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Winamp can play ATRAC files, but can't read tags

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I've succeeded in getting Winamp 5.13 to play my ATRAC3 files by selecting "Options - Preferences...", going to "Plug-ins - Input" and configuring NullSoft DirectShow Decoder v0.97 to handle OMA and OMG extensions. Winamp then uses the codecs installed by SonicStage to play the tracks. However, I have two problems:

The first is that Winamp does not read the genre/atrist/album/track information from the OMA file. Instead it derives them from the from the file and directory names. And because SonicStage stores ripped CDs as "album\nn-trackname" there's no artist of genre information in the Winamp Database.

The second is that the ATRAC3 tracks are only listed in the Media Library window when I select "Local Media" in the media type selection pane. When I select "Audio" they aren't listed.

I suspect the two problems are related - the "Audio" media selector seems to be keyed on artist, so tracks without artists don't appear. The problem with this theory is that I still couldn't see the tracks when I edited them to add the artist info in the Winamp database. I could've got it wrong, though!

So has anyone worked out how best to get Winamp to play ATRAC tracks? I've just spent most of the weekend ripping my CDs to ATRAC3 so I can put them on my HD5, so I don't particularly want to repeat the exercise ripping them to something else to play them from my PC (no, no, no, I DON'T want to use SonicStage for this, and I don't want to have MP3s on my HD5 either, so please stay on-topic with your replies!) Is the DirectShow decoder the best thing to use, or is there a well-hidden ATRAC decoder?

Many thanks for your help.


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Bad form to reply to my own posts? Usually it is, but I think this'll be worth it...

Okay, I can half-answer my second question. The reason my OMA files aren't showing up in the "Audio" list (or "SmartView" as I've discovered they're called) is that Winamp thinks they're VIDEO files - they turn up in the "Video" SmartList instead!

I can get them to turn up in "Audio" by right-clicking on it and selecting "Edit View...", then adding "Filename ends with .oma/.omg" conditions. Similarly I can get them out of the "Video" view by adding a couple of "doesn't end" conditions. I've also created a new "OpenMG Audio" SmartView that shows all OMA/OMG files.

But the question is - why does Winamp think OMA/OMG files are video? I'm guessing there's a list somewhere of AUDIO filename extensions that OMA/OMG aren't in, and Winamp assumes NOT AUDIO = VIDEO. Anyone know the answer to this?

And this doesn't help with the tags problem - I've got a stack of editing ahead of me to add the Artist and Genre information to the 100+ albums I've imported!

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I got an answer to the "why video?" question from a post of mine on the Winamp Tech Support forum. The OMA/OMG files are handled by the DirectShow Decoder plug-in, and this is normally used for Windows video codecs. So a bit of judicious editing of the Audio and Video SmartViews is necessary to get ATRAC files to show up in the right place.

Okay, so all I need to do now is find out how to get the tags read correctly :-)


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Nice work! This is useful information, thanks for sharing... I can't believe you're talking to yourself about this! :blink:

I too have been ripping CDs in ATRAC format - it sounds better than MP3 at half the size and I don't have the luxury of masses of space (I have the NW-A1000 - 6Gb). In a way, I've been assuming other players such as WinAmp will play ATRAC files (or plugins will be available) and I'm hoping Sony don't decide to kill off ATRAC?

Sony should be encouraging more 3rd party use of ATRAC. To me, ATRAC seems almost exclusive to Sony hardware and software. Are there any non-Sony portable music players that support ATRAC? I can't think of any.

From what I know, ATRAC has been around for the same amount of time as MP3. Recent incarnations of ATRAC (ATRAC3plus), according to my own ears using a good hifi (yes, a real hifi, not 'midi' system!), using lineout with decent interconnects, sound superior to equivalent MP3 tracks at the lower bit-rates (64 / 96 / 128kbps). I've also seen the ATRAC vs MP3 'independant tests' and they back up my personal opinion. On the other hand, from what I gather (NW-A1000 is the first 'digital music player' I have owned), Sony had been forcing their ATRAC format on to users of their older hardware - now their hardware / software supports other digital music formats, this can only be a step in the right direction. However, I bet this isn't down to the 'generosity' of Sony but more to do with them conceededing and admitting they'd lost the battle. Sorry, going off topic here!

On topic: I shall try WinAmp soon with .OMA / .OMG. Pleae keep us updated as I and I'm sure many others would find this information useful and/or interesting.

As for the tags and video / audio WinAmp recognition thing, I haven't a clue, sorry! :mellow:

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Thanks for the reply. I don't think I'm talking to myself on this one - the forum stats say there's been 73 readers of this thread - so hopefully one of them will post something saying it works for them too.

I actually discovered the trick for this when I tried to get MS Media Player to play an ATRAC file - and it did. A bit of digging around with Google (what else?!) suggested MP looked for registered codecs that were DirectShow compatible when it didn't recognise a filetype, and I then discovered that Winamp had a DirectShow plug-in. And that was that! MP doesn't do any better than Winamp about extracting tags from the ATRAC file, so I still need to crack that one.

Anyway, glad to be of help!


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