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. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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