[bct] Re: Invisible Winamp!

  • From: "Kai" <kaixiong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2005 03:26:36 -0800

Greetings Dana.

I've been meaning to give you a call so we could toy around with Winamp,
but haven't really had the time (been trying to turn out plenty of
intros for Larry, *grins*). Point of interest if I do call you: What are
the best times to call? I also have unlimited long distance, so we won't
have to play phone tag.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Dana Niswonger
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 1:11 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Invisible Winamp!

Hi Kai:
I did this, thanks.  I hope to talk with you by phone when you have
time.  I 
have free long distance so call me and I'll call back, saving you the
(704) 525-9766

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kai" <kaixiong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 12:05 PM
Subject: [bct] Invisible Winamp!

> Greetings all.
> Below is a write-up that I did a while back detailing how to (1) make
> Winamp invisible, so you don't have to keep alt-tabbing through it,
> create hotkeys to control the application while it's invisible, and
> remove its icons from the system tray. These instructions are JFW
> influenced, but it should still apply to users of alternate screen
> readers. Note that the version of Winamp used in this discussion is
> Winamp 5+.
> The Invisible Winamp!
>     For those of us who can't stand the chore of alt-tabbing from
> window to window to find our media player just to make a quick
> adjustment or to advance the playlist, or for those of us who hate
> having more windows open on the taskbar than necessary, or even for
> those of us who just want quick and easy access to our media without
> hassle of negotiating multiple windows and remembering multiple
> commands (I subscribe to all three schools, go me!): The following
> write-up should help alleviate these inconveniences.
>     Winamp is designed to be a very modular application. You can
> introduce your own skins (interface customizations), window tweaks,
> even change the command input structure. We can take advantage of this
> modular construction and:
> * Completely eliminate the presence of the Winamp window,
> * In doing so, we remove the hassle of interacting with the Winamp
> window,
> * We can still control various functions that we don't always access
> the system tray,
> * We can freely open or close the Winamp application without it ever
> getting in the way,
> * All the controls to the media player are at our fingertips,
> * We can change what media we're listening to, alter the play volume,
> navigate through the currently playing media, or even access Winamp's
> library at our whim to access online material,
> * A slew of many other Winamp commands are now just a keystroke away.
>     We can achieve this level of instantaneous control with Global
> Hotkeys, a feature included in Winamp which few people have come to
> truly appreciate. Global Hotkeys give us access to many of Winamp's
> commands. There are admittedly a few gaps, but perhaps these will be
> fixed in future versions.
>     Switch to the Winamp window (hopefully for the last few times!).
> Once you're in the Winamp main window (or any other Winamp window such
> as the playlist editor), access the preferences dialog with a CTRL-P.
> upon entering the preferences dialog you did not land on the tree view
> of various categorical options, TAB or SHIFT-TAB accordingly until you
> have done so. Once here, move to the top of the list, which should be
> "Winamp Pro".
>     You will notice that I will be skipping over a lot of fields
> options. This is because I'm only covering the fields which apply to
> goal: chucking Winamp's window and gaining us nearly full keyboard
> control from anywhere.
>     Move down to the "General Preferences" branch of the tree. TAB
> twice and make sure that your desired language is selected (for most
> us, that will be "English (US)"). If your desired language is not
> here, you may TAB to the "Find more languages" button and hit enter
> to try and track down yours. This step goes beyond the scope of this
> write-up, and therefore will not be discussed here.
>     TAB repeatedly until your focus lands on the "Show splash screen"
> checkbox. Since we're getting rid of Winamp's window anyway, lets make
> sure this is unchecked (it'll just be delaying us).
>     TAB about four times from this point and your focus should land on
> "Taskbar", which is an option in the "Show Winamp in:" group of
> We will definitely want to uncheck this, since this is the focal point
> of our goal (it's the option which will tell Winamp to behave and hide
> itself).
>     TAB once passed the "Taskbar" checkbox, and you should land on the
> "System tray                      " field, which is still in the same
> group of options. This is actually a personal preference option. Once
> you've got all your hotkeys defined and working in good order, you may
> elect to uncheck this option to remove still more clutter from your
> system as Winamp serves up your media. For now though, lets leave it
> unchecked so that, in the event that you need to leave the preferences
> dialog before your hotkeys are all set (or heaven forbid, Winamp or
> windows crashes somehow), you'll still have a means of interacting
> the Winamp application (via the system tray).
>     TAB thrice till you land on the "Scroll title in the Windows
> taskbar" field. We're banishing Winamp to the world of the unseen, so
> lets uncheck this field. Although it probably won't have any effect
> whilst Winamp is happily hiding in the system tray, it's better to be
> consistent.
>     We're done here, so lets tab a few times back to the tree view.
> next stop is further down in the "Titles" branch of the tree view, so
> lets navigate down there.
>     TAB twice and you will land in a group of three radio buttons
> pertain to the "Metadata Reading" options group. Since we're not going
> to actually view the file names as they're playing anyhow, lets change
> the option to read as "Read metadata only when file(s) are played". Do
> so by the normal means of selecting different radio buttons.
>     We're actually done with this branch of the tree view (that was
> only thing we needed to either change or make sure of). Lets SHIFT-TAB
> twice back into our tree view.
>     Now comes the big and, yes, rather long section of this write-up.
> We're going to actually start defining the hotkeys that we'll be using
> to control Winamp, now that we've kicked it into the corner to hide
> under the bed. Grab a cup of coffee, tea, water, or whatever it is
> suits your fancy, because we'll be here for quite a bit.
>     Whilst in the tree view, navigate down to the "Global Hotkeys"
> branch. I hope you've got a good supply of coffee or whatever it is
> you're sipping, because here we go.
>     TAB twice and make sure that the "Enabled" checkbox is checked
> (otherwise none of your hotkeys will work, you won't be able to change
> anything pertaining to hotkeys, and... this write-up will be
> worthless).
>     TAB again, and now you should have landed in a list view which
> contains some pre-made global hotkeys. My advice is to remove them all
> and start anew. It's a longer process, but a much cleaner one. You'll
> know exactly what you're adding, and therefore won't be making any
> duplicates (which Winamp will yell at you about).
>     Begin by making sure you're on the first item in the list view.
> Move your mouse cursor (JAWS cursor if you're using JFW) to your focus
> (PC cursor in JFW). If this first item isn't already selected, click
> it with the appropriate command from your screen reader or by manually
> clicking with the mouse (just make sure the pointer doesn't move in
> process). Once the item is highlighted, hit ALT+R. That item is now
> deleted.
>     Click the mouse again, and again the first item in the list will
> selected. Continue to repeat the deletion process till all the entries
> in the list view are removed.
>     Now a small blurb about how Winamp handles its hotkey labeling.
> Before you attempt to make a new entry, you must make sure that there
> are no selected items in the list view of defined hotkeys. If there
> no items there to start with, this is easy (there's nothing to be
> selected). If there are items, you must make sure that nothing's
> selected before you add new hotkeys. You can do this by navigating to
> the list view, then hitting either HOME or END to change the
> Now that you're sure the item under the focus is selected, hit
> CTRL-SPACE to unselect it.
>     Failing to follow this step will cause Winamp to think you're
> trying to change the command associated with that entry. You might
> several minutes blithely creating new hotkeys, when in fact all you've
> been doing is modifying the same highlighted entry with new commands
> new hotkeys.
>     Lets create our first item. TAB to the combo box that houses all
> the possible commands that can be triggered via a hotkey. We'll go in
> presented order, so lets choose the first item. Press home, you should
> be on "General: Copy file path". TAB over to the "Hotkey" edit field.
> Press the desired key combination which you'd like to be associated
> this item (for example, WINDOWS KEY+CTRL+C). Once you're satisfied
> the key combination you've chosen, TAB once to the "Add" button, and
>     Now that you've created your first item, you must make sure that,
> as stated earlier, no items are selected in the list view containing
> currently defined hotkeys. If you haven't moved your mouse since
> clearing the list of pre-defined hotkeys, it's in the perfect
> Just click your mouse, hit CTRL-SPACE, then you're ready once more to
> create a new hotkey.
>     Lets TAB back into that combo box and create a new entry for the
> next command, "General: Copy title". Navigate to it in the combo box
> (it's the second entry), then TAB once to the "Hotkey" edit field.
> the desired key combination for this command (WINDOWS KEY+SHIFT+C in
> case). TAB once when you're satisfied with the new key combination and
> hit SPACE on the "Add" button.
>     Repeat this process for each of the commands in the combo for
> you'd like a hotkey for.
>     If you need to change the hotkey for an existing entry: Navigate
> and highlight the entry in question in the list view of defined
> TAB twice to the "Hotkey" edit field, then press the new key
> you wish to have associated with this entry. Once satisfied with the
> key combination, TAB twice to the "Set" button and hit SPACE to change
> the entries hotkey definition.
>     Remember, always make sure that no entries are selected in the
> view of currently defined hotkeys if you wish to create a new one. If
> you're changing an existing entry, never activate the "Add" button,
> otherwise you will create a duplicate entry with the new hotkey. You
> find this useful if you'd like having multiple ways of accessing the
> same command, but that'll just clutter up your hotkey list and also
> things less conformed (and therefore slightly harder to remember in
> end).
>     Below is a list of the contents of the combo box of available
> commands accompanied by a small explanation as to what it does. If
> defined a hotkey for a command in the list, it will be placed after
> description of the command inside braces ({}). Any footnotes are in
> brackets ([]).
> * General: Copy file path  --  Copies the file path of the currently
> playing or highlighted file to the clipboard. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + C}
> * General: Copy title  --  Copies the title (as displayed by Winamp)
> the currently playing or highlighted file to the clipboard. {WINDOWS
> + SHIFT + C}
> * General: Quit  --  Exits Winamp. {WINDOWS KEY + F4}
> * ML: Show/Hide Media Library  --  Toggles the "Media Library" window
> between being shown (focused) and hidden. This way, you can keep
> hidden, but still access the media library to play an internet radio
> station, for example. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + M}
> * Playback: End of list  --  Moves to and plays the last file in your
> playlist (inactive if your playlist has only one item). {WINDOWS KEY +
> NUM 3}
> * Playback: Forward  --  Fast forward through a media file. {WINDOWS
> + NUM 9}
> * Playback: Jump to box  --  Brings up the "Jump to" dialog box, which
> allows one to move quickly to a file in a playlist. {WINDOWS KEY +
> + J}
> * Playback: Next in play list  --  Moves to and plays the next file in
> the playlist (if any) [1]. {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 6}
> * Playback: Open file dialog  --  Brings up the "Open file" dialog
> allows one to open and play a single file. {WINDOWS KEY + NUM PLUS}
> * Playback: Open folder dialog  --  Brings up the "Open folder" dialog
> which allows one to play entire folders and subfolders. {WINDOWS KEY +
> * Playback: Open location dialog  --  Brings up the "Open location"
> dialog, which allows one to play a media stream or file with an
> associated URL. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + NUM PLUS}
> * Playback: Pause  --  Pauses the currently playing media file.
> * Playback: Play  --  Plays or restarts the playing of a media file.
> * Playback: Play/pause  --  Pauses or plays the currently
> playing/highlighted media file [1]. {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 5}
> * Playback: Previous in play list  --  Moves to and plays the previous
> media file in the playlist (if any) [1]. {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 4}
> * Playback: Repeat off  --  Unconditionally turns repeat mode off
> (whether it was on or off to begin with).
> * Playback: Repeat on  --  Unconditionally turns repeat mode on
> it was on or off to begin with).
> * Playback: Rewind  --  Moves backwards through a currently playing or
> highlighted media file. {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 7}
> * Playback: Start of list  --  Moves to and plays the first file in
> playlist (assuming there are more than one file). {WINDOWS KEY + NUM
> * Playback: Stop  --  Stops the currently playing media file. {WINDOWS
> * Playback: Stop after current  --  Stops playback once the currently
> playing file has finished. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + NUM MINUS}
> * Playback: Stop w/fade  --  Stops the current file while fading it
> instead of an instant stop. {WINDOWS KEY + SHIFT + NUM MINUS}
> * Playback: Toggle repeat  --  Toggles the playing of files within the
> currently loaded playlist repeatedly (on/off). {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL +
> * Playback: Toggle shuffle  --  Toggles the shuffling of files within
> the currently loaded playlist (on/off). {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + NUM
> * Playback: Volume down  --  Decreases the playing volume of Winamp
> * Playback: Volume up  --  Increases the playing volume of Winamp [1].
> * Playlist: Remove duplicate entries  --  Remove duplicate entries
> the currently loaded playlist.
> * Rate Current Item: *  --  Rates the current file [2]. {WINKEY + CTRL
> 1} [4]
> * Rate Current Item: **  --  Rates the current file [2]. {WINKEY +
> + 2} [4]
> * Rate Current Item: ***  --  Rates the current file [2]. {WINKEY +
> + 3} [4]
> * Rate Current Item: ****  --  Rates the current file [2]. {WINKEY +
> CTRL + 4} [4]
> * Rate Current Item: *****  --  Rates the current file [2]. {WINKEY +
> CTRL + 5} [4]
> * Rate Current Item: No Rating  --  Rates the current file [2].
> + CTRL + 0} [4]
> * UI: About  --  Brings up the "About" dialog, which gives information
> about the current version of Winamp, etc. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL { B}
> * UI: Bring to front/hide Winamp  --  Hides or shows the Winamp
> application. {WINDOWS KEY + CTRL + W}
> * UI: Preferences  --  Brings up the "Preferences" dialog. {WINDOWS
> + CTRL + P}
> * UI: Select skin  --  Brings up the "Select skin" dialog, which
> the user to change the look of Winamp (not recommended for screen
> users).
> * UI: Toggle always on top  --  Toggles Winamp between "Always stay on
> top" and normal mode. Note: "Always on top" is not screen reader
> friendly!
> * UI: Toggle doublesize  --  Toggle Winamp between "doublesize" and
> normal mode (changes size of application window).
> * UI: Toggle EQ  --  Toggles the hide/show status of the Winamp
> equalizer.
> * UI: Toggle main window  --  Toggles the hide/show status of the
> main window.
> * UI: Toggle minibrowser  --  Toggles the hide/show status of the
> minibrowser.
> * UI: Toggle play list  --  Toggles the hide/show status of the Winamp
> playlist editor.
> * UI: Toggle play list windowshade  --  [3]
> * UI: Toggle windowshade  --  [3]
> * Visualization: Preferences  --  [3]
> * Visualization: Toggle  --  [3]
> Footnotes:
>     [1]: In some instances, this key arrangement is not necessarily
> best. For example, if one is using JFW inside Internet Explorer, the
> combination is intercepted by the screen reader. For example, if one
> tries to turn the volume down with {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 2}, JFW will
> intercept the keystroke and attempt to perform its own attached script
> or command. The easiest way around this, of course, is to not use the
> offending key combination. Change the {WINDOWS KEY + NUM 2} to
> like {WINDOWS KEY + SHIFT + NUM 2}, and things should work just fine.
>     [2]: The ratings commands allow one to "rate" the currently
> or highlighted media file according to how much they liked it, etc.
> number of asterisks next to each entry signifies your rating: one
> asterisk is worse, five asterisks is best. The "No rating" option is
> presumably a "I abstain" choice.
>     [3]: I haven't yet used this feature enough to give a fair
> definition or explanation of it. Therefore, rather than giving
> misleading information, I leave it up to others to interpret those
> entries.
>     [4]: These hotkeys refer to the keys on the numeric row above the
> home row, and not those of the number pad.
>     Once you've got all your global hotkeys set up, close the
> preferences dialog. Close Winamp, then reload it. (The best way to
> it even more invisible is to attach a hotkey to the Winamp shortcut,
> that way you don't even have to find the shortcut to open the
> If all went well, you should now have a completely invisible, fully
> functional media player that's totally keyboard driven. You've saved
> space on your taskbar, time switching between application windows, and
> gained a great deal of control over the application... all at your
> fingertips. No more juggling windows: Now you can work on that
> two-thousand page essay the Professor needs by tonight (Hopefully
> at least on page two already) and still enjoy your thought-provoking
> music.

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