Old 28th August 2013, 02:39   #1
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Ultimate Winamp Playback and Codec Guide

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 essentially 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/deta...weaker%29.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.

Made by LoliHunter
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Old 8th September 2013, 18:34   #2
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Great guide!

Have you been able to determine anything about why LAV freezes .mkv video playback when you stop or close?

I recently installed the latest CCCP, and the LAV decoders do a great job of putting out clear, smooth video, it's just that I can't stop them without hanging Winamp!
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Old 8th September 2013, 20:48   #3
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Wow! Such a long post! It really shows there is a lot of work there, so let me give you some suggestions from the perspective of a graphic designer and winamp user to make the post better, to help more people and maybe get the post to be "sticky" :
  • You can make the post a bit shorter, there is too much text unneeded, for example you put a link by saying you will and then the link, it can be easily shorter by just putting the link.
  • Add some formatting, put some difference between titles, body text, important notes, etc (bold, italic, underline and colors -well used- are your best allied).
  • At the beginning of the post, you name some stuff that isn´t quite known so not everybody gets what it is (xy-VSFilter, MADVR, etc), throwing some links there would be helpful.
  • Pictures would be ideal, but I know that is harder.

There is more but I think I made a point thus far.

I formated this post in a way you can get a picture of what I mean, but if you want I can give a bit of design-formatting to the entire post and send you the code (I kinda like to do it, it´s "designers exercise"), then you can contact DrO and ask him to update the 1st post with the updated one (you´ll have to post the new one as a comment in this thread, he will do the rest).
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Old 8th September 2013, 22:06   #4
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Here's an interesting bit of news - Your guide actually helped me to solve my LAV playback problem!

Using Win7DSFilterTweaker, I redirected all the DirectShow preferred decoders to LAV. Now Winamp doesn't freeze when I stop playback or end the program! Woo! Thank you!
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Old 9th September 2013, 19:18   #5
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Vortia - Glad to hear you were able to solve your LAV problem.

Victhor - A new guide is actually in the works. I have modified a few things since the making of the guide, and have been able to improve the performance of video playback, as well as overall stability. Of course, I am also trying to get LAV to integrate fully with the tweaks. People with older processors would have issues running some videos without GPU support.

Anyways, expect a revised version of the guide to be made - most likely in PDF form - to be posted in the next week or so. Having to prioritize classes over this though, so hopefully won't talk long.
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Old 10th September 2013, 02:30   #6
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Okay. I actually got some time off this evening and was able to compile a more complete guide. It is now a 22 page .PDF file with images, as well as a troubleshooting and contact field. The PDF is bookmarked to help find certain sections and for browsing the guide.

If anyone has issues, I included a link to this thread as well as my email address at the end of the .PDF for future reference.

The guide also has been modified with two encoder install sections - One on how to get LAV fully working with Winamp, and another for ffdshow for older computers and those without GPU acceleration.

I will post two links here to the PDF. One to my Skydrive account, and another to my Google drive. You can view or download them at both links.

Skydrive link: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...BE858D01!10130

Google Drive link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0af...it?usp=sharing
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Old 10th September 2013, 02:41   #7
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Wow! So now that's impressive! I'm downloading the attached when returning to my pc!
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Old 10th September 2013, 08:43   #8
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Hi LoliHunter,

Thank you very much for your contribution to the community.

Even though I have the Winamp Pro version, I had been using WMP and the Shark007 codec package to play my video files, since Winamp's video playback had been spotty in the past. I also used VLC for the rare oddball that WMP and Shark007 would not play.

I recently discovered that the video support in Winamp Pro has improved very much, so I decided to give your guide a try. I decided to use the LAV decoders.

All my music video file formats still work (in Winamp and WMP), except for my .flv files. They work with VLC (with it's internal decoders), so the LAV filters are not reading them for some reason.

Any suggestions? I tried installing the Gabest FLV Splitter (flvsplitter.ax), but that has not helped.

I had noticed that the Shark007 package installed both ffdshow and LAV. Is ffdshow needed for the .flv files? If it is, how do I keep these decoders from conflicting with each other for the other file formats?

I also can not heard the audio, using Winamp, in my movie files with multichannel audio tracks (they play fine in WMP). The status panels of the DirectSound output plug-in and the LAV Audio Decoder say there is 6 channels of output, but all I heard is static.

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Old 10th September 2013, 13:56   #9
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I will look into the .flv problem today. I can confirm I cannot play a .flv video I just downloaded. LAV should be able to handle .flv just fine - either another plugin in Winamp is conflicting, or I have missed a spitter of some kind. I will let you know more once I find a solution.
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Old 10th September 2013, 14:58   #10
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Originally Posted by LoliHunter View Post
I will look into the .flv problem today.
Thank you, but don't neglect your studies! There is no need to rush, I can use VLC until a solution is found.

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Old 11th September 2013, 07:10   #11
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After some playing around and researching this morning, I have discovered for certain formats and .flv, you need both LAV Video and ffdshow working together in order to get proper playback. This doesn't work out very well with Winamp, because it has no way to set the Merit of certain codecs inside of it's code.

I have however, found a much better solution after a lot more hard work. Most "pre-built" codec packs are already configured to work well. I decided to try a few, even those that have failed me in the past.

CCCP failed me as before, but after some more research I found that K-Lite has a new mega pack, version 10. The pack included 32 and 64 bit codecs. Not only does this pack have haali media splitter, ffdshow, LAV video, and subtitle support, but it even comes with it's own version of Icaros for windows thumbnailing and the DirectShow tweaker.

I gave the pack a try, and after a few hours of fooling around I was able to use it to successfully to play back all formats. I can confirm playback of all previous formats that were working, as well as .flv with LAV work on my modern desktop, and my older laptop using ffmpeg works as well (without acceleration of course).

I have created a new PDF guide. It has been improved further with new images, and a bit better layout for easier reading. The guide has larger images with a bit higher quality, resulting in a 30 page PDF file, but the installation has been greatly simplified due to reducing 5 installs into one.

Only downside is any previous codecs will need to be removed AGAIN, that includes everything. The pack has everything to make video playback work correctly - included LAV Splitter and subtitles (which is why in the previous guide the LAV splitter option was unchecked).

Links to the (hopefully) final new PDF guide

Skydrive Link: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resi...BE858D01!10130

Google Drive Link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0af...it?usp=sharing
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Old 12th September 2013, 06:21   #12
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Hi LoliHunter,

Good and fast work.

Shark007 frowns on all other codec packs, especially K-Lite. That's to be expected and he was putting down an earlier version of K-Lite. He is also focused on getting WMP to play everything, so I will give your new procedure a try. Hopefully it will also solve the Winamp audio playback issue with my mp4 movie files with 5.1 audio tracks.

Anyway, you stress a clean install of Winamp as being a good idea and there is no mention of the Winamp Essentials Package. According to the Winamp developers, it contains some 'w5s' plug-ins (for installation in the Winamp/System folder) that are supposed to work in conjunction with some of the 'dll' plug-ins in the Winamp Pro install (in_flv.dll for one). I assume these 'w5s' plug-ins should not be used with your setup. You maybe should make an explicit mention of this in your guide.

I forgot to mention earlier that I was able to play my flv files in Winamp with these 'w5s' plug-ins, before I made the changes from your first guide.

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Old 12th September 2013, 22:45   #13
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Aminifu, Thanks for bringing the essentials pack to my attention. I hadn't thought about that at all during the making of my guide. It probably will cause some issues with my guide, so I will make a note that it should not be installed and add it in.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to refine and edit the guide one final time, in an effort to give it better formatting and will also to make note of the essentials pack.
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Old 13th September 2013, 17:03   #14
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Hi LoliHunter,

All my movie and music video files, that I have tested so far, are working in Winamp (and WMP) with your new procedure. I've randomly picked files with the following formats: AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, and MPG. My audio files also play without any issues. So, I would say your new procedure is a success!

Thanx again for your hard work and generosity. I'm a lot closer to having Winamp handle all my digital media files.

The Essentials Package includes more than video related plug-ins. One or more of the other things in the pack are useful to many Winamp users and do not interfere with the video and audio playback. I just deleted the video related ones and kept the others that I use.

Even though your procedure appears to work, I doubt Nullsoft will endorse it because it requires removing some of their official and/or recommended plug-ins (instead of just adding codecs and reconfiguring). But I would not worry about that if your procedure allows others to get Winamp to play videos, that it otherwise has problems playing.

For example, I've discovered that the issue with my mp4 movie with the 5.1 audio track is due to the DirectSound (DS) output plug-in and not your procedure. I had set the K-Lite installer's Speaker configuration option to "Same as input" because I have files with stereo and 5.1 audio tracks. With Winamp, I let the 5.1 files play natively, or patch in a 3rd party output plug-in (ahead of DS) to up-mix the stereo ones, for use with my 5.1 speaker system.

Anyway, your procedure allows LAV (and ffdshow?) to render audio up to 32-bits per sample, which it did for that movie. DS appears to have problems with 32-bit audio. Winamp is supposed to pass through 24-bit audio and surround sound (when told to do so), but it works best with 16-bit stereo. If I reconfigure LAV's audio processing to provide 24 bits or less, then DS is able to output the audio. Even then, the 6 channels are still not sent correctly to my soundcard driver. Some channels are louder or softer than they should be, so the audio sounds distorted when the overall volume is turned up far enough to clearly hear people talking in the movie. WMP is able to send the 32-bit surround sound correctly at all overall volume levels.

As for improvements for your guide, I came across 3 things that were probably more to due with my computer's configuration than anything else, but I think I should mention them.

1. I had a different version of MPC-HC installed, that the K-Lite installer offered to remove before doing anything else. I let it do so, and since I used "Profile 2: Default (without player)", I did not install the version that comes with K-Lite.

I forgot MPC-HC was even on my computer, since I had been using VLC for problem videos. I had not uninstalled VLC either, but K-Lite ignored it. I now remember there are a few other video player apps on my computer. I have tried a lot over the years. They either use the system codecs or have their own, like VLC. Fortunately, their presence have not caused problems with your solution.

2. The K-Lite installer offers to setup file format associations for WMP. This step can be skipped, or if used, I know that any associations made can be changed later using Windows "Default Programs" utility. But it was a surprise because the guide did not mention this step.

3. While installing the selected items, the K-Lite installer flagged 4 or 5 invalid codec reference errors in my registry. I let it delete them. These references were probably left behind by the uninstallers of prior codec packages and/or video player apps. Many (most?) uninstallers that come with their apps often leave bits and pieces behind.

I generally make before and after snapshots of my registry when installing and uninstalling stuff. Then I can compare the snapshots and spot and remove these kind of things before they cause trouble. Sometimes I use a 3rd party uninstaller that is supposed to clean up behind the native uninstallers. But I've been skipping these steps too often lately and it is probably time to wipe everything (OS included) and start over with a clean slate.

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Last edited by Aminifu; 13th September 2013 at 18:32.
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Old 28th April 2014, 17:16   #15
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I have registered just to confirm that this works for Winamp Free, build 5.666. Glad it works without a codec pack, thanks alot
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Old 20th September 2016, 04:02   #16
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There should be no reason to remove MPC or VLC, as they are self contained.
No branches of MPC install any codecs into your system. They are only available as a separate download.
All of VLCs "shared library" codecs are "exclusively" installed in the VLC folder, and only the browser plugin will be used by external software.

VLC and MPC-HC are needed for streaming modern formats and protocols that Winamp has no ability to deal with, no matter what codec you use.
eg. Winamp cannot stream BBC iPlayer programs.

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Old 19th April 2017, 22:19   #17
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Subtitles xy-SubFilter not working


I'm using Windows 10 x64 and I followed your instructions precisely. Everything is working except the subtitles... If I turn on Subtitles on ffdshow, it works, but unchecking that removes subtitles altogether. I've installed xy-subfilter and did nothing else... Do I have to configure it in some way!? Thanks upfront!
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Old 26th September 2018, 17:26   #18
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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i still can't play mp4 videos
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codec, guide, mkv, playback, video

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