folder that is not a playlist file. There should be a file that lets the media library match user managed playlist files to their Winamp managed copies. If there are other files in the folder (other than .m3u and .m3u8 files), what are their extensions?

The plf9556.m3u8 file is a Winamp managed playlist file. You say you can't open it and you also say it doesn't look like a text file. I'm a bit confused by those 2 statements. Anyway it should be a text file (open it in Notepad) in the sense that all the characters in it should be standard English letters, numbers and punctuation. But being able to read the file doesn't necessarily mean you can understand the format without a little help. Can you attach it to a post?

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