Qmmp is a freeware music player that looks like Winamp

If you like Winamp and want something that resembles it and don’t want to use AIMP, Qmmp may be right up your alley.  It is a freeware music player for Windows and Linux.

Qmmp is a freeware music player that looks like Winamp

The application has a dark theme and is made up of three parts: the track panel, equalizer and playlist. Each of these can be detached and moved around or closed, just like in the classic application.

qmmp visualizer

The track panel displays the current track information. There is a nice visualizer which can be customized and you need to right-click on it to do so. The track panel has the standard controls for left/right balance, playback, volume, shuffle, and repeat.

Right-click on the track panel to view the keyboard shortcuts to control the playback. Head to Settings > Shortcuts to see all available shortcuts.

QMMP double size view

The font and buttons on the Qmmp interface are a bit too small, at least for me. You can do two things as a workaround. Use the right-click menu to select View > Double Size, this scales the interface to a larger size. It is perhaps too big and the volume slider may be distorted. The other option that you can do is tweak the font size; do this from the Settings > Appearance > Fonts tab.

The second section is the Playlist manager. You can add, delete, or manage tracks, and save and load your M3U, M3U8 PLS, and XSPF playlists from here. Right-click on a track and select view track info to view the audio summary, cover art and comments (metadata).  The third panel in Qmmp is the Equalizer, and it can be used to save/load your custom presets including Winamp’s EQF. The program’s right-click menu has a Visualization menu with thrrr options that opens a floating visualizer.

qmmp visualizations

Customization

Don’t like the default theme? Qmmp has other skins to choose from Settings > Appearance > Skins. You can download more themes, set the transparency of each of the three panels from the settings page and more. The Audio Settings tab can be used to enable Replay Gain, set the Output depth and other volume related options.

qmmp skins
qmmp themes
qmmp theme orange
qmmp theme ergo
qmmp theme 2
qmmp theme 3

Here’s an XMMS skin.

qmmp xmms skin

Qmmp supports themes which are in the .Zip, .Wsz, Tar.Gz, TGZ, and Tar.BZ2 formats. I found some nice skins here.

Plugins

Qmmp supports plugins, and there are quite a few of them available on the official website. The Windows version has many plugins built-in, and you can enable the ones you want from the Settings > Plugins page. Select a plugin and click on the information button to see what the add-on does. Some plugins have their own preferences that you can modify per your requirements. You can enable a system tray icon or display a notification when the track changes.

Note: I couldn’t get the Lyrics plugin to work (Right-click on track > actions > view lyrics). It kept saying “Protocol “https” is unknown”. The website mentions it uses Lyrics.wikia though the plugin’s information says “Lyricwiki”, and the error suggests that the add-on is using an older URL to search for lyrics.

Audio formats supported by Qmmp include  MP3, FLAC, CUE, OGG, WMA, WAV, AAC, RA, AU, SND, AIF, AIFF, SHN, 8SVX, SPH, SF, SID, MUS, PRR, TRG, P00, C64, W64, AC3, TAK, VQF, TTA, M4A, OGA, APE, WV, MP1, MP2, MPC, OPUS, AY, GBS, GYM, HES, KSS, NSF, NSFE, SAP, SPC, VGM, VGZ, VTX, AMF, AMS, DBM, DBF, DSM, FAR, MDL, STM, ULT and more.

Qmmp is a Qt-based application. The program is open source. Though it doesn’t have a separate portable archive, you can choose the “Portable Configuration” option when you run the installer.

Audacious is another excellent music player that supports Winamp skins.

Qmmp

For Windows

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A look at MovieMaker 2.0

MovieMaker is a video editing program by MiniTool for Microsoft Windows devices. It should not be confused with the retired Windows Movie Maker that Microsoft offered a decade ago to Windows users for free.

The developers of Movie Maker have released version 2.0 of the program recently which introduces several improvements.

As far as requirements go, the program is available for Windows 7 and newer versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, 8 Gigabytes of RAM, an Intel i5 or newer processor, 10 Gigabytes of hard drive space, and Intel HD Graphics 5000, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 700, or AMD Radeon R5 or later graphics cards.

Download the online installer from the developer website. We recommend that you check the custom setup options as you may want to opt-out of the customer experience program. Note that you get a link to download an offline version of the installer if the web installer cannot download the application files; this did not work on our test system.

The multimedia editor is powered by templates. It displays templates on start, e.g. to create a photo book, slideshow, Christmas Party Invitations or a love story. Advanced users may skip the template selection process and switch to full-featured mode instead right away to gain full control.

moviemaker

As far as functionality is concerned, you may use MovieMaker to create photo slideshows or videos. The program accepts a wide range of media formats including image formats such as png or jpg, video formats such as mp4 or mov, and audio formats such as mp3 or m4a.

First thing you do regardless of whether you have selected a template or opted for the full-featured mode is to load media files. You may select any number of files to add them to the list of available formats for the movie that you want to create.

Loaded files are displayed in the program interface so that you may interact with them. Filter options are provided, and you can drag and drop the selected file to the timeline and rearrange everything there as well at any time. The timeline is divided into image/video, audio and text tracks (of which up to three are supported).

While you could export the creation as a video file right away, you may define transitions, effects or text captions before you do.

The application supports a wide range of each. A transition may be selected that is then applied automatically. Transitions last for one second by default but customization options are provided to adjust them.

Besides transitions, it is also possible to add effects to the video. These add artistic filters to items on the timeline. Last but not least, you may select how text captions are displayed.

Controls to play the video during the creation process are provided. Once you are satisfied with the creation, select the export option to save it to the local system. MovieMaker supports several formats including mp4, gif, mkv, ts, or webm.

Closing Words

MovieMaker 2.0 is a straightforward multimedia editor designed that is easy to use. It is light on features but useful for Windows users who want to create photo slideshows, merge video files or apply effects to videos.

Now You: Do you use media editors? Which is your favorite? (via Deskmodder)

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Media Player Classic MPC-HC 1.9.0 update brings dark theme support

The developers of the Media Player Classic application MPC-HC (Media Player Classic Home Cinema) have released version 1.9.0 of the media player for all supported operating systems.

Downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems are provided on the official GitHub download page of the project. The built-in update checker, if enabled, should inform users about the new version as well.

The last major release of Media Player Classic Home Cinema dates back to 2018; rumors that MPC-HC would not be supported anymore came up in 2017 but that was not the case after all.  The new version introduces several new features and improvements to the media player.

Tip: check out MPC Black Cinema Edition as well. If you prefer MPV, check out MPV Easy Player or Celluloid.

One of the big new features is the integrated dark theme. It is not enabled by default but users of the application may enable it under View > Dark Theme. A manual restart of the program is required before the new theme is loaded.

media-player classic home cinema 1.9.0 dark theme

The View option acts as a toggle that allows users to switch between the dark and default theme of the media player.

The dark theme features a “more modern looking” seekbar. The height of the bar can be adjusted under View > Options > Advanced by modifying the “ModernSeekbarHeight” value there. Users who dislike it can disable it by setting ModernSeekbar to False on the same page.

MPC users who play videos that are inside archives may have noticed that the player did not support RAR5 playback in previous versions; this changes with today’s release as RAR5 playback of media files is now supported officially (uncompressed only).

Another new feature introduces a vertical alignment option for videos; this adjusts black bars that may be displayed depending on media player window size and video resolution so that they are only displayed below the video and not at the top as well.

Subtitles have received several improvements in the new version next to that. The developers added a manual search option to the subtitle download results window; useful if lots of results are returned. PG5 subtitle positioning was improved in version 1.9.0 of the media player, and subtitle texture size was optimized which should improve performance on multi-display devices and may also reduce GPU memory usage.

Other improvements include keybinding setup improvements, the removal of the reliance of connecting to the Internet to figure out the supported languages of OpenSubtitles/SubDB subtitle providers, and basic support for MPC Video Renderer. The renderer is limited to hardware decoding, subtitles, and Pan&Scan currently only.

Now You: Which media player do you use predominantly? (via Deskmodder)

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Audials One 2020 review

Audials One 2020 is a commercial multimedia application for Microsoft Windows systems to record practically anything that you can play on your devices.

To name just a few core features: record music, movies, series, TV content from numerous Internet sources that include popular services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more.

The program is available for $49.90 on the Audials website; a trial version is also provided for users who want to test the application before they buy it.

Installation of the application on Windows devices is straightforward. The program’s main interface may look intimidating at first thanks to the program’s rich feature set.

audials one 2020 home

The program’s main entry points are listed as sidebar entries on the left. There you find options to switch between the various music and video recording options. The list may confuse new users of the application as differences between music and music streaming, or entertainment and video streaming  may not be clear immediately.

New users may want to open the settings of the application on first run to make configuration adjustments when required. The settings icon may be overlooked easily as it is located as a, rather tiny, icon in the lower left corner of the interface.

Settings open in a new window and reveal lots of options to play with. It would go too far to list them all, but here is a short list of important ones:

  • Select UI color scheme, navigational elements and size/language.
  • Manage Radio stations and sources for the program’s “wish” feature (more about that later).
  • Install additional plugins.
  • Configure audio recording and processing, and video recording options.
  • Set output folders and available storage locations.
  • Bonus: Android and Apple iOS applications to record songs and podcasts.
  • Save audiobooks.

Music and Radio

Music and radio playback and recording options make up a large part of Audials One 2020’s functionality. You find four entries — Music, Radio, Music Streaming, and Playlists — listed in the sidebar navigation.

audials one 2020 recording

A click on Music displays music lists, e.g. charts, compilations or related artists that you can explore directly. You end up with curated lists of music that you can play directly in the interface or record.

Note that you may also use the search field to search for artists or songs directly. Just type the name of an artist or song and a list of suggestions is displayed. Select the artist to get the list of albums and songs that the artist or band released in the past. You may then download all that are presented or individual songs to the system.

One example: a click on the Rock charts displays a list of top Rock tracks in the interface. Controls are provided to play songs directly in Audials One or to record these songs.

Recording is straightforward; all you do is click on the record icon to save a track to the local system. Sources that Audials One 2020 supports include YouTube and other video streaming sites, Spotify, Deezer and other audio streaming sites (when connected).

It is easy to record multiple songs using the application. Just hover over the track and click on the record icon for each that you want downloaded to your system. Downloads start immediately and you may download multiple files at the same time.

All downloaded media files can be played locally in Audials One or any other application on the system after the download completes.

Sometimes, it may happen that a song is not provided by Audials One 2020 (this happens when the default sources don’t return it). That’s where the program’s “wish” feature comes into play. Wishing basically means that you tell the program to look out for a specific song to record it when it becomes available.

The easiest way to add songs to the wishlist is to select Wish under Music. There you find add buttons to add any song to the wishlist. The program scans radio stations when you select the fulfill option.

The difference between Music and Music Streaming is that the latter focuses on specific services such as Spotify, Tidal, Napster, or Apple Music. Audials One 2020 supports other sources as well as it can record anything that is played using the device’s sound card.

Radio resembles what Internet Radio recorders offer. The section displays radio stations sorted by genre (and favorites) or country, and you get options to play stations or record music that is played by these stations.

Audials uses a unique filtering system. If you type a band name or song name in the search field and open Radio (or do so while there already), you get a selection of stations that play the band or song frequently.

Other features that Audials One 2020 supports when it comes to recording music and audio:

  • Options to import and export playlists to Spotify and YouTube.
  • Schedule recordings.
  • Record music in original quality (including Ultra HD, HiFi or Master quality depending on service.
  • Options to add covers and lyrics to songs automatically.
  • Support for over 100,000 Internet Radio stations and over 350,000 podcasts.

Video and Entertainment

audials video recording

Audials One 2020 supports video recordings as well. The service states that its customers may “record content off all the top services, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu and live streams without losing quality and circumventing DRM encryption”.

Video recording works in the following way:

  1. Select one of the available services listed in the application.
  2. Audials One 2020 displays several prompts in the beginning. It asks which browser you want to use to load the site.
  3. Click on record to start the recording of the video.

All downloaded videos, movies, and TV shows are listed under Entertainment afterward.

The method that the program uses does not rely on APIs or third-party tools as it records the screen; this means as well that DRM is not circumvented by the application which is important when it comes to the question of legality.

Recorded videos may be watched in the application or other tools that support the downloaded format, or converted using the program.

Other video related features:

  • Audials One 2020 supports batch recording to record multiple videos or movies at once.
  • The program may record TV streams in similar fashion.

Closing words

Audials One 2020 is a universal multimedia downloader and converter for Windows. You may use it to record pretty much anything that plays on the device, be it audio or video, to play or convert the downloaded media files, or transfer files to other devices.

New users may need some time to get used to the massive list of features that the program supports, and some options could be explained better or streamlined to reduce the period of adjustment.

All in all, Audials One 2020 is the ultimate media recording application for Windows devices that records anything that you play on the device (and more).

Now You: do you use programs to record music or video?

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Kodi 19 may break some add-ons

The development team behind the media player software Kodi have released the first Nightly build of Kodi 19, codename Matrix, recently. The new version of the application comes with a change that may break add-ons that are available for the solution.

Current versions of Kodi provide add-ons with access to the Python 2 interpreter. Python 2 is about to reach end of life (on January 1, 2020) and the team has worked on migrating to the Python 3 interpreter.

Problem is: the migration may break certain add-ons that either rely on Python 2 functionality or are not compatible with Python 3 for other reasons.

kodi 19

Developers are encouraged to test their Kodi add-ons using the Nightly builds to make sure that they work properly. While active developers may update add-ons so that they may be run on Kodi 19 and future versions of the media player, add-ons that are not in active development anymore won’t become compatible automatically.

The development team wants to involve the community in the process of getting inactive add-ons ready for Kodi 19. Users can report add-ons that don’t work with Kodi 19 currently and developers with Python skills are encouraged to lend a hand in getting these add-ons ready for the new release.

Apart from that main issue, there are others to tackle by the team before the release of Kodi 19:

There are also issues that need core developer knowledge to fix. Since moving to Python 3 there are some difficulties on all Windows platforms in particular. The version of Kodi for UWP (Xbox) does not compile at all, and needs someone to champion it. There are also issues with certain libraries e.g. Pillow, PyCryptodome, cTypes etc., being missing or incompatible versions, so those add-ons that depend on them don’t run and can’t be tested on Windows.

Kodi 18.5 is the official stable version that has been released yesterday. The release uses Python 2 for add-ons and Kodi users can upgrade to it without breaking any installed add-ons.

Kodi users who want to try out Kodi 19 can do so by downloading the latest Nightly build using the official Download page on the Kodi website. Just click on download, select the operating system that you want to download Kodi for, and switch to the “Development Builds” section in the overlay that opens up.

How many add-ons won’t be compatible with Kodi 19 when the new version comes out? It is unclear at this point in time but it seems likely that some add-ons won’t be compatible with the new version when it first comes out.

Now You: do you use Kodi and add-ons? What’s your take on the development?

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