Making Winamp's shuffle smarter
December 28, 2008 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way to make Winamp's shuffle smarter, i.e. closer to iTunes?

I don't like using iTunes. It's got a huge memory footprint and very few features. One thing I do like, however, is its awesomely customizable shuffle. You can remove tracks from shuffling without removing them from your library. You can set exactly how random you want your shuffle to be. You can see what songs are coming up, and set them to skip in advance if you wish.

Why is it that Winamp has nothing close to this? When I'm indecisive, I know what I don't want to listen to, usually, and the features of iTunes let me not listen to it. I have a LOT of tracks by The Mountain Goats, who are good in small doses, but start to wear on you when you hear them every other song. There has to be some extension that gives me this control in Winamp. So I turn to you, MeFi: is there one?
posted by Bleusman to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I found this shuffle method for iTunes on lifehacker a few years back. I like it a lot and still use it. I don't use Winamp, but maybe it would be applicable somehow?
posted by HeroZero at 7:01 AM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: I think you misunderstood my question. iTunes shuffle feature is excellent. However, I don't like anything else about iTunes, so I'd like to have the same sort of shuffle features found in iTunes in Winamp instead.
posted by Bleusman at 7:04 AM on December 28, 2008

Winamp DOES have a button that will re-sort your library randomly and generate a playlist. Unfortunately, I'm not at home to see it, but I believe it's one of the buttons in the lower portion of the Playlist window. Once the playlist has been randomized, you can then play through that playlist "normally" (i.e. without shuffle turned on) and see which track is next, and which is after the next, and which is after that, and so forth. You can also remove tracks from that playlist without removing them from the library. The trick is to save your playlist so that you don't double-click a song on your desktop and accidentally overwrite your hard work.
posted by lizzicide at 7:11 AM on December 28, 2008

I think Media Monkey may have an Itunes like Shuffle. It's been a couple of years since I used Windows regularly, but when I did I far preferred Media Monkey to Itunes.
posted by COD at 7:46 AM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: I have MediaMoney too, but really it's just a skin for winamp with some extra tagging features.
posted by Bleusman at 8:06 AM on December 28, 2008

What kind of shuffle are you using? There's the button on the main window that skips around randomly in your open playlist, there's also an option to randomize the order of your playlist. if you do the second one, you can then delete tracks out of the randomized playlist, and still leave them in the library.

Or, what lizzicide said.

(Media Monkey is a different player, not a winamp skin)
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:25 AM on December 28, 2008

There are a few Winamp plugins you might be interested in. Probably worth a try to see if you like 'em, anyway. I haven't used any of these, but Longplayer has the most reviews, and a Sourceforge page, so it'd probably be the one I'd try first.
posted by box at 8:42 AM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: I'm aware that technically, Media Monkey is a different player, but in all effects it is very similar to Winamp, and has the same kind of shuffle. I am looking for a feature in Winamp where I can keep songs in my media library and have them not come up on shuffle, for one. Is there anything that does this?
posted by Bleusman at 8:46 AM on December 28, 2008

When you remove track from shuffling in iTunes, does it remove them from the shuffle forever or just until you close the program/end playback?

If it does it forever, then you could set up a giant playlist in Winamp.

Something that could work even better though would be to set up a smart view. Something like this

!(comment has "noshuffle")

I just tested it and it works with other things in the comment, so you wouldn't have to break anything that you currently have in there. Yes, you'd have to go through and put that in the comment of everything you don't want to shuffle. But you'd be going through iTunes to tell it not to play things on shuffle anyway so I don't consider that a big deal.
posted by theichibun at 12:08 PM on December 28, 2008

As someone who's been using Winamp for the better part of 10 years now, I'll just jump right in:

- there are two ways to shuffle, as mentioned. There's the "regular" shuffle that you get by pressing the shuffle button, which plays your playlist in a random order. You can adjust the "shuffle morph rate" in Preferences under "Playlist", but I'm not entirely clear on what that affects.

- the other way is to randomize the playlist and leave Shuffle off. This lets you order the playlist to your own whims. To do this, click on the Misc button at the bottom of the playlist (at least, that's where it should be on all the standard skins), then Sort, then "Randomize playlist".

- whatever way you do this, or even if you have shuffle off entirely, you can queue up the next song by highlighting it and typing Q or right-clicking, selecting "Jump to file"->"Enqueue selected". A little number like [1] will show up in the playlist indicating that it will be played next. You can also type J in the playlist editor and get a fancy search screen.
posted by neckro23 at 6:36 PM on December 28, 2008

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