to use Winamp with the NVDA screen reader
Winamp (which stands for Windows Audio MPEG
Player) is a program by Nullsoft which allows computer users to
play audio files (such as music), in a variety of digital audio
formats. These include MP3, MS-Audio and WAV. Winamp allows the
user to listen to SHOUTcast streaming radio broadcasts. The
program also allows the user to convert audio from analogue tape
recorders, phonographs, and other media to MP3 digital format.
This tutorial relates to Winamp version 5.666 build 3512.
Where can I get
To obtain a copy of Winamp please go to the
following link http://www.Winamp.com/
available for Winamp
There is an addon that you can get for Winamp to
allow more functionality while using Winamp with NVDA. To make
sure you get the most out of this addon, please take a minute or
two to read the instructions after installing the add on into
NVDA. To obtain the
addon please go to http://addons.nvda-project.org/index.en.html
and look for the extended Winamp addon.
After Winamp has been
Winamp can be started from the
desktop (or by going to it under the All Programs menu/Winamp
section). Press the Enter key to start the program.
has been launched
Make sure Winamp is in focus. You can press the
NVDA key and the letter T. This will speak out the title of the
program (for example: Winamp 5.666 Build 3512). Press the Alt key
+ the letter F to bring up the Winamp menu. Once it appears, you
can use the arrow keys to navigate the program’s options.
Press the Alt key + the
letter F to bring up the Winamp menu. (Winamp must be
opened first). Next, arrow down, until you hear Nullsoft Winamp,
then press the Enter key. This will bring up your default browser
so you can find out more information about Winamp such as credits,
version numbers and shortcut keys.
It may be a good idea to copy all the Winamp shortcut keys
into a Txt file, and save them for later reference when you go to
use the program.
Getting help in Winamp
Pressing the F1 key will bring up the help
section in Winamp. It can also be found under the Winamp Help
section in the main menu. The help section seems to be the most
underused section of any program.
The following sections may
answer some of your questions about Winamp…
view for Winamp
It has been advised that the best
view for a screen reader user is the Winamp Classic skin.
The Winamp classic skin can be found under the skins menu in
Winamp. Make sure that this menu item is checked, so that you know
you are using the Classic skin.
When the playlist editor is checked, any music
you have playing will come up in this editor.
You can use the Ctrl key and the Tab key to get to
this editor. When you are in the editor, you can use the up and
down arrow keys to see what music you have loaded. This will be
spoken out by NVDA.
Pressing the NVDA key and the Tab key will inform you of the song,
if you missed it. This will speak the focused object or area. You can also right click
in this section so more options are brought up. Use the multiply
key on the numeric keypad to do this. When this appears it will
give you a heap of different options (for example play item, send
to, ,jump to file, remove item and so on).
To find out more
information about the song
To view the file info on the song you are
interested in, (while in the playlist editor) locate the song you
want and press the Alt key + the number 3 key on the qwerty
keyboard. When the File Info dialogue comes up, you can Tab down
the different sections of this dialogue box. It will give you
information on the artist, song, year and so on if present.
Make sure you check out the different sections under the tabs
section (for example Basic info, artwork, id3v1 and id3v2 tabs). For the tabs, use the left
and right arrow keys and to go into any sections just use the Tab
Returning to the main
player area in Winamp
To get back to the Winamp layer simply use the Ctrl
key + the Tab key to focus you back on the player.
between windows in Winamp
If there are more than 2 windows open, when pressing the Ctrl key
+ the Tab key this will cycle you through them (for example the
Winamp player, the Winamp editor and equaliser).
The Winamp equaliser
This window is not really accessible to a screen
reader user. There are sliders you can adjust with a physical
mouse. If mouse
tracking is turned on in NVDA, you will hear the different
frequencies spoken as you move the mouse across the equaliser.
Holding down the left mouse button while on a slider can adjust
it. If you have some sight, this section may be of more use to
In this section there are also preset options in Winamp. You will
need to move the mouse around until you hear open presets, then
left click with the physical mouse. This will give you different
options as you arrow up and down this screen. Press the Enter key
to go into any of these sections (for example through and adjust).
To access the equaliser, you must have the equaliser in focus.
Press the letter S and it will give you a context menu with the
options Load, Save or Delete which you can arrow through. Arrow
down to Load, and press Enter. It will default to the word Load.
Press Enter. This may be titled Load Equal Preset. Here you can select the
equaliser settings for the type of music you are listening to (for
example Pop or Classical. Tab to load and press Enter. Take the
same steps again should you wish to change the Equal Preset to a
Listening to your
music in Winamp
In most cases, when people back up
their music, they will put them into folders. They might have a
main folder (called for example full albums) and within this
folder, they might have their entire music collection put into
separate folders, so that they are easier to find. Usually these
folders will have the artist’s name and album title. Within each
of these folders, there will be the songs for that album (maybe in
various formats for example mp3 or wma).
Adding music to your
playlist editor to listen to
To play any of these albums in Winamp (from the
main menu) arrow down to the play menu. A sub menu will then come
off it. Press right arrow, then arrow down to folder, then press
the Enter key. The next screen that comes up will put you into a
treeview. Use your up, down, right and left arrow keys to navigate
the tree until you find the music folder you are looking for (for
example computer...D drive...full albums...midnight Oil 10 to 1).
Press the Enter key and this album will be added to the play list
editor and start playing.
Creating a specific
playlist in Winamp
If you keep on repeating the process for adding your music
folders, you will notice your playlist getting bigger and bigger.
You might want to make a playlist with only certain types of music
in them (for example rock, pop, blues and so on). Once you have created a
playlist and you are happy with the songs in that playlist, the
next thing you might want to do is save your playlist. These could
be made into different playlists (for example rock, 70s music and
While in the Winamp editor where all of your
songs are located, press the Ctrl key and the letter S. This will
bring up the standard Windows save as dialogue box. NVDA will
default to the file name section of it. Put in the name of the
playlist you want it to be (for example 70s music). Tab around
until you hear where the file is going to be or you want it to be
(for example in Windows 7 it will say address). Tab around until
you hear save, then press the Enter key and the playlist will be
saved to the area you have specified.
The next time you want to play the selection that you have put
together, it is a matter of finding the playlist you want (for
example rock, pop, blues and so on). Once you have selected this,
the playlist you put together earlier on will be played for you.
Most people will save their playlist into the root directory of
where there music is stored (for example in your full albums
folder where all of your music is stored) or they may want to put
it onto a CD for backup.
songs in Winamp
When you are putting together your
new playlist, there may be songs you don't want in the playlist.
While in the playlist editor, locate the song you don't want then
hit the delete key, then that song will be gone.
Some Winamp shortcut
keys that you will find of use
Play song, make sure main window is active by pressing Alt
+ W twice
Shift + V
Stop song with fadeout
Pause and unpause song
Jump to next or previous song
For a full list of shortcut keys, please see the Nullsoft Winamp
menu (under Nullsoft Winamp/keyboard shortcuts).