Winamp can play and organize dozens of popular media files, whether it's audio CDs, videos, MP3s or other files. You can configure Winamp to handle the playback of some or all of Winamp's supported media.
To begin with, here is some basic terminology defined:
- Format: Each audio and video file uses a particular method or format, for playback. The easiest way to determine format is by looking at the three-character suffix at the end of a file. (Example: sound_file.mp3)
- Codec: Even though the format of a file may be the same, it may use a different codec, or method by which sound is compressed and later decompressed. Some file formats use only one codec, while others, like AVI files, can use various codecs.
- File association: Within the Windows operating systems, each file is assigned to open by default in a particular application or program. When you open the file, normally by double-clicking it, the file association will determine what program is used.
Winamp allows you to play many popular media formats:
- Audio formats include: CDA, MP3, MP2, MP1, AAC, VLB, M4A, MP4, NSA, FLAC, OGG, WMA, MID, MIDI, RMI, KAR, MIZ, MOD, MDZ, NST, STM, STZ, S3M, S3Z, IT, ITZ, XM, XMZ, MTM, ULT, 669, FAR, AMF, OKT, PTM, WAV, VOC, AU, SND, AIF, AIFF
- Video formats include: AVI, MPG, MPEG, M2V, ASF, WMV, NSV, FLV, SWF
- Playlist formats include: M3U, M3U8, PLS, B4S, ASX, WPL, WAX
To specify Winamp as the default player for one or more of the above file formats:
1. Open the Options menu and click Preferences (Ctrl+P). Winamp displays the Preferences dialog.
2. Within the General Preferences section of Preferences, click File Types. You may have to double-click General Preferences if you don't see File Types listed.
3. Select the file types you want to be associated with Winamp. You can also click All to use Winamp as the default player for all supported file types.
4. To make sure that Winamp keeps the file associations you assign, select Restore file associations at Winamp start-up. Whenever you start Winamp, the selections you've made in the File Types preferences will be checked and reassigned.
5. Select Launch Winamp for audio CDs to use Winamp as the default CD player for your PC. When you insert CDs into the CD-ROM drive, Winamp will launch and play the CD.
Note: Some programs may attempt to claim ownership of playback rights for file types already assigned to Winamp. This may result in other programs launching when you try to play media files (e.g. when you double-click it in Windows Explorer). We recommend you use the Winamp Agent to protect Winamp's file type associations.
To enable the Winamp Agent:
1. Open the Options menu and click Preferences or press CTRL+P.
2. Select File Types from the tree within the Winamp Preferences window.
3. Select Enable Winamp agent.
4. Select Maintain file associations.