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There are enough tutorials on how to get XMMS working for you, and how to set up ALSA, but there's nothing really on what to do next. This tutorial will show you how to move from Winamp to XMMS, and keep everything you loved Winamp for.

As XMMS development is slow, and no big things have changed in XMMS for a long time, don't expect Winamp 3 or above skins to work, but if you're like me, and miss those old Winamp 2 skins, you're lucky!

XMMS support is being removed

This is useless as of now since XMMS is being removed from Gentoo linux. On november 23 2006, all xmms ebuilds will be deleted from portage, have fun!

Winamp 2 Skins -> XMMS

There is a "hidden" way to use Winamp 2 skins in XMMS, and I don't think many people know about this. Since there are only a few XMMS skins, and alot of Winamp 2 skins, it might be worth the little trouble to get them working in XMMS. There are three steps necessary to get your Winamp 2 skin used by XMMS:

Find yourself a skin

Good places to find skins are and Be sure to get a "Classic" skin. Download it, and remember where you saved it.

Rename and move the skin

As you might've noticed, Winamp skins have the "*.wsz"-extension. This needs to be renamed to .zip, and then moved into the XMMS skin directory:

Note: Newer versions of XMMS accept the wsz-Files directly, so that renaming your whole bunch of Winamp skins is now unnecessary, but copying is still.

To install the skin for all users (you'll have to be root):

 mv /path/to/skin.wsz /usr/share/xmms/Skins/

To install the skin for the current user:

 mv /path/to/skin.wsz ~/.xmms/Skins/

If for some reason the skin isn't activating make sure the permissions on the file are correct (755)

 chmod 755 /path/to/skin.wsz

Enable the skin

Now, open up XMMS, and press ALT+S. or go though the menu (Options -> Skin Browser). You should get 2 boxes. Select the appropriate path in the lower box (/usr/share/xmms/Skins or ~/.xmms/Skins, you might have to add the path), and the skin in the upper box.


You've probably noticed that XMMS doesn't come with any Equalizer presets. But, importing the Winamp equalizer presets is possible with the following lines (note that this will wipe your own equalizer settings):

mv winamp_presets.gz ~/.xmms/eq.preset.gz
gunzip ~/.xmms/eq.preset.gz

Equalizer Troubleshooting

Unlike Winamp, the sound change will be instant (try moving the "preamp" level up and down) If you can't hear *any* difference, the problem is your plugin module. Here's a fix:

Press CTRL+P to get the "Preferences" page up.

Look in the "Input Plugins" box for the "MAD MPEG Decoder plugin". If this is enabled, disable it, as it does not support the Equalizer effects.

If you can't hear anything at all now, you should close XMMS, and emerge xmms-mpg123.

emerge -a xmms-mpg123

Once this is done, open up XMMS again, and it will be auto-detected.

Winamp Visualization Plugins

Winamp visualization plugins can be run in XMMS, although it might be a bit of a hog.

To do so, you need the "xmms-winamp"-plugin. This plugin uses WINE for its functions, so make sure WINE is installed.

tar -zxvf xmms-winamp-0.4a.tar.gz
cd xmms-winamp-0.4a
make install

Installing Plugins

Quoted from the README:

"Install your Winamp plugins using "wine <myplugin>.exe", then configure xmms-winamp (through the
settings>Visualization Plugins tab), choosing the correct path (depending on your WINE   configuration)
and filename of the DLL. Now you can enable the plugin."

XMMS to System Tray

This does not yet work with Beryl (2007-08-21)

In Winamp Agent you have the ability to set your player to show only in the system tray and not in the taskbar. In XMMS this can be done with xmms-status-plugin.

emerge xmms-status-plugin

Next, if your XMMS is running, we need to restart it to make plugin available.

Configuring the plugin

  1. From the XMMS menu choose Options->Preferences or press Ctrl+P to access preferences
  2. Choose "General Plugins" tab and you should see Status Docklet
  3. Select the plugin and press "Configure"
  4. Defaults are fine but change them however you prefer
  5. In the "Button actions" I recommend you keep "Toggle All Windows" on for some button so you can pop XMMS from the systray
  6. Press "Ok"

Now you have your plugin configured.

Configuring KDE

Now we need to tell KDE to hide XMMS from the taskbar.

  1. Open KDE Control Center
  2. Choose Desktop
  3. Choose Window-Specific Settings
  4. Press "New"
  5. Press "Detect" button under Detect Window Properties
  6. Your cursor should change into a crosshair. Click on XMMS (not on the taskbar!)
  7. You've detected the XMMS properties. Make sure you select "Use Window class (whole application)"
  8. Press "Ok" and change to the Preferences tab
  9. Select "Skip taskbar", select Apply Initially from dropdown list and select the cross on the right side of dropdown list.
  10. Press "Ok"

You're done! Restart XMMS to apply the changes.

You may find "Option->Always On Top" and "Options->Show an all desktops" useful :)

If you want the XMMS window to come on top when you click on the status docklet but you don't want it to stay always on top you can do this:

  1. Go to the Window-Sepecific Settings for XMMS
  2. Change to the Workarounds tab
  3. Click on "Focus Stealing Prevention". Choose "Force" from the first dropdown menu and "None" from the other dropdown list.
  4. Press "Ok" and then "Apply"

Also note that if you use Gnome, the taskbar will not be shown by default, when using this plugin.


Wikification of this article was done by Rutto. Many thanks to the original author, Mikeyb. Feel free to modify whatever you might feel is incorrect. ~Rutto


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Last modified: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 21:44:00 +0000 Hits: 42,483