Old 23rd December 2003, 11:42   #1
Mr Jones
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How to make .wsz/.wal skin files from .zip files

How to rename/convert a .zip file to .wsz/wal


What is a .zip file?
What is a .wsz/.wal file?
What is the file extension of a file?

How do I change my zip file?
Are there other ways to do this?

Tools that can help

Things to remember..


What is a .zip file?

A zipped file is a collection of files compressed together into 1 single file using Winzip for instance (http://www.winzip.com), inorder to keep related files in 1 together and mainly to compress them using some algorithms (make their file size as small as possible for faster downloads).

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What is a .wsz/.wal file?

A Winamp skin is composed of a number of different files, for classic skins, these are a number of bitmap images and a few txt files, modern skins are made up of a number of .png and .XML files, along with various other platform specific files.

When skin support was originally introduced into Winamp, skinners would place these files into a specific folder in the winamp directory, and Winamp would read them from there. Over time as skinning became popular skins started to be packaged in .zip files for distribution, however .zip is a widely used format and Winamp was one of many programs to use it, so a new format was decided on, one that was specific to Winamp, that format was .wsz.

The .wsz file was associated exclusively with Winamp, this enables anyone to click on a download link or file on their pc and have it installed directly into Winamp.

When Winamp3 came on the scene a few years later to avoid any confusion with the already existing 1000's of skins, a new format was introduced, this was the .wal format.

Winamp 5 now provides support for both these formats.

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What is the file extension of a file?

Each file in Windows has to have an extension (usually consisting of 3 unique characters), which gives the capability of Windows to associate the files of a common type of extension to a specific program; for instance .mp3 files are associated with opening in Winamp. File associations can be changed though, say you have many mp3 players and you want to use another player other than Winamp to listen to .mp3 files, then you can go to that specific's programs options/preferences and change file associations from there...

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How do I change my .zip file?

All you have to is to rename the file(s) extension from .zip to .wsz. However, by default Windows hides the file extensions of all known files, so what you see in your folders are files with their given names only, without the extension.

To view the fullname (file name and file extension), you must enable this function first, so you will be able to rename the file extension directly. TO enable this, open any Windows Explorer Window first, then go to 'View' from the menu bar and select/click 'Folder Options...'.

The 'Folder Options' preference window will open up. Select the 'View' tab,
locate the 'Hide file extensions for known file types' and uncheck it (disable it).

Once you do that, press OK from below and the window will close, thus enabling you to view the file name as well as the file extensions of all registered (known) files; .mp3, .zip, .bmp, .txt, .wav, .jpg etc...

Now you can go and rename the file extensions of any file directly. Say you created a winamp skin and have already zipped all the needed files into 1 zip file and now you need to rename the .zip file to .wsz. To do this, you can either right click on the select file and choose 'Rename' from the menu or easier you can select the file and press the 'F2' button, both ways will let you edit the file name.

You may now delete the 'zip' extension and type in 'wsz' or 'wal'as the new extension, depending on what type of skin it is (classic or modern). When done press 'Enter'. You may then get a warning prompt from Windows asking you if you really want to rename the file to what you have just renamed to... Select 'Yes'.

Once you have done that, your file will be renamed. The file icon will now be changed from the 'zip' icon to the 'Winamp skin' icon... By double clicking on a .wsz or .wal , the Winamp skin is automatically installed into your "C:\Program Files\Winamp\Skins\" directory and the skin also automatically becomes your Winamp default skin (Winamp may load when you install a new skin).

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Are there other ways to do this?

If you are some one who doesn't like to have the file extension viewable at all times, you may download and install a program that will allow you to rename file extensions and other attributes, without having to disable the 'Hide file extensions for known file types' option.

I recommend using Properties Plus. PropertiesPlus is a Windows Explorer add-on that provides a menu for modifying attributes, extensions, and time stamps of a single file, multiple files, or files contained within a folder.
So when you want to change the extension of a zip file to wsz, you right click the file, go to properties plus tab and then edit the file extension, press ok.... Easy and fast !

It's good for batch editing attributes as well !!

Get it from the following link: http://www.ne.jp/asahi/cool/kish/

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Tools that can help

If none of the above made any sense to you, fear not , help is at hand in the shape of a number of tools that can help you convert your .zip files into .wal

First up we have ZIPWARen by LoboLunar, download that HERE

This will convert .zip to .wsz and .wal

Next up we have ziptowsz convertor by THEMike, you can download that HERE
This tool currently only allows you to convert skins into the classic skins .wsz format.

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Things to remember..

When you enable Windows to include the file extensions of files in the filename, then whenever you want to rename a certain file, you will always have to include the extension for it, or else you will get a warning prompt. If you do rename a file without entering the extension, then the file will be saved without a file extension and thus will be associated with no application and it's icon will turn into Windows default icon...

Entering the file extension 'name.ext as in song.mp3' may become very cumbersome and may start to piss you off...

So I recommend when you are done renaming extensions, you should go to the options and enable the 'Hide file extensions for known file types' option...

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This thread originally created by GREEK_MP3
Edited into this format, with additions by moi, with sections lifted from NSDN

Last edited 05.01.04

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