Winamp 5 = Winamp 2 + Winamp 3

Winamp 5Winamp has officially released Winamp 5, a long-awaited update to its industry standard, free (!) audio and video player. I can highly recommend it after having experimented with its betas and release candidates for a couple of months now. As lotsofno of Metafilter points out:

After it’s admittedly disappointing and rushed effort with Version 3 of their popular media player, the Nullsoft team seeks to make amends with their newest release, combining the stability of 2.x with the extras of Winamp 3, adding several new features while they’re at it.

Besides improved stability, the Winamp team has added loads of features, although I’m on the fence about whether the Pro version is worth $14.95 to me. Here’s a paraphrasing of lotsofno’s list of features:

  • built-in and plug-in support for dozens of formats (i.e. MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AAC, etc.)
  • compatible with thousands of Winamp 1 and 2 classics skins, and Winamp 3’s freeform skins
  • compatible with thousands of Winamp 2 plug-ins
  • thousands of streaming radio stations for nearly every genre imaginable
  • included video player, as well as streaming video with up to 40+ channels
  • media library provides easy, searchable access to playlists, bookmarks, local audio or video, internet radio or tv stations, recently played, never played, most played, etc.
  • media library automatically scans defined folders every X minutes in the background, updating itself
  • ratings settings for songs and albums
  • advanced query editor
  • notable AVS updates
  • user definable global hot keys (control winamp while in any application)
  • now playing window displays album cover and artist news/biography
  • limited burning and ripping capabilities (the Pro version has no limitations, but runs $14.95; might be worth it, although there are plenty of great free ripping and encoding alternatives like CDex)

If you’re still running Winamp 3 for some reason, then you should definitely upgrade. If you’re running version 2.x, then you should consider upgrading as well. Although I was a hard sell at first to convert from version 2.91, I’m now completely won over and obviously a big fan of Winamp to write this kind of rave… 😉

Arcade Ambience

The Arcade Ambience Project Page returns you to the glory days of an early ‘80s arcade, featuring sound samples of typical arcades from 1981-1983. The background samples include:

  • 1981: Asteroids, Astroblaster, Berzerk, Centipede, Crazy Climber, Crushroller, Defender, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaga, Galaxian, Gorf, Missile Command, Moon Cresta, Mousetrap, Ms. Pacman, Omega Race, Pacman, Phoenix, Qix, Rally X, Scramble, Space Invaders, Spectar, Tempest, Venture, Wizard Of Wor
  • 1983: Bagman, Bump ‘n’ Jump, Burgertime, Congo Bongo, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Jr., Elevator Action, Food Fight, Galaga, Gyruss, Joust, Jungle Hunt, Kangaroo, Mappy, Mario Bros., Millipede, Moon Patrol, Mr. Do, Ms. Pacman, Pengo, Pleiades, Pole Position, Q-Bert, Robotron, Sinistar, Stargate, Star Trek, Tapper, Time Pilot, Track & Field, Tron, Xevious, Zaxxon, Zoo Keeper

Simply awesome; brings a tear to my eye…

Hockey Gladiators

“No nets, no faceoffs, no goals – and definitely no gloves.” The Winnipeg Sun reports that “promoter Darryl Wolski is banking on to sell his unusual idea of a pay-per-view hockey fighting tournament to the sporting public.” Wolski “plans to round up between 50 and 100 pugilists, who will each pay an entry fee between $200 and $250 to participate in the Hockey Gladiators show. A large, two-tiered tournament schedule will then be set up, with fighters given two chances to make it to the final round. The brawls will last between one and two minutes and a panel of judges will designate the winners. In the end, the master enforcer will take home $50,000.” I certainly believe that hockey wouldn’t be hockey without an occasional fight, but I think this is a bit too much…

New Google Web Search Features

Adding to its already extensive set of web search features, Google has added some really nice new ones:

  • Search by number
    • UPS tracking numbers: “1Z9999W999999999”
    • FedEx tracking numbers: “fedex 999999999999”
    • Patent numbers: “patent 5123123”
    • FAA airplane registration numbers: “n199ua”
    • FCC equipment IDs: “fcc B4Z-34009-PIR”
  • Travel conditions at a particular airport: “bwi airport”
  • Definitions (not as new): “define WWW” or “define:WWW”

Very cool…