Winamp 5.5 lite vs. XMPlay Memory Management

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 15, 2007
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Music, Music and Video

A new beta version of Winamp 5.5 has just been released as usual in a full, pro and lite version. Winamp lite is basically a music player supporting many different audio formats while the other Winamp editions support video playback, cd ripping and an integrated browser to browse sites like Shoutcast.

I never quite understood why someone would use Winamp to play videos because this functionality was introduced into Winamp when several other great software video players like VLC, Mplayer or BSPlayer were already in existence. I therefor decided to compare the lite version of Winamp 5.5 against my favorite music player XMPlay.

The Winamp executable has a file size of roughly 2.2 Megabytes while XMPlay one of 340 Kilobytes. The XMPlay folder has a size of 1.9 Megabytes after installation while Winamp's folder one of 6.6 Megabytes. The first noticeable difference can be found if you open both players without a song and take a look at the Windows task manager.

XMPlay uses roughly 550 Kilobytes of memory in idle state while Winamp lite uses 1.37 Megabytes. I decided to load a seven Megabyte mp3 file into both players. XMPlay was using 2.52 Megabytes afterwards while Winamp 5.5 lite was using 3.88 Megabytes. The difference between both players rose from roughly 800 Kilobyte in idle state to 1.3 Megabytes in idle state with a 7 Megabyte file in the playlist.

I pressed the play button in both players and switched back to the task manager. Winamp 5.5 lite was now using 6.24 Megabytes of memory while XMPlay was using 3.84. The difference rose to 2.4 Megabytes.

Last but not least I decided to see how both players would do when playing Internet radio streams. XMplay was using 3.53 Megabytes while playing a 128 Kbit stream while Winamp used 7.66 Megabytes.

The conclusion is that XMPlay has a far better memory management than Winamp. The real important state is of course when playing music files in the music player and this is where XMPlay really excels. This means, if you really want a "lite" player you should switch to XMPlay instead of Winamp 5.5 lite.

Read More:

XMPlay Homepage
Winamp 5.5 beta download


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  1. maille said on March 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Winamp Messed up years ago when they made winamp 3, it got slow and buggy, XMplay is nice and great for a memory stick but I’ve moved to media monkey it’s great for managing media and you can have all your favourite winamp plugins

  2. HiddenPalm said on September 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Does XMPlay have dsp plugins or feature and can it crossfade to the beat and take out dead noise like sqladvanced crossfade?

    I cant listen to music without those features. I could care less about looks as long as my music can sound like amazing with those two features.

    1. Verifirs said on July 11, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      XMPlay does in fact have DSP plugins and crossfades.

  3. unruled said on July 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    @thinker: even if you have 50gb of ram, why use an inefficient program if you have a more efficient one?

    That is the policy I follow, and it doesnt have to sacrifice on looks: xmplay has really nice skins. For me its also not only memory usage, but how snappy and fast the program feels. This is strongly ocrrelated to memory usage ofcourse, but not solely.

  4. Mosey said on September 17, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I’m personally a fan of Winamp for music (love the skin availability) which I find isn’t readily available for Foobar or XMPlay. As Thinker mentioned, when Firefox (love, dislike relationship :P) is taking up tonnes more memory, 2-3 MB extra from Winamp isn’t really going to hurt. It would be nice (one day) if I could find a current Winamp version that *didn’t* support video play-back, since as Ghacks has already pointed out – it video functionality is rubbish – and VLC or MPC are far better alternatives.

  5. Thinker said on September 15, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Does that few MB really matters?
    You have 3MB more free ram, but for example Firefox consumes more than 100. One FF plugin can consume few MB.
    Of course lite programs are better, but only if they dont slow down computer in the long run.

  6. Martin said on September 15, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Well I got 2 Gigabyte of Ram and prefer it as light as possible. Must be a relict from the past ;)

  7. Enigma said on September 15, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    I know the feeling, i prefer foobar2000 especially with this config

  8. Joose Haverinen said on September 15, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    When having 2gb of RAM (which a lot of people nowadays do), people prefer looks over lite. For example foobar2000 has skins which both look good and are fluent to use.

    This one is my current favorite. Waiting for the next version.

  9. HED854K said on September 15, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Great article.
    I switched from Winamp to Xmplay since ages, but I didn’t know about the memory things.

  10. yair said on September 15, 2007 at 10:49 am

    and i though foobar200 was lean… thanks martin. great content

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