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Extra Tools
Beginner's Guide
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-16 16:25:00

What you can find here

Welcome to the XMPlay Beginner's Guide! That you are here shows that you are interested in getting to know the world's most accurate module player.

This guide will take you through every step in XMPlays' "lifecycle" on a computer - from installation over everyday use and eventually to removal (which will hopefully not be neccessary).

…and what you won't find here

If you are looking for more advanced guides, have a look at the Tutorials. If you cannot find what you are looking for, try the search function. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, please contact XMPlay Support - we will be happy to help you.

(1) Getting started
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-17 21:59:00

What is "XMPlay"?

First of all, XMPlay is an audio player. It's a free piece of software that Ian Luck has written in his spare time back in 1998 and luckily continued development until today. You might have heard that XMPlay is the world's most accurate module player. That's right, but XMPlay is much more - it has grown into a fast, slim and beautiful multi-purpose audio tool that lets you manage your music library, listen to a wide variety of audio formats and even lets you save internet radio streams to disk.

Regarding audio quality, many users say that XMPlay just sounds better than a lot of other software out there, including Winamp and Foobar 2000, not to mention the most accurate module playback. That is because XMPlay does not use any of the MP3 decoding libraries that come pre-installed with Windows. XMPlay uses it's own routines to play MP3 and a lot of other formats which are supported right after you "install" XMPlay.

Where do I get it?

If you already have downloaded XMPlay, you can probably skip this part of the guide.

The primary download location for XMPlay is the Un4seen Developments website, which offers two mirrors for the latest binary. The other place where you can get a copy is the XMPlay Archive, which also offers all previously released versions for reference, bug hunting and nostalgia. The file name indicates which version you have downloaded. The downloads in the XMPlay Archive also contain minor version numbering for clarity.

How do I install it?

First, you don't "install" it - you just extract the .zip file. No need for installation routines.

The recommended location for XMPlay is "C:\Program Files\XMPlay\", although you may extract it anywhere you like. After you're done, XMPlay is ready to use.

(2) Finding your way around the interface
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-16 16:25:00

First start

When you first start XMPlay, you will be greeted by the ReadMe and a dialog box telling you to "RTFM". After you close these, you will see something similar to this:

XMPlay with both panels extended

"What are these things at the sides and how do I disable them?" might be your first question. The answer to this is: these are the side panels and you can slide them in and out by dragging them at the "handles" at their sides, like this:

Closing the right panel

(2.1) The Main Panel
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-18 12:57:00

For now, let's concentrate on the main panel, which provides everything you need to open and play a file. For this, I closed both side panels - these will be discussed next.

XMPlay main panel with descriptions

System buttons

system buttons

Options and stuff
This button opens up the Preferences for all areas of XMPlay, including settings that can only be found here. The Preferences can also be opened by right clicking anywhere on the Main Interface.

Minimize
Left clicking this will minimize XMPlay normally, while right clicking the minimize button will place XMPlay into the system tray. This will not have any effect if the "Always in tray" option has been enabled in the preferences.

Tip: The default Shortcut "N" minimises XMPlay normal, where "Shift+N" will minimize XMPlay to the system tray.

Close
This closes XMPlay, in addition to this by right clicking this will set XMPlay to resume playing from its current position when next started.

Main display

main display

Title
The title of the current track is displayed at the top.

Tip: A mouse over of this area causes a help bubble to appear if the track name is too large to display.

Timer
By left clicking on the timer it can be switched between the time passed, the time remaining, or the order/frame/page position (depending on if it's a MOD/MPEG/OGG format being played). When displaying the MOD position, the bpm/speed is shown to the right and the active channel count is shown to the left. The active channel count will be inverted if any virtual channels have been killed within the last few seconds.

Volume Indicator
This area provides a simple realtime display of the volume level in the left and right speakers.

File Information
At the bottom of this area some basic information on the format and length of the current track is displayed.

Tip: A "XM?" displayed during the play of an XM module means the mod was not created using Fast Tracker 2, and slightly changes the way the mod is played.

Miscellaneous controls

control sliders and buttons

Position
The top most bar is the position indicator. It can also be used to change the playback position, except when streaming from the internet. When streaming from the net, it will light-up to indicate how much of the file has been downloaded so far.

Right-clicking the position bar allows you to set a bookmark or resume from one. See resuming playback for more info.

Tip: While streaming the position will only be shown if the file is of a fixed length.

Volume
This controls the volume of the output from XMPlay.

Balance
This slider controls the balance of output to the left and right speakers.

Track Info & Extended Playlist
This button displays details information on the current track and the extended resizable playlist. Check the Info Window for further details.

Loop Track
The looping for each individual track is controlled here. By left clicking it can be cycled through the available options of Never loop, Always loop, or Auto loop only files that are intended to be looped.

By right clicking this button you may access further options to restrict Auto Loop detection to only MOD's, and forcing XMPlay to only loop this track once before continuing.

Tip: These options can also be accessed via the "Miscellaneous Options" area of the preferences.

Playback controls

playback controls

Previous Track
Play the previous track in the playlist, skipping over any that are set to be "skip"-ped in the playlist.

Tip: Right clicking on this allows navigation between songs while playing multi-song modules.

Stop
Stops playback, and sets the position to the start.

Tip: Pressing stop while already stopped will unload the current song (Eg. So the file can be moved or renamed.)

Play / Pause
Toggles play/pause of the track. If no track is loaded, then the currently selected track in the playlist is loaded (or the 1st track if none is selected).

Tip: Right-Clicking on this will play a randomly selected song.

Next Track
Play the next track in the playlist, skipping over any that are set to be "skip"-ped in the playlist.

Tip: Right clicking on this allows navigation between songs while playing multi-song modules.

Open file(s)
Opens and plays file(s). If you open an FTP directory URL, XMPlay will automatically scan the directory for OGG and MPEG files.

Tip: Entire directories can be added via the playlist panel.

Special functions

Resuming Playback

Any currently playing track can be resumed from any point even if XMPlay has been closed during play. To do this while a track is playing, simply right click on the Close button of XMPlay.

This will save the details of the position. When XMPlay is next started, play will automatically continue from the saved point.

Another way of resuming playback is using the bookmark function, which can be accessed by right-clicking the position slider. When you set a bookmark, XMPlay remembers the file and playing position and lets you return to the exact same position later ("Resume bookmark"). You can only set one bookmark at a time.

The System Tray

System tray menu Try title bubble

While XMPlay is minimized here, every track change will be shown via a help bubble that appears above the system tray area, showing the new track.

By using the right click menu you can access most of the same functionality that is available through the main panel.

(2.2) The Output Options Panel
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-18 12:57:00

XMPlay with expanded Output Options Panel

The response speed to all these options is dependant on the buffer size, the delay will be the length of the buffer chosen in the Device section of the Options and stuff window.

Output Options Panel Buttons - MOD Section

Tip: These options only effect the playback of MOD file formats (MO3/XM/IT/etc) and can also be found under the MOD section of the Options and stuff window.

Interpolation

Linear - 2 point interpolation Linear
Sinc - 8 point interpolation Sinc

Linear 2 point interpolation "draws" a straight line between the samples, Sinc 8 point interpolation "draws" a smooth curve between the samples and requires more CPU power (Supports 3DNow! Technology.).

Linear interpolation gives decent sound quality with minimal cpu usage.
Sinc interpolation has, as a result of its complexity, far higher sound quality, with the price of higher cpu usage.

Interpolation can also be disabled. This is useful for older module to provide a crisper sound.

Ramping

Normal ramping Normal
Sensitive ramping Sensitive

Ramping makes volume and panning changes smoother so that sudden large volume/panning changes do not cause any "clicking" in the sound.
It also fades-in (very quickly) new samples so that there is no click from them.
Sensitive ramping only performs the fade-in when it's neccessary to prevent a click, so percussive sounds stay sharp.

Surround Sound

Normal surround mode "Normal" surround adds a phased surround sound feeling to modules.
Surround mode 2 "Mode 2" ignores panning, so is good for mono MODs.

Pan Separation

Panning separation

The higher the setting, the more sounds are pushed away from center. Obviously can only affect things when playing in stereo.

Output Options Panel Buttons - DSP Section

Tip: These options can also be found under the DSP section of the Options and stuff window.

Amplification Slider

Normal Amplification Normal
Fading Amplification Fade-In
Dynamic Amplification Dynamic

This is different to the volume slider. The volume slider controls the level of the sound card output, the amplification slider controls the level of the actual decoding. The higher the amplification, the greater the dynamic range of the decoding output, but if it's too high clipping may occur resulting in distortion of the sound. Right-click options:
Random Play Order Menu

"Default" sets the amplification level back to its default amount (0.0 db).
"Reset on new track" resets the amp level when a track is loaded.

Auto-amp Settings

This causes the amplification level to be automatically reduced whenever clipping occurs. With fade-in enabled, it will fade-in new tracks until they clip, then it'll behave the same as normal. Dynamic mode continues to increase and decrease the amplification level throughout playback.

Equalizer & Reverb

Equalizer Reverb button

These are two built-in DSP settings that are available by default to improve the sound quality. The equalizer comes with some presets which may be selected by right-clicking the Equalizer button. The left reverb slider controls the frequency cutoff, i.e. the crispness of the reverb sound. The right slider controls the reverb level. Note that the reverb length is currently not adjustable.

Per-Track Settings

When switched on, this enables the automatic loading of settings that have been saved for the track being loaded. Right-clicking brings up options to load settings specific to the file, load settings for the file's path, and load presets.

Tip: Advanced settings and further information can be found in the Saved settings section of the Options and stuff window.

Auto load settings button
  • Load file settings - Loads the saved settings for the current track.
  • Load path settings - Loads the default settings for the tracks path.
  • Load preset - Allows selection of any predefined presets.
  • Save settings - Saves the current settings as the default for any track that does not have settings specifically saved for it.
(2.3) The Playlist Panel
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-18 12:57:00

Besides the obvious functionality of playing a list of files, the XMPlay playlist has some other neat features, like the Queue and "Dragon Droppings", which will be explained later. First, let's look at the basic functionality.

XMPlay Playlist panel with descriptions

Basic navigation

Select a track by clicking on it.
Doubleclicking plays a track.
Hold Ctrl to select multiple files at once.
Hold Shift to select ranges of files, just as in Windows Explorer.
Use Ctrl+Shift to select multiple ranges of files.
You can drag files around the playlist to change their playing order.

Tip: "Dead" tracks will be marked with a double red line. Merely unplayable files will only be marked with a single red line.

Context menu

The context menu of any file will give you a list of options:

Playlist context menu
  • Play.
  • Write to disk - Write a copy to disk while playing the track (URLs only). Streamed tracks can also be written as separate files, if the stream supports it.
  • Queue - Add track to queue or remove it, if it has been queued already.
  • Skip - Toggle skipping of a track.
  • Add to library - Adds the current track to the library.
  • Track info - Shows a window with miscellaneous information. You can override (but not edit!) ID3 tags from there.
  • Plugin file info - If a plugin is needed to play the track, you can show miscellaneous information about the file here. Some plugins allow tag editing here.
  • Refresh info from file - Refresh any tags and other information, if the file has been altered.
  • Remove - Removes the file from the playlist.
  • Remove & delete file - Removes the track from the playlist and physically deletes the file.

Drag and Drop operations

Dropping files on the main window will make them replace the current playlist and begin playing immediately.
Dropping files inside the playlist will insert the files above the track that you dopped the files upon.
Dropping files on the "Add tracks" button will add the files at the bottom of the playlist.

"Dragon Droppings"

XMPlay supports the reverse of "Drag and Drop": dragging a file out of the playlist and into other applications that accept Drag and Drop actions.

To do this, select one or more tracks on the playlist, begin dragging with the left mouse button and then press the right mouse button. The cursor will now indicate valid targets for external Drag and Drop operations.

If you drop files in file managers, XMPlay will copy them there. If you drop files on other applications, e.g. for opening files, XMPlay just passes a reference to the actual file to the other application.

This works from both the playlist panel as well as the "big" Playlist.

Random play

You can enable/disable random playing here. Right-clicking gives you more options:

  • Random play order - same as simply clicking the button.
  • Shuffle - physically shuffles the list
  • Sort by title
  • Sort by filename
  • Sort by extension - same as filename sorting, but also taking extensions into account
  • Reverse - reverses the list
  • Move selected to top - easy way of pushing tracks to the top of the list

Tip: only tracks that are currently selected will be sorted.

Save playlist

Saves the playlist as Unicode .pls file.

Add files/directories

Left-clicking the plus button opens a dialog where you can select one or more files to be added to the playlist.
Right-clicking the plus button opens another dialog, where you can add whole directories and subdirectories at once.

Tip: drag'n drop files or directories here to add them to the bottom of the playlist rather than inserting them inbetween.

Remove files

Left-clicking the minus button removes the selected tracks from the list.
Right-clicking the minus button gives you these options:

  • Remove selected - same as left-click
  • Remove duplicate files - removes all duplicate entries that are effectively pointing to the same physical file, so only one instance of the file remains on the list
  • Remove duplicate titles - removes all duplicate songs if you have the same song twice on your list, only with a different filename
  • Remove dead - removes all files that couldn't be found. You can use the "recover dead tracks" feature to find moved files.
  • Remove all - clears the playlist
  • Refresh dead tracks - checks whether dead files are still dead
  • Clear queue - returns the playlist to the normal state, if you had files queued.

Tip: use "Refresh dead tracks" to revive tracks that were not found because they reside on removable media, like a USB harddrive.

Loop List

Left-clicking toggles list looping. This option does not influence the track looping option. When list looping is active, playback will begin on the first track after the last track has played.
Right-clicking the button gives you these options:

  • Loop list - same as left-clicking
  • Auto advance - If enabled, XMPlay moves from track to track while playing.
    If disabled, XMPlay will stop after playing the track.
  • Stop at dead track - stop when a dead track is encountered
  • Stop at end of queue - stop when the queue has finished playing
  • Unload final track - same as pressing "Stop" after the last track, so the file can be renamed or moved.

Track display

The small display on the bottom right can be switched between two modes:

Time mode - This shows the total playlist duration in hours, minutes and seconds. If you have tracks selected, the display will flash between the total duration and the duration of the selected tracks.

Tip: The alternating flashing between the times can be disabled by adding the line "NoFlashTotal = 1" to the xmplay.ini. See "Secret INI options" for more options.

Track count - shows the currently playing track and the total number of tracks on the playlist.

Skipping tracks

If you want the playlist to leave out a certain track while playing, you can mark the track to be skipped via the context menu item "skip" or by pressing the default shortcut "Space". Un-skipping works the same.

Queueing tracks

Playlist panel with queued files

Queueing tracks allows files to be played in a different order than the playlist dictates. Just click the tracks with the middle mouse button in the order you want them to be played. (Note: The currently playing song can't be queued.)

Alternatively, you can right-click one or more files and select "Queue".

Playlist panel, only showing queued files

If you press the "Queue" button on the upper right of the playlist panel, the playlist will show queued tracks ONLY.

(2.4) The Info Window
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-19 20:15:00

Info Window

The Info window provides access to a bigger, resizable playlist, detailed track information, the media library, visualisations and more.

You can resize the window by dragging one of it's edges with the mouse. The Window also offers a mode to auto-resize itself to fit the contents (Resize).

Resize This switch toggles between displaying the Information Section and the Extended Playlist. The Information Section displays information on the currently loaded track, while the Extended Playlist is a large and more flexible version of the one available in the Playlist Panel.

Tip: The Information Window can also be open even while XMPlay is minimized to the System Tray.

The Information Section

General

Displays info on the file's name, format, size, length, etc...

Message

Displays any messages or tags contained in the file, including the current track name when streaming from Shoutcast servers. Also displays single tracks from a CUE sheet, if one was found for the current track. See CUE Sheet Usage for more information.

Tip: Right-clicking gives the option to copy the window's text to the clipboard, and also launch any URL's available.

Samples

Displays instrument and sample texts (MOD formats only).

Vis.

Visual Window

Displays visualisation plugins.

The Visuals Panel displays the currently available visual plugins, including the in-built Pattern and Spectrum Display's.
Once a Sonique visual plugin is installed, it will be listed here and may be selected by clicking the right mouse button within the Panel area or rolling up or down using the mouse scroll wheel.


Spectrum

The Spectrum Analyser Visual

A spectrum analyser will give you a graphical representation of a certain frequency range.

Spectrum (3D) - Voice Print

The 3D Spectrum Analyser Visual

A 3D spectrum analyser will give you a graphical representation of a certain frequency range at a certain time and magnitude. This is shown by providing the time (horizontally), frequency (vertically), and magnitude (colour) of sound.

MOD Pattern Display

The "MOD Pattern Display" visualisation applies to MOD formats only, and allows you to get an idea of how the files were "tracked". For simplicity and clarity, not all effects are shown and a universal notation is used for all formats.

When all the channels do not fit in the display, the 4 & 6 (numpad) keys can be used to scroll the display. The selected channel can also be muted using the 5 (numpad) key.

XMPlay can use 2 alternate scrolling methods, which are changed by clicking on the Pattern Display with the middle mouse button, or via the "S" shortcut key.

Pattern display visual

The following entries are shown by XMPlay:

  • Note.
  • Instrument (Shown in green).
  • Portamento (Red).
  • Tone up/down (Red ^/v).
  • Vibrato (red ~).
  • Volume (Blue).
  • Volume up/down (Blue +/-).

Extended Playlist

Tip: This section only displays the features that are not contained in The Playlist Panel, for details about the basic playlist functions see the Playlist Panel section.

Extended Playlist

Library button Library

This button switches the playlist over to display the Library.

Find Tracks

Find tracks containing a specified substring in their title or filename. Right-clicking allows you to choose to have only the matched tracks played (the rest will be skipped).

For details of how the this function works, see the Find Tracks section of the Options and stuff window.

Cue Sheet Usage

CUE files can be used to quickly jump to specific points (eg. start of a song in an album) in large files. When opening a track, XMPlay will look for a CUE file of the same filename (with ".CUE" extension) in the same directory or archive.

If one is found, it'll be loaded and the CUEs will be listed in the "Message" info window.

Tip: Right-clicking on the next and previous buttons will navigate through the CUE sheet.

For example the following files in an archive or directory would enable XMPlay to use a CUE sheet:

Staind - Break the cycle.flac
Staind - Break the cycle.cue

The Library

Library

The library is a sort of glorified playlist. Whereas the playlist just contains each track's filename and title, the library contains a lot of additional information.

Files can be added to the library in the same way as they can with the playlist, eg. using the add button or by drag'n'dropping them. They can also be added automatically when played or added to the playlist. See the "Playlist" options.

Right-clicking on a track will give options to play the track, add it to the playlist, view/edit track info, refresh the info, and remove the track. Double-clicking will also play the track, and middle-clicking will queue the track.

Tip: When playing or queuing a track from the library, it'll first be added to the playlist if it's not already in there.

Customizing

The full list of info contained in the library is: filename, title, artist, album, year, track, genre, comment, file type, file size, length, the time of last playback and the play count.

Each of which can be hidden or shown by right-clicking on a column heading.

You can also change the display order of the columns by dragging them, and you can change the width of each column by dragging the borders.

Sorting

The tracks in the library can be sorted by any of these values, making it quick and easy to locate the tracks you want to play. Click on the column heading to sort by that value. Clicking again will reverse the order.

(3) Installing Skins, Plugins and Visuals
by Thomas Radeke, 2007-11-12 09:05:00

What can be installed

XMPlay can currently load the following add-ons:

  • Native XMPlay input plugins (.dll)
  • Winamp Input plugins (.dll) that don't use their own output module
  • Sonique visualisations (.svp)
  • XMPlay skins (.xmpskin)

Where to install

All add-ons reside in their own sub-directories under the directory where you installed XMPlay.XMPlay directory

Probably you will have your plugin/skin/vis as a .zip package, so you just have to extract them like this:

  • Skins (.xmpskin) go to the "Skins" directory.
  • Plugins (.dll) go to the "Plugins"directory.
  • Visuals (.svp) - you guessed it - go to the "Visuals" directory.

Note: Actually, you can put any plug-in, visual or skin anywhere into the XMPlay directory or into subdirectories - XMPlay will find them. It's just easier to maintain your XMPlay folder if you use the proposed subdirectory structure.

Some plugins are contained inside an installer (.exe), which will do the work for you.

How to use

How to select a different skin

  • If XMPlay was running while you installed the new skin, restart it.
  • Right-click on the titlebar of the main window and select a skin.

Alternatively, you can do this:

  • Open the "Options & Stuff" dialog (press F9 or click the "tool" button).
  • Navigate to "Skins & Plugins".
  • Select a skin from the list. Here you also can view the ReadMe of a skin, if the author has included one.

How to select a visualisation

  • Open the info window and go to the "Visuals" tab (or press F4)
  • Right-click into the window and select one of your installed visuals

Some visuals have additional functions and/or options that are accessible via the middle mouse button.

How to configure plugins

After you have extracted the plugins into their directory, you might want to configure them. This is how you do it:

  • If XMPlay was running while you installed the new plugin, restart it.
  • Open the "Options & Stuff" dialog (press F9 or click the "tool" button).
  • Navigate to "Skins & Plugins".
  • Press the "configure" button.

How to remove add-ons

If you need to remove a skin, plugin or visual, just locate the corresponding .dll (plugin), .svp (visual) or .xmpskin (skin) file - and simply delete it.

Note that moving a file from one subdirectory of XMPlay to another does not prevent it from loading! On startup, XMPlay looks for loadable files in all subdirectories, so you have to delete a file or move it outside of the XMPlay directory to prevent XMPlay from loading it.

(4) Understanding the options
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-16 16:25:00

In this chapter, all available options of XMPlay will be explained in-depth.

(4.01) Miscellaneous
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:10:00

Miscellaneous options

Track looping

The track looping options are as follows:

  • Never - Tracks will not loop.
  • Auto - Tracks will only loop if their ending is not silent.
  • Always - Tracks will always loop. You have to change tracks manually then.
  • Only once - Tracks will loop only once, even if "Always loop" is enabled.
  • MOD only - Only apply Auto-looping to modules.
  • Fade-out (modules only) - If a module is intended to loop at some point, you can set the fade-out slider to the number of times that a module should loop before XMPlay fades the song out and advances to the next track (0.0 = infinitely).

Tip: Auto-looping may cause unwanted behaviour if you frequently listen to DJ sets or albums in which songs fade into each other. In this case, enable the option "MOD only".

Info Window

The maximum text width sets the number of characters that will be in the Info Window before wrapping to the next line.

Restrict rendering applies to the Vis window - some Visuals behave strangely or even crash XMPlay if they are displayed at resolutions higher than 256 x 210, which was the fixed size of Sonique's Vis window.

  • Enabling this will render the Visuals at the given resolution and stretch them to fit into the Vis window.
  • Disabling the option will try to render the visuals with the optimal resolution.

Internet Streaming

  • Buffer - How many seconds of a stream must be buffered before playback starts.
  • Restrict download rate - restricts the download rate for streams to a reasonable rate to ensure further streaming, saving bandwidth.
  • Proxy - If you need to define a HTTP proxy, you can set it here.
  • Auto reconnect - Reconnects to a stream if disconnected.

On top

Here you can set, at which modes XMPlay will appear in front of all other windows.

Other options

  • Always in tray - Set this if yout want XMPlay always to minimize to the tray, not just when right-clicking the Minimize button.
  • Multiple instances - Enable this to allow running multiple instances of XMPlay at the same time, disable to keep only one XMPlay open at a time.
  • Move info window with main window - Enable this to make the Info window move when you move the main window and disable it to move both windows seperately.
  • Store per-user config/etc - Enable this to write all XMPlay settings to Windows' Users directory (e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\…). Disable it to write everything into the XMPlay directory.
  • Save play pos on closing - Enable this if you want XMPlay always to behave as if you right-clicked the Close button. Upon starting, XMPlay will continue playing where you stopped.

Tip: Even if you have "Move info window with main window" enabled or disabled, you can invoke the opposite behaviour "on the fly": while dragging one of the windows around, click the right mouse button. The other window will now be detached or attached respectively.

(4.02) Playlist
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:11:00

Playlist options

List advancing

  • Auto advance - Set whether the playlist automatically plays the next track after the last one has finished.
  • Random - Play all tracks in random order.
  • … retain - XMPlay will remember which tracks have already been played when you close it, so if you pick up random playing, it doesn't start from the beginning again.
  • Loop list - Start at the top of the playlist if the last track has been played.
  • Stop at dead track - Stop playback when a dead track is encountered.
  • Stop at end of queue - Stop, once the end of a queue has been reached.
  • Unload final track - if the last track has been played (and list looping is not active), unload the file, so it can be edited, renamed, moved etc.

Library

  • Auto add to library - Determine, when XMPlay should add tracks to the library.
  • Abbreviate file sizes - Display file sizes as "1 MB" rather than "1024 KB".
  • Expand chopped text in line - If a song title is to long to display, you can hover it to be fully shown. If this option is enabled, it's text field will expand onto the neighboring columns. If disabled, a bubble tooltip will be shown instead.
  • Show overridden tags in Message info - if you have overridden any song tags via the file information window, these will be displayed in the library, too.

Follow current track

This option makes the selected playlists auto-scroll to center the currently playing track.

Other options

  • Verify new files - All files will be checked for playability before loading. Contents of directories are always checked, whereas URLs will never be checked.
  • Don't add duplicates - When you try to add a track to the playlist that is already there, it will just be selected and not be added a second time.
  • Scan HTML pages for playable URLs - This makes XMPlay scan websites for links to playable files, which it then adds to the playlist.
  • Show queue in playlist panel - This shows only queued tracks in the playlist panel. This option is the same as clicking the "Queue" button on the playlist panel.
  • Show filenames in extended list - If enabled, the extended playlist will display the filenames instead of their formatted titles.
(4.03) Dead tracks
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:12:00

Dead track options

If XMPlay encounters any file that it can't find, it will be displayed here. You can then enter a new location for every file by hand, or let XMPlay scan for new locations.
Pressing the "original" button will enter the filename of the dead files into the editing field next to it, so you can change the directory more easily if you just moved the file.

If you frequently use removable drives which contain your music, XMPlay might mark tracks as dead which are on one of these drives. Ticking the "Automatically check other drives for missing files" option will make XMPlay search on removable drives (CD, DVD, USB/Firewire devices) as well. The "Remove all dead" button removes all dead tracks from the playlist or library.

Recovering dead tracks

Recovering dead tracks

First, press the "Scan for new locations" button. A dialog will pop up where you can select a directory to scan in. Enabling the "Subdirectories" option on that dialog will scan in subdirectories as well, increasing your chance of finding the missing files. After XMPlay finishes it's search (and the files are found), click the Apply button.

(4.04) System integration
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:13:00

Integration options

Associated file types

Selecting an extension in this list will set XMPlay as default player for this filetype. The buttons on the side let you select either all or no extensions. After you're done selecting, press Apply.

You can also select an icon that will be used to display all files that are associated with XMPlay.

Context menu

  • Add to XMPlay-list - Adds a context menu item to all playable files in Windows Explorer, to add the files to the playlist.
  • Add to XMPlay-library - same as above, only files will be added to the library instead of the playlist.
  • Folders - Adds the "add" option to folders.
  • … sub - Sets whether subdirectories will be searched, too if you add directories to XMPlay. This also applies when adding folders via Drag'n Drop or the command line.

Other options

  • Monitor clipboard for URLs - XMPlay can monitor the clipboard for URLs of playable files, which it will automatically play or add to the playlist. When you see a playable file on a webpage, simply right-click and "Copy Shortcut" to have XMPlay stream it.
  • Add tracks to list - If enabled, tracks opened from Windows Explorer or the clipboard are only added to the playlist, without clearing the list first. The same thing is done when using the "Add to XMPlay-list" option (right-click on the file in Explorer).
  • … and play - Enabling the "and play" option will result in the newly listed tracks also being played.

Shortcuts

Here you can select where you want to have shortcuts to XMPlay. Enable to add a shortcut, disable to remove it.

(4.05) Title formatting
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:13:00

Titles options

Formatting string

This string works similar to a regular expression (which you will be familiar with if you are a programmer). Some formats don't have tags, eg. MOD formats just have a title "tag". This could make the titles messy when elements are not available, if it wasn't for the fact that the formatting can vary depending on what tags are available.

For example, the default formatting is: %?2{%2 - }%?1{%1|%0}

This means if the artist tag (%2) is present, use that and place " - " after it. Then, if the title tag (%1) is present, add that, otherwise add the filename (%0).

  • Omit extensions from filename - Don't display the file extension, if the "filename" tag is being displayed.
  • Apply to Winamp plugins when possible - If input plugins that were originally written for Winamp support title information, try to apply the formatting string to them, too.

Other options

  • Update title from CUE sheets - If a CUE sheet contains title information about a track, use this instead of the actual file tags.
  • Scroll long titles - Track titles that are too long to fit into the main window title display will scroll from right to left if this option is enabled.
  • Tray title bubbles - If XMPlay is minimized to the Tray, it shows the song title in a bubble when the track changes. Uncheck this option to disable this.
  • Refresh all tags & titles - This option makes XMPlay rescan the tags/titles for all tracks, both in the playlist and the library.
(4.06) Keyboard shortcuts
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:13:00

Shortcut options

Here you can fully customize how you control XMPlay via the keyboard.

Multiple keys can be assinged to perform the same action, likewise multiple actions can be assigned to a single key. When multiple actions are assigned to a single key, they are performed in the order that they were added.

As an example, you could assign a key to select all search matches, invert the selection, and delete selected tracks. That'd leave you with just the search matches left in the list.

Tip: When changing the volume/amplification/EQ/reverb through shortcuts, a help bubble will appear on the mouse pointer to indicate the new value.

  • Global - This allows the shortcut to be used from within other applications (i.e. without XMPlay being in focus).
  • Defaults - Resets all shortcuts back to the defaults as when XMPlay is first run.

A list of all default shortcuts can be found here.

(4.07) MOD options
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:14:00

MOD options

These options only affect MOD file formats (MO3/XM/IT/etc).

Mixing options

  • Interpolation - "Linear" interpolation draws a straight line between the samples, "Sinc" interpolation draws a smooth curve between the samples and requires more CPU power.

    Linear interpolation gives decent sound quality with minimal cpu usage.
    Sinc interpolation has, as a result of its complexity, far higher sound quality, with the price of higher cpu usage.

    Interpolation can also be disabled. This is useful for older module's to provide a crisper sound.
  • Ramping - Ramping makes volume and panning changes smoother so that sudden large volume/panning changes do not cause any "clicking" in the sound. It also fades-in (very quickly) new samples so that there is no click from them. Sensitive ramping only performs the fade-in when it's neccessary to prevent a click, so percussive sounds stay sharp.
  • Surround - "Mode 2" ignores panning, so is particularly good for mono MODs.
  • Pan separation - The higher the setting, the more sounds are pushed away from center. Obviously can only affect things when playing in stereo.

Other options

MOD playback - decides how MOD files should be played.

  • FT2 MOD = FT2 plays MODs slightly differently from the convention, infact most trackers play MODs differently from eachother! Anyway, if you want to hear MOD files as FT2 plays them, then select this.
  • PT1 MOD = This plays MODs as the original ProTracker did, so now you can relive those early Amiga days!

Here's what the other options do:

  • Ignore muting - Ignores muting commands in modules.
  • Trim ending silence - If there is any silent space at the end of a track, it will not be played. Instead XMPlay will jump to the next track, assuming there is more than one track in the list, and looping is not on.
  • Show bpm/etc in time display - This option determines when, if at all, the number of active channels and bpm/speed are shown in the time display. When enabled, the active channel count is shown to the left, and the bpm/speed is shown to the right. The channel count will be inverted if any virtual channels have been killed within the last few seconds (Due to excess CPU use).

MOD pattern display

  • Shrink columns when channel count is XX - When there are a lot of channels, the MOD pattern display can become too wide for the screen. This option will cause the instrument/volume column to be removed when there are a certain number of channels, so that more channels can be fitted on screen.
  • MOD pattern scrolling - The pattern display can have the current position centered, or it can follow as the position goes off the display.
(4.08) DSP options and plugins
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:15:00

DSP options

The response speed to all these options is dependant on the buffer size, the delay will be the length of the buffer chosen in the device setup.

  • Amplification slider - This is different to the volume slider. The volume slider controls the level of the sound card output, the amplification slider controls the level of the actual decoding. The higher the amplification, the greater the dynamic range of the decoding output, but if it's too high clipping may occur resulting in distortion of the sound.
  • Auto-amp - This causes the amplification level to be automatically reduced whenever clipping occurs. With fade-in enabled, it will fade-in new tracks until they clip, then it'll behave the same as normal. Dynamic mode continues to increase and decrease the amplification level throughout playback.
  • Reset on new track - Resets the amp level when a track is loaded.
  • Replaygain - When a track has "replaygain" information, XMPlay can use it for the default amp level. XMPlay can read RG information from OGG files and APEv2 and ID3v2 tags. Native plugins may also support it, but Winamp plugins have no way of communicating that information. When a track doesn't have the preferred value but does have the other (eg. "Album" is chosen but only "Track" is available), it'll be used instead.

The bottom part of the window is dedicated to DSP plugins. The "up" and "down" buttons can be used to change the order in which the DSP are applied. This DSP list also allows for multiple DSPs to be active at once, in whatever order the user chooses. There are 2 built in DSPs - the equalizer and reverb. Most Winamp DSP plugins can be used via the "Winamp DSP wrapper". You can create your own plugins by using the SDK available from the XMPlay website.

How to set up a DSP

Once a DSP plugin has been installed it then has to be setup within XMPlay. In this example we will be setting up the iZotope Ozone DSP.

  1. Once installation is complete, start XMPlay and proceed to the Options dialog. Under the DSP option you will find the Winamp DSP wrapper listed, press Add and double click the new "Winamp DSP wrapper - no plugin" entry.

  2. The DSP wrapper's config will appear, once the iZotope Ozone plugin is selected Ozone's Dialog will appear, and may be enabled to process audio via the check box in the same dialog.

    Tip: Most DSP plugins need the Resolution left at 16 bit. It is also recommended that you are not playing music during the DSP setup.

  3. The Ozone DSP will now be functioning with XMPlay. Close the DSP Wrapper's Configuration window to continue.
(4.09) Device options
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:15:00

Device options

Output

You can change which device (if you have multiple devices) to use, and what frequency, resolution, channels and buffer to use with the device. If the chosen device is not available then a free device will automatically be used instead, if there is one available.

You may also choose the "WAV Writer" device, to write the output to WAV files rather than a soundcard. External encoders ("External - ?") can also be used to write compressed audio files, eg. MP3 or OGG. See the next part: "setting up external decoders" for details.

The amplification slider on the "DSP" section controls the volume level of the WAV. Be careful not to use a too high amplification level as this may result in samples being clipped. You can avoid any amplification problems by using the "WAV Writer - normalized" device.

If the device does not support the settings you chose, XMPlay will use the closest settings that the device does support. When a track's sample rate is not supported by the device, XMPlay will automatically down-sample it to a rate that is supported.

Tip: If looping is enabled while using a writer device, the track will be looped only once in the written file, even if the "Only once" switch is not on. The sample rate option only affects MOD formats. See the "Output" text in the "General" info window for the exact format of the output.

  • Dither - Dithering is simply adding a low level white noise to the sound before it's converted (from floating-point) to the output resolution (8/16/24/32-bit). Adding noise may seem silly, but it actually effectively increases the resolution because it allows very low level signals to appear in the output that would not do otherwise (eg. they could have been rounded down to 0) - even though the noise level is higher than the low level signal, the brain can pick out the signal.
  • Noise shaping - Noise shaping moves the noise generated by dithering to frequencies that the human ear is less sensitive to, so that it becomes less audible.

File writing

From here you can select the default destination when using a WAV Writer, or External Device. Dithering and noise-shaping are recommended when writing to disk (eg. to burn on CD), but noise shaping is not recommenced if you intend to process the written file (whenever possible, use 32-bit instead).

Tip: When writing to disk (including external encoder), 32-bit is standard IEEE754 floating-point ("type 3" WAV).

  • Directory - This is the place where the written files will go.
  • Source - Writes files to the same directory as the source files.
  • Auto-filename - Enabling "auto filename" removes the need to select a filename when writing WAVs or using an external encoder. The files are written as the same name with the default extension added. Because no user interaction is required, writing is also continous in this mode - it automatically moves onto the next track when the current one ends (if the "auto advance" option is enabled).
  • Seperate MOD instruments - With this option enabled XMPlay will individually write each MOD instrument to disk.
(4.10) External encoders
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:16:16

Encoder options

Here you can add/remove/edit the encoders available to the device list.

Any command-line encoder can be used, optionally using STDIN, so that no intermediate file writing is required. The resolution of the sample data sent to the encoder will be as set in the "Device" options above, unless it is overriden here. Settings for the LAME and OGGENC encoders are provided, to use them put the LAME.EXE or OGGENC.EXE file in the same directory as XMPlay.

  • %i - A command-line tag used as the wav input source, please note this uses the two pass method of creating the wav then encoding the file and is much slower. Only use this command if the encoder in question does not support the STDIN command.
  • %o - A command-line tag used as the output/destination, and should be placed where destination is required in the encoder's command line options.
  • %1-7 - These are used for the different tags such as title and artist, the full list is shown below.
    • %1 Title
    • %2 Artist
    • %3 Album
    • %4 Year
    • %5 Track
    • %6 Genre
    • %7 Comment
  • %t - A command-line tag used as the track title, and should be placed where title/filename is required in the encoder's command line options.
  • Normalize - This check box enables/disables volume normalization of the written file.

Tip: Normalization requires the %i source tag in the encoder command-line.

Adding an encoder

Once an encoder has been installed it must be configured. This is done by adding a command to XMPlay so it knows were and how to send the information, as well as settings on how to encode the file.

  1. First enter the name for the encoder you are installing, this name is up to you. For example in this screenshot I have chosen LAME as the name, we then click the add button.

    Encoder name

  2. This command line is all that needs to be added, and is different for every encoder. To make this easier, examples of the command line and what each part means has been listed in the Encoders Settings section. Information about an individual encoder's commandline can usually be found in contained with the encoder as a txt file or in the encoder itself. Simple double clicking on the encoder in windows explorer will give a description with most encoders.

    Encoder commandline

  3. Don't forget to enter the extension of the encoded file. In this case "mp3" is the correct extension for this filetype. The "wav" extension will be used by default if this field is left empty.

    Encoder extension and resolution

    This section also allows you to specify the resolution of the audio for each encoder instead of just accepting the current resolution selected.

  4. The encoder is now set up and ready for use.
(4.11) Plugins & Skins
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:19:28

Plugins & Skin options

Input plugins (additional format support)

Here you can see which input plugins you have installed and which formats they support.

Clicking the "About" button brings up a dialog box with information over the current plugin.
Pressing the "Config" button brings up the plugin-specific configuration dialog, if it has one.

Skins

Here you have a list of currently installed skins. Selecting a skin loads it.

Clicking the "Author" button takes you to the skin author's website, if specified.
The "Readme" button brings up additional information about the skin, if the author has provided some.

(4.12) Saved Settings
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-20 02:19:50

Saved settings

Amp/DSP/looping/MOD options can be saved, to be automatically applied when specific tracks are loaded, or saved as presets to be quickly set whenever wanted.

When saving settings, the settings that are actually saved is determined by the check boxes. The "MOD" box can have a greyed tick, which means that the MOD settings are only saved if the current track is a MOD format.

Tip: To save a default setting for all tracks, save your settings as a path and edit the path to "".

  • Amp - This will set the amplification level and the auto-amp mode.
  • DSP - This will configure of all DSP plugins that are currently available (In the DSP Plugins list).
  • Loop - This will set all the track looping options (Miscellaneous options page).
  • MOD - This will set all the MOD options page settings.

Before clicking "Save", you need to select what the settings will apply to. There are 3 types of saved settings - "File", "Path", "Preset".

The preset name or file/path of a saved settings can be edited by clicking on the entry in the list.

  • File - This will save the settings for one file only.
  • Path - This will save the settings to be used by all songs in the path of the current track.

    There is also no specific "default" setting, but a "" path setting can be used instead, as that will match all files.

  • Preset - This allows you to save a preset which can be loaded for any track at any time.

    The saved settings can be accessed by right clicking the settings button (disk icon) in the Output Options panel.

When XMPlay tries to load settings for a track, it will first look for a "File" match. If there is none, it will look for a "Path" match. In the case of there being multiple path matches, the longest match will be used.

For example, both "c:\" and "c:\blah\" match "c:\blah\blob.mod", but the "c:\blah\" settings will be used.

(5) How to uninstall or remove stuff
by Thomas Radeke, 2006-04-17 22:01:00

Disabling/removing plugins, vis' or skins

If you encounter problems with a plugin, vis or skin and want to get rid of it, simply delete the corresponding file.

If you just need to remove the offending object for testing or development purpose, you have to move the file outside of the XMPlay directory. If you place a plugin, skin or vis anywhere inside the XMPlay directory, XMPlay will attempt to load it.

Removing XMPlay

If you need to remove XMPlay, for whatever reason, simply do the same as with plugins, etc.: delete it. You can safely delete the whole XMPlay directory - it will leave no trace in the registry.

If you had associated one or more files with XMPlay, it is recommended to un-associate them BEFORE you delete XMPlay. Do this at the Integration options.

Tip: If you had "Store per-user config/etc." enabled, you need to locate and remove the XMPlay folder in your "Documents and Settings" directory, too.