Winamp Tweak Guide

Martin Brinkmann
May 31, 2006
Updated • May 5, 2013
Music and Video

The guys over at techspot have published a large article on tweaking Winamp. Winamp is one of the most popular audio players available which can at least be partially attributed to the supported customizations.

They focus input and output plugins but cover other areas as well. The recommended Shibatch mpg123 input plugin for instance offers better audio quality and more features than the default nullsoft mpeg decoder.

The output plugin section features an extensive guide to the configuration of three output plugins. Everything is explained with screen shots and recommended settings, great if you want to see fast results. The article finally explains the general preferences of Winamp as well as file type association with the music player.

Update: The Techspot article has been written in 2006, and as such is outdated when it comes to newer versions of Winamp. While you are still able to find great tips in the article, some of the suggestions and tips may no longer work at all, or may lead to different results.

The article itself is divided into multiple pages, unfortunately without print option which usually displays all chapters of the article on a single page.

  • Winamp Tweak Guide: Installation, Plug-ins
  • Input plugin Shibatch mpg123
  • Input plugins Nullsoft Vorbis Decoder
  • Output plugins Direct Sound
  • Output plugins Wavesound
  • Output plugins ASIO
  • DSP/Effect: General preferences
  • File types and final thoughts

The biggest issue that you may run into when reading the guide is that the layout and menu structure has changed in Winamp. While you may still find the described settings in the audio player, you may find them in a different menu or page now, which involves some searching on your part to configure Winamp accordingly.

Update 2:

Here are a couple of tips that you may find useful.

  • Right-click in the main Winamp interface and select Options > Preferences from the context menu. This displays the preferences that may look like overkill at first.
  • Under General Preferences, disable the taskbar or notification icon if you do not want to use it. Here you can also disable the splash screen and prevent multiple instances from running.
  • You can change the playlist settings here as well in the submenu. This includes changing the font size of the playlist and the sorting order.
  • The Media Library menus allow you to change local folders for various media types, e.g. podcasts, and to add local media folders to a watch list. New media files get automatically added to Winamp's library if the folders are monitored by the application.



Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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