Wow... it must've been some eight years ago that I found out about XMPlay. Let me tell you a little story
I used to copy tracks of off CDs of a friend of mine, creating my own compilations. By that time I had also bought a 64 MB USB stick (whoa! cool!), and I managed to squeeze little over an hour of music on it using mp3PRO. I had no real notion of the loss of quality, because I only listened to the music at school (imagine about 30 kids in a single room, all on a computer with internet, you'll have a hard time makinig out your music at all). While mp3PRO could achieve quite a nice compression ratio, the player was really awful. A huge, light blue interface, a playlist window with two tints of yellow, no playlist re-ordering and a shuffle function that produced the same playback order every time you restarted the player. Sigh. I knew about Winamp, but I never got around installing that on my USB stick.
I'm not even sure we even had broadband internet at home by that time. I guess so, because I remember swapping the modem for an ethernet PCI card in our Pentium III PC. Anyway, some day I was looking for new music on the internet, because playing 3 CDs over and over starts to bore. I was looking for something really
new, not for downloading the latest radio hit with Kazaa. Somehow I ended up at the Kahvi Collective
(an ambient/IDM netlabel), and navigating through their release archive I found a huge pile of music just waiting to be listened. I picked out a single track release, Sbindon's Tingeling 2k
. I quickly figured out you needed a special player to play these Ogg Vorbis files, as no program I had knew anything about this format. The first hit for ogg vorbis player
on Google was obviously Winamp
, but a couple of entries down was "XMPlay is an audio player, supporting the OGG / MP3 / ...". Version 2.4 if I recall correctly. I was amazed that the whole download was so small, but also rather pleased that it would play the file without problems and that the music was actually nice. Over the next couple of months I started downloading more music released by the Kahvi Collective (like This Road Is Glowing by Saul Stokes
and the fantastic Minutes by Mosaik
), decoding them with XMPlay and burning them on CDs.
About half a year later we had some physics classes with computer software, programming really simple models to calculate for example the terminal velocity of a man on a parachute. The computers in that room didn't have USB ports on the front side, making it difficult to get music in there. Via the Links
page I found out about the MOD archive, what a wealth of free music! I selected some top tunes, put them in a ZIP archive and put them on a floppy disk together with XMPlay. More than enough music to get through a single class! (Obviously, I had to pay attention every once in a while, so about 40 minutes of music was enough.)
Some time later, I found out there was an update for XMPlay, 2.8. It brought quite a few changes (we all know what Ian can do in a year
), so I peeked at the forum of this fast-developing player. Apparently, Ian was making big plans for the next version, with the 3.0 skin compo. At first I just waited some days, but then I joined the forum to cast my vote (for the current default skin). From that point on XMPlay moved with me to three new PCs, to two old ones and to a couple of parties.
The vote was post #1, and this one is #2000. I'd like to thank a number of the long-time members (Rah'Dick, Keltic Danor, Tsorovan, Pike84, Torkell fka TheBoggyB, Fraggie, Zarggg, Jace, Brian, Knurek, raina, saga, amit and anyone I might've forgotten) for all their efforts, let's hope we can keep this community alive for quite some more years! But most of all, a big compliment and a huge thank-you for Ian for making and, more importantly, maintaining this perfect audio player! You've made me a happy user
Since I've learned quite a lot about XMPlay over the course of those years, I'm currently writing an illustrated manual for the Support Site. At first it'll just contain the same things as xmplay.txt (perhaps something more, as I've written it from scratch for 3.6), but it'll be extended with manuals for the various plugins which were created by Ian or by forum members (xmp-scrobbler, xmp-midi, xmp-sid, xmp-wavis, etc) and with other things that are frequently asked around here (like, ahem, the XMPlay-able filetype). I hope to get it online before the real summer starts out here