Winamp Modern Folk Dance skin

 

New skin fully compatible only with Winamp 5.52+ version

The Winamp Modern Folk Dance skin has been modified from the standard Modern skin to make it more congenial for recreational dance groups and instructors.  It is available here along with some documentation.  It has been designed specifically for use by the Houston International Folk Dancers.  Winamp is a standard player which you will need to install before installing the Modern Folk Dance Skin.  The skin works with the basic (free) version, but not with the lite version.

 

The Folk Dance skin in conjunction with the standard setup allows novices to set up a night of recreational dancing and not accidentally interrupt the playing program.  It has features which are useful for setting up recreational dance programs, and problematic features are hidden from view.  While not totally foolproof it is probably better than most standard players for recreational dancing and dance teaching.  It could also be useful for other instruction where audio material needs to be used for training.

Important features:

  1. Dangerous, unnecessary, and confusing controls are hidden.  Unneeded displays may be hidden.
  2. When properly setup it is extremely difficult to accidentally interrupt a dance.
  3. Teaching features such as memory location, pause at location, repeat segment are available.
  4. Adjustable pause or stop between dances.  Stop after a specific dance.  Delayed play.
  5. Window locations, sizes can be locked in place.
  6. Titles, indicators… are enlarged and more obvious.  All adjustments are displayed.
  7. Remaining time in entire playlist is displayed.
  8. Features and changes are displayed very obviously.
  9. Slowdown/speedup is available.
  10. You may personalize the skin by adding an optional picture, logo, or decoration

 

Pictures:

 

Modern Folk Dance Skin  The logo and group name shown in this picture are optional and must be added by the user.

Annotated Picture

 

More information:

Winamp is available here

Modern Folk Dance skin design  this document details why this skin was designed, and what was changed from the standard Modern skin.

HIFD standard setup This document gives important information on how to setup the skin for secure dance programming.

HIFD programmer instructions  This gives simple instruction on how the new player features operate.

            HIFD programmer document  Instructions MS Word document

Modern Folk Dance skin download

After downloading the skin, put it into the Winamp Skins folder.  This is usually located at:

C:\Program Files\Winamp\Skins

 

Plug-Ins that are useful:

Security template – Remove the confusing Play option.  Or lock Winamp to prevent users from didling things.  A copy of the old FLAC decoder which works with Chronotron.  A copy of the latest version of Procrustes tempo shifter which works OK with MP3.

MouseWheel Blocker & Playlist Undo – The Blocker is strongly recommended to prevent mouse wheel from changing volume.  Playlist Undo is also available at this site, and is mandatory for accidental interruption of dance playback.

KatMouse – Recommended so mouse wheel works as you would expect

Tempo shifting plug-in – This is very useful, for teaching dances.  There are several plug-ins that also do this available from the Winamp site.  Avoid “Take it Easy” because it easily crashes Winamp.  Virtually all tempo shifting plug-ins cause problems at extreme settings.  The most stable plug-in is Chronotron Pro.

Winamp Essentials which includes Playlist Undo – Playlist Undo is needed for secure playback.  This site changes, so it may not always be valid.

 

Note:

With Winamp 5.5 a difference in Winamp was introduced that caused some problems.  As a result a change in the Folk Dance skin was necessary.  The following things will not work differently:

  1. The decision was made to keep the stop or pause at the beginning even when manually switching tracks.  This should not be a problem as there is a programmer at the computer, and the logic timing necessary to change it may not work in subsequent versions of Winamp.
  2. The equalizer can not be adjusted to less than 0.3 dB.  This is because of a bug which changes the setting by 0.1 dB.
  3. It is recommended that you have about 1s of quiet at the beginning of each dance.  If there is no quiet time, the stop on next track, and the pause timer may allow a burst of music before being activated.

 

News:

  1. 2011-03-30  It was just discovered that a bug in Winamp 5.6x causes Winamp to die if the logging feature is used.  So either go back to 5.5x or do not use the logging feature.
  2. 2011-03-25  Winamp has fixed the inconsistent new track notification, so removed the kluge code.  Stop on next and pause delay work when a single track is repeated.
  3. 2011-03-09  Some users were confused by the many options on the “Manage Playlist” button, so the new option list has only 2 items.   “Clear Playlist” and “More Advanced…”.  The previous options are all available under More Advanced.  Some small cosmetic improvements were made, including changing the playlist scroll button to look like the Library scroll button.  Some users were confused by the original button.
  4. 2010-12-11 The problem with long file names has been fixed in the latest version of Winamp, so the remaining play list indicator should be exact for all files.  But the IN_FLAC module in the latest Winamp breaks Chronotron Pro for FLAC files, so it should be replaced by the version from Winamp V5.57.  For your convenience this has been included with the Security template zip file.  Just put the in_flac.dll file into the Winamp\plugins folder.
  5. 2009-10-24 Another problem has been found that diacritical marks can cause the log file to be incorrect.  Essentially certain diacriticals (Unicode) cause only part of the dance name to appear.  As a workaround the log file will contain the filename.  That way dance names can have diacriticals without them appearing in the filename.  Winamp has also in 5.56 implemented diacritical independent searching.
  6. 2009-02-10 To lock the window locations you must have Winamp 5.55.
  7. 2008-12-16 Made the remaining time/playlist more exact.  However it will not be exact for certain file types if the tempo is changed by a plugin.  Located an infinite loop in one module, left over from the original Winamp code.  When fixed, the skin starts up much more quickly and should be more responsive to controls.
  8. 2008-11-24 The  optional logo.png and picture.png are now properly centered vertically and can be any size.
  9. 2008-11-01 Options to remove beat visualization, playback info, and detailed track information added to decorations menu.  This allows you to have a cleaner interface.  This may help users who are confused by the extra displays.
  10. 2008-10-22 A desktop lock was added.  This locks the window locations and sizes.  It also disables the shade, PL, and ML buttons.  This prevents desktop changes.  As of the latest version of Winamp 5.41 the problem with notification on change of track has been fixed.  Also added a log button that produces a log of the played dances.  The log button requires installation of WASDP from Winamp site.  Now all desktop buttons show their configuration when you hover over them.  The delay time was left always visible.
  11. 2008-10-05 The play list and Media Library now always appear when the Modern Folk Dance Skin is started.  This was done to prevent problems with neophyte users.
  12. 2008-08-08 Some pesky single key commands using the arrow and keypad were removed.  When in main window these could change the currently playing dance, or the location in the dance.  All control commands which allow access to configuration have been removed.  Now it is possible to secure the playlist & configuration against most changes by selecting the lock localization profile.  It is not completely secure, but it is relatively secure.
  13. 2008-07-19 The single key commands in the media library are not fixed, so they have been partially suppressed.  The play option suppression has been implemented properly using language localization and will stay suppressed even if a new version of Winamp is installed provided it is installed over the previous version.  An indicator of remaining time in the playlist has been added, but because of a bug in Winamp it does not work correctly if the filename+path is longer than 129 characters.  If a track returns zero time, it is assumed to be 2:47s long, the average dance length in our library.   The tilde ~ is put in front of the number to indicate when it is an approximate value.
  14. 2008-04-14 The former menu locations now display the previous and next dance names in the main window.  In the playlist window the last name in the list is displayed.  There is a problem in V5.5x that single key commands in the media window can flip to other tree elements.  To get back to the correct element open the windon on the left side of the media library and select the correct element.
  15. 2008-03-29 New release of Winamp V5.53 problem with Search function fixed.  Removed unnecessary buttons from media library & playlist.  Added scroll up in playlist when dance added at end.  Added Play button in playlist editor to play selected dance.
  16. 2008-03-25 Widened the left hand frame on the Media Library to make opening the device window easier.  Also moved the top of playlist so it can lineup properly.
  17. 2008-02-23 A dance named ***STOP*** will stop Winamp playing at that point.   When you press play for a dance with the title ***STOP*** Winamp advances to the next dance, while delayed play stays at ***STOP*** and advances after the delay.  The color and decoration buttons have been changed to make the function more obvious.
  18. 2008-02-09 As of 5.52 the equalizer sliders have a problem that the setting sometimes jump without buttom movement, and when you exit from Winamp and return, the settings are not the same.  This is only about a 0.3 dB effect so it should not be obvious, but it needs to be fixed by the developers.