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Ultimate Winamp Playback and Codec Guide

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Jan 30, 2013
Saint Cloud, FL
Okay. After much hard work, I have accomplished the perfect Winamp "setup" I think is possible. Not only can I play back videos flawlessly, but I have essential turned Winamp into the ONLY media player
I will ever need for all audio and video needs. THIS INCLUDES 10-BIT, 8-BIT, and even FULL SUBTITLING. Please read on for more if you are interested in using Winamp as your one and only needed full media library and player!

---What this guide attempts to accomplish:

Full DirectShow Video Playback:

.MPG, .MPEG, .M2V, .AVI, .MKV, .MP4 are fully playable, pausable, and seekable with no issues.

Full Subtitles in Videos:

Perfect quality subtitles for watching anything from foreign movies to fansubbed Anime. (This is achieved with and xy-VSFilter (a fork of VSFilter) for beautiful subs, even at high resolutions.
Regular VSFilter does not work well with this configuration. Expect video freezing and sub issues without xy-VSFilter.)

Full Audio Playback:

Pretty much any audio file that is supported by Winamp Pro at default will still be playable.

Flawless Integrations with Winamp Media Library:

All Videos that are supported by the player will of course show up by default in the videos section. They are fully playable by searching and playing from inside of Winamp.
If associations are set-up correctly on your computer, you can just run them via Windows Explorer.

Full Thumbnailing in Windows Explorer For ALL Audio and Video files:

Audio thumbnails will come from the the thumbnail pack for Winamp from the Winamp site. All video thumbnails will be achieved by using Icaros.


Sadly, there are two important limitations to this guide and it's tweaks.


Well, this should come as no surprise. You won't be getting MadVR with these tweaks. HOWEVER, for some reason my screenshot comparisons looked better than MPC-HC with CCCP with no MadVR.
I'm guessing it is because of the slow installation of the codecs gives a more "clean" install. And of course this is more lite because extra "junk" is not needed. Feel free to test this yourself.

No LAV Video decoding:

Sadly, when using LAV instead of ffdshow, videos would cause Winamp to crash at the end of the video, or when they were stopped. I can not pin down the exact cause. So sadly, if GPU acceleration threw LAV is a must
for you, this guide will be pointless.


-The latest version of Winamp Pro (Version 5.65 July 23rd 2013 as of the making of this guide)

I have Winamp Pro, and have no tried using the free version. So this guide will only apply to Winamp Pro users (for now). If someone would like to give the free a try and let me know if it works great.
I won't be spending any time trying to get it work, as it took about a week of hard work to configure these and get Winamp working flawlessly.

-NO OTHER CODECS AND/OR PACKS INSTALLED. Also, older or newer versions of these codecs listed are NOT supported by this guide.

I have not tried any other packs, and any other codec pack configuration WILL cause problems. Please make sure to remove any programs (MPC-HC, VLC, etc.) and any codec packs (CCCP, K-lite, Shark007, etc.).
I have this working fully on a clean system running Windows 8 x64. Also, restart your computer to make sure the packs and codecs are fully removed.

---Installed Software (Listed in no particular order):

This here is a complete list of all software I have installed. It includes the EXACT original file names I used, as well as the version numbers appended next to them for reference.
Any files other than these will NOT be supported. I haven't tried them, so assume they will NOT work.

winamp565_pro.exe (Winamp Pro, Version 5.65) Get this from Winamp website at: http://www.winamp.com
Winamp_Icon_Pack_2_3_4.exe (The Winamp Icon Pack, Version 2.3.4) Get this from the Winamp website. Link: http://www.winamp.com/plugin/winamp-icon-pack/222319
ffdshow_rev4513_20130525_clsid.exe (ffdshow, Version 4513) Get this build made by clsid from the sourceforge page located at http://sourceforge.net/projects/ffdshow-tryout/)
MatroskaSplitter.exe (Haali Media Splitter, Version 23/06/2013) Get this from the Haali Media Splitter website at: http://haali.su/mkv/
xy-VSFilter_3.0.0.211_Installer.exe (xy-VSFilter, Version Get this from the Google project page at: http://code.google.com/p/xy-vsfilter/
Icaros_v2.2.2.exe (Icaros, Version 2.2.2) Get this from the majorgeeks website at: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/icaros.html
Win7DSFilterTweaker_5.9.exe (Preferred Filter Tweaker, Version 5.9) Get this from the majorgeeks website at: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/det...aker_for_windows_7_(win7dsfiltertweaker).html


1.) Removal of ALL CODEC PACKS and or CODECS

This is an ABSOLUTE MUST. This guide will only work if your computer is clean of other packs/codecs, even if the codecs used in this guide are the ones you have on your computer.
I will be having you install and configure things in a specific order for a REASON - that reason is that I have got this to work on THREE different systems without issue using these steps.
One system had only 2GB and a Dual Core Pentium 4 Processor running Windows 7 Home Premium x64, and it still had flawless 8-bit playback and subtitling for 1080p videos.
That performance is achieved threw precision and careful installation. I have made this guide after the successful install and testing of these tweaks, even with heavily fansubbed 10-bit .mkv's on my desktop.
No issues with video quality or performance one a relatively modern computer. Even those running with integrated graphics should get great performance, unless you have an ancient single core.

2.) Clean Installation of Winamp

Install Winamp. Supported version as of this guide is 5.65. If you haven't done any tweaking to Winamp, I would not worry about a clean install.
If you run into any issues with this guide however, it may require a clean install due to some misconfiguration on your end.

3.) Active Winamp Pro

Open Winamp if it is not running already, and go to options > preferences. You can enter your Winamp Pro key in the "Winamp Pro" tab on the left.

4.) Ready Winamp for Codec Packs

The default Winamp pro setup has a few plug-ins that will cause issues. The best way to do this is to completely exit Winamp and remove them from your plug-ins directory.
Usually located in Program Files > Winamp > Plug-ins. The files that you will be deleting are the default Input plug-ins. Most come even with Winamp free, some included with Pro.
These either don't work well at all normally (such as the Matroska Demuxer), or just plain cause issues.

The files to delete from your plug-ins folder are :

in_avi.dll (Nullsoft AVI Demuxer)
in_mkv.dll (Nullsoft Matroska Demuxer)
in_mp4.dll (Nullsoft MP4 Demuxer)

These can also be deleted by opening Winamp and going to Options > Plug-ins > Input and selecting them one by one, and clicking "Uninstall plug-in" at the bottom.
This takes longer though, because you have to uninstall them one at a time, and it restarts Winamp between uses.

5.) Install Winamp Icon Pack

The Winamp Icon Pack will change all audio and video icon files for users who do NOT use thumbnailing.
For those that do, audio files will have a nice Winamp icon if no album tag is attached to it, and video files will show their respective video thumbnails.

6.) Install ffdshow

Install ffdshow. Try to leave everything unchanged from the default install (FOR NOW - we will change some settings later). Choose your mixer settings for audio if you want.
For instance, I usually only listen to music or watch movies on headphones, so I selected 2.0 stereo during install.

7.) Install Haali Media Splitter

While installing, leave everything at default EXCEPT for the bottom check box right before install, " Associated .mkv and .mka files with Windows Media Player ". MAKE SURE IT IS UNCHECKED. Install the program.

8.) Install xy-VSFilter

Very simple here. Run file and Install.

9.) Install Icaros (COMPLETELY OPTIONAL)

Icaros will give you thumbnailing for your files. Install with default settings. Once installed, find the program "Icaros" in your start menu or search, and make sure to run it as an admin.
Once it's run, you need to change some settings to get proper thumbnailing.
In the "Thumbnail Filetypes Registered" box at the top of the small window, you need to paste in the following EXACTLY to get proper thumbnailing for some files in Windows.


Make sure to paste that WITHOUT the quotes. Next, make sure all the check boxes are selected in the "Property Filetypes Registered" for both audio and video.

Next, change the thumbnail offset to 50%. This will select video thumbnails from the middle of your videos, so you don't get black or white thumbnails except for very rare cases.

Now, don't active Icaros yet. Next, click the blue "Advanced" bottom on the bottom left of the program. Make sure the three check boxes up top are UNCHECKED.
Next, you need to run both the "Reset Thumbnail Filetypes" and "Reset Property Filetypes". If it gives you any warnings, ignore them and continue. This will fix any issues with older generated thumbnails.

Now, click "Activate Icaros" to make Icaros generate your video thumbnails for you.

You should probably delete your thumbnail cache using disk cleanup and reboot your computer, otherwise your thumbnails won't display correctly.

10.) Configure Advanced Winamp Settings

Now we configure a few Winamp settings. First, make sure your audio settings on your computer is set to 2 Channel, 24 Bit, 44100 Hz if possible.
You can up the Hz to a higher setting, but you will only be up-scaling your audio unless you record your own audio and video at higher frequency.
(In other words, trying make your computer work harder and make better sound for no reason, and possible even decreasing your audio quality).
If you don't know what I am talking about, just ignore that and the rest of this step.
If your audio card supports 24 bit audio and has correct audio drivers installed, we can enable 24 bit audio playback instead of 16 bit for increased audio quality.
You can do this in Options > Preferences > Playback, and under the Audio section check "Allow 24bit". You will be given a warning, but ignore it and try some music.
If it works, you are good to go. If not, either your card is old/junk or your have driver issues with sound. Revert the "Allow 24bit" audio setting to restore sound.

Next, we need to tell Winamp to use the codecs on the computer we installed for certain files it cannot play. We do this by going to Options > Preferences > Plug-ins > Input.
You need to double click the "Nullsoft DirectShow Decoder" to pull up it's settings dialog. In here, you will replace everything inside of the text box with the EXACT following:


Minus the quotes of course. Make sure to hit "OK".

11.) Advanced ffdshow configuration

Now we need to tweak a few settings to allow proper audio and video playback threw ffdshow. Run all these configs as administrator to ensure proper function.

Open ffdshow Video Decoder Config. In the "Codecs" Tab in the top left scroll box, we are going to change some video settings.
Basically, find the following formats and change their Decoders to what is below. Same may be already set correctly, just MAKE SURE.

H.264/AVC = libavcodec
H.263 (+) = libavcodec
Xvid = libavcodec
Other MPEG4 = libavcodec
MPEG1 = libavcodec
MPEG2 = libavcodec

Next, make SURE the "Subtitles" check box in the left pane is UNCHECKED. xy-subfilter will take of subs for us automatically separately from the ffdshow config.

Now make SURE to hit "Apply" in the bottom right to set the settings. Also make sure you ran the config as admin otherwise it might not stick.

Now, open the ffdshow audio decoder config as admin. You need to change some audio settings, just like you did with the video.
You need to change the following audio formats to the following decoders for proper audio playback in some audio files.

MP3 = libmad
AC3 = liba52
DTS = libdts
AAC = libfaad2

Note that you can change your Mixer settings (remember this when install ffdshow?) by selecting the "Mixer" check box in the left pane.
Usually always set this to 2/0/0 - Stereo. Make sure that "Mixer" check box is selected in the left if it isn't already to enable proper audio settings for audio playback.

Again, make sure to hit "Apply" to set these settings. Also, make sure you ran the config as admin, otherwise it won't work correctly.

12.) Set Preferred DirectShow Filters

Now comes the last step. It may not be needed for everyone, but in most cases nearly all video files will NOT play in Winamp. This is because the windows decoders are still be using in Winamp by default.
We will use the DirectShow tool (Win7DSFilterTweaker_5.9.exe) to change this so Winamp can use the ffdshow correctly.

Run the .exe as admin. Once it runs, click the "Preferred decoders" box. We will ONLY be changing 32-bit decoder settings, so only click and change the settings in the LEFT scroll box. Leave the right entirely alone.

Basically, for every check box under 32-bit decoders that has an "ffdshow" option, you are going to select it. Go threw the whole list.
Some have three options, some only have Microsoft or USE MERIT, just leave those at their default setting. Double check everything is set correctly, then click "Apply and Close".
Also exit out of the program by hitting "Exit" in the bottom left.

Note : Windows users might also need to download the Preferred DirectShow Filters Tool (aka: Win7DSFilterTweaker)
to get Windows to use ffdshow instead of the default Windows decoders.

***NOTE*** This is a collection I have made myself are spending countless hours testing and tweaking to find the correct filters, codecs, and settings to get this to work.
I have NOT created any of the original files found in this guide, and am not taking any credit for the actual software.
I am only taking the credit for compiling the files and guide so anyone can enjoy using Winamp Pro in a way that really makes your computer a media powerhouse.
Thanks. I use Winamp to play audio and it is excellent. This guide is great to extend its video compatibilities. I went the easy way and only modified Winamp for audio and used something else for video...

Quick question, you noted that a couple of things are still missing for video playback in Winamp. Can this freeware do it all [for video]: http://www.dvbsupport.net/download/index.php?act=view&id=230
Thanks. I use Winamp to play audio and it is excellent. This guide is great to extend its video compatibilities. I went the easy way and only modified Winamp for audio and used something else for video...

Quick question, you noted that a couple of things are still missing for video playback in Winamp. Can this freeware do it all [for video]: http://www.dvbsupport.net/download/index.php?act=view&id=230

If you use this guide, ALL videos should playback in Winamp flawlessly. I have not found a video that will not play that I could play before using my old setup using K-lite codec pack with MPC:HC.

If you want other freeware to play videos, you can either use this guide to make Winamp play, but I can understand it might seem like a lot of work.

An alternative (The easy way for video playback) would be to remove all codec packs and install the newest K-lite Mega pack from here: http://www.codecguide.com/download_k-lite_codec_pack_mega.htm

That pack not only installs all the codecs needed, but also installs a customized version of Media Player Classic: Home Cinema. It walks you threw all the steps needed to get full video playback. If you change the renderer to MADVR in setup, you can get the best video output you can possible get (if you have a good GPU).
I have used K-Lite a very long time ago but stopped using it on the newer systems after some of its older updates started messing things up.

I have not installed any of the codec packs on my new Windows 8. Can you point me to a video file that I cannot play without installing codecs, I also want to test it against the freeware I linked to just to see if it is capable of playing it without additional video codec installations which (I found out the hard way) may not be bug free and can interfere with the OS, which is why I am asking all this.
That really looks like alot of work, what does winamp do for me that vlc doesnt. Not tryimg to bash just want to know
VLC tends to not play some files for me sometimes. Also, VLC washes out colors pretty bad. Take a look at this comparison I made.

I am not getting any seeds with that, do you have anything else?
and 2: while making sure nothing else is running on your system, can you please test this video player freeware: http://www.dvbsupport.net/download/index.php?act=view&id=230

I have abandoned VLC for it and it is unlike anything I ever tested before for video, in a positive sense. If it can play the test files *without* any codec pack installs and if its video quality is OK, then that would be interesting to know.
When testing screenshots, make sure no other software is running at the same time in another window.
Wow I can see the difference . might give this a shot

@ c627627 does that program let you do the 200% audio like vlc does ?

on a side note never had a file vlc didnt play but every thing i get is mp4 avi or mkv
Last edited:
@ c627627

I don't have 2 of my 3 system available at the moment, but when I get my laptops back I will try that program you recommended. As for that torrent, it has over 1000 seeds so not sure why you can't download it.

@ ||Console||

I do not know about the player c627627 mentioned, but with my tweaks you can use ffdshow to increase the volume. I just checked, and you can increase it up to 300% from the tray icon, as well as lots of other tweaks for audio and video.
Over the years I came across bugs in both VLC and Daum PotPlayer and talked to authors of both programs. Whereas the VLC author did not fix a bug for several versions and told me that he did not fix it because I did not properly submit the bug report, even though he directly talked about it himself, the author of Daum PotPlayer fixed everything I ever reported, and had done so almost immediately.

There are usually many Beta versions inbetween official versions of Daum PotPlayer but just recently I found a bug and told the Daum PotPlayer author about it on the day a new version came out and guess what, there was a brand new version almost immediately with the bug fixed.

But to answer your question, Daum PotPlayer does not have 200% audio - it has 500% audio ;).

Here's how I install it:


Beta versions: http://www.videohelp.com/tools/PotPlayer
Beta versions are available only as updates to 32-Bit versions, they cannot update 64-Bit version installs.

Daum PotPlayer

Even though versions higher than DirectX 9 are installed on Windows Vista/7/8, there are still DirectX 9 components that need to be updated on those operating systems.
Download DirectX End-User Runtime:

Double click on Setup.exe to install the program.

Next > UNCHECK: All supported files
When asked which speaker system do you have, select: 2/0/0 - 2.0 Stereo
[If Same As Input is selected here, audio which uses more than two speakers will not be heard on two speaker computer systems.]

Right click on player > Preferences >
General >
File Open Method: Open selected file(s) only.
Tray icon: Do not show
Multiple Launching: Play the clicked file
CHECK: Store settings to .ini file

General > Mouse >
Left button - single click > Play/Pause
Left button - double click > Full Screen/Restore

General > Skin > OSD Messages > UNCHECK: Show messages

Playback > CHECK: Play from the latest point

Hardware > DVD/Blu-ray > UNCHECK: Display DVD Subtitles

Subtitile > UNCHECK: Show subtitles

Audio > Click on Built-in audio dec.settings > under Pass Through(S/PDIF, HDMI)

Rename files Logo.swf and LogoMini.swf and Loading.swf inside C:\Program Files\Daum\PotPlayer folder to remove the logo. Also rename file C:\Program Files\Daum\PotPlayer\PotPlayer.png

Set custom files to open with Daum PotPlayer:
.3gp .ac3 .amr .asf .avi .dvr-ms .evo .flv .m2ts .m4v .mkv .mov .mp4 .mpg .ra .ram .wma .wmv .wtv

Rotate video display: Video > Screen Rotation
I don't ever do torrents, that is why I had a problem, my Firewall didn't let it through, had to adjust. Got it and this is on a Windows 8 system without any codecs installed whatsoever, only Daum PotPlayer freeware and it plays!

So I will stick with Winamp for audio because of its fantastic audio visualizations and Daum PotPlayer for all video.