Winamp Pro 5.601
Winamp plug-in details attached
Language Pack: None (default English US)
Skin: All testing done with Big Bento
OS: Windows Vista Home Basic SP2 (32-bit)
Locale: English US
CPU: Intel Core 2 CPU @ 1.8 GHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon X1300
Sound: Sigma Tel High-Definition Audio 126.96.36.19914
Plugin in: not sure which one(s) handle M4a conversion
On Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft added a new file attribute (N
) that blocks a file from being indexed by Windows Search 4. When Winamp 5.601 Pro converts music files into M4a via its format converter feature or via a rip from an audio CD, the output files are assigned attribute N. This is not good. I believe that this issue precedes version 5.6.
By contrast, when I use Winamp to convert a file to Mp3 or AAC, N is not assigned. Furthermore, when I create M4a files from other applications, they are not marked N. As far as I can tell, this problem is unique to Winamp and to conversions to M4a format.
The indexing failure is not caused by my settings in the Windows Indexing Options dialogs. My entire Music folder and sub folders are marked for indexing. Unfortunately, the N attribute was designed by Microsoft as a file-level block that overrides my folder settings.
After removing the N attribute, my M4a files are indexed normally. However, removing the attribute can be stickier than you might think (details on request). Please modify Winamp to set the attribute for M4a files as "A" only, which is the default for most user files created by Windows applications. Users should not have to jump through hoops to be able to use Windows Search to find their M4a files.
- In Windows Explorer, select a FLAC file (for example) and verify that it is not marked with attribute "N".
- Open Winamp and select that file in the playlist pane.
- Choose Send To > Format Converter, and pick "MP4 / LC-AAC Encoder v 1.31" and convert the file.
- Use Windows Explorer to verify that the file attribute "AN" is now assigned. This can also be seen in the file's Properties dialog by clicking its Advanced button. The option "index this file for faster searching" will show as disabled.
- Repeat the test but convert to Mp3 or AAC instead of M4a. Only the attribute A will be set.