mediaCue adds cue file support to Winamp 3. Cue files store information (Artist, Title, Time) describing smaller tracks within a large audio file.
mediaCue allows you to easily manipulate these cue files; and more
importantly, it presents you with a separate playlist composed
from the cue information which you can use to easily navigate to any
of the smaller tracks in the audio file, just like a normal
playlist. You can also save this cue information within an
ID3v2 tag (if the audio file is an mp3), eliminating the need
for an external cue file.
mediaCue also has an integrated mp3
splitter, capable of splitting both CBR and VBR mp3s.
mediaCue is the logical successor to the popular Winamp 2
plugin, mp3cue by Jon Dee. I decided to rechristen my Winamp 3
plugin mediaCue in the light of WA 3 no longer being only an audio
player; the actual plugin concept by itself is applicable to all types
If you wanted to rip / encode a mix CD or if you downloaded a
large song, you basically had 2 options.
In order for you to be
able to identify and seek to any particular song within the mix,
you would have to encode each song as a
separate MP3 file. So what's the
problem ? Well, if you are listening to the music using Winamp,
you'd probably get a pause between the tracks, as Winamp switches
between them. Playlist ordering can also be an issue, not to
mention managing all those files.
Alternatively, you can rip the entire CD as a single MP3;
but then how do get to a particular track within the mix ? Not only would you have
to remember the location of the track, but the slider is
hardly precise enough for large files. Needless to say, you don't
retain any information about the individual tracks, and you would
probably have to manage this information outside Winamp.
Let's talk about a video. Say you want to watch your favorite
scene in the movie. So what ? ... You've gotta remember, "Ooh, Arnie says
something real funny at 36 minutes and 23 seconds ..." ? And then
what ? Seek to 36:23 with the position slider ? Neither is that going
to be easy to remember (Arnie says funny stuff all the time in all his
movies) nor is it going to be easy to seek accurately and fast using
The Solution ... and how to Use it
The solution is this plugin ... you were expecting maybe the Easter
Load up the desired media file Winamp. Bring up the mediaCue
window in the playlist sidecar. (Click the long thin button with
the arrow on it in the playlist window [it's called the
poppler]. Click the title bar of the sidecar and choose mediaCue
from the list of windows displayed there)
In the mediaCue playlist window,
right click and choose Add Track. Type in the details. The time
fields are programmed for minutes, seconds and frames
respectively. (There are 75 frames per second). Continue adding
songs until all the songs in the album are added (or you are fed
up... whichever comes first).
Then just double click the song in
the mediaCue playlist to have Winamp seek to that position. hooray !
The Period (.) and Comma (,) keys can be used to go to the next
and previous song respectively. (configurable)
You can also set some attributes for the entire album by
right clicking and choosing Properties.
Now, you can export this playlist to a cue file. Simply right click
and choose Export Cue Sheet. The file will be appropriately
named and stored (see details section below) so that mediaCue will
automatically find and load it up the next time.
Sheet allows you to specify an alternate cue file to load as
the mediaCue playlist.
You can now save this cue info within an
MP3 audio file, eliminating the need for the extra cue file. Choose
Save to MP3
Remove from MP3 removes only the ID3v2 frame saved in the MP3
by the above command.
If you want to Remove or Edit a track, just right
click the appropriate track and choose the appropriate
You can extract a single track from the MP3 into a separate
MP3. Right click the track and choose Extract Into MP3.
You can also split the entire MP3 into its component tracks based on the cue
sheet. Right click the mediaCue window and choose split.
The current track playing is marked with a solid rectangle
Show Frame Time - Choose between a min:sec display vs. a
Search for cue sheet first - If you start playing an mp3, don't
check the ID3v2 tag for the cuesheet frame without first checking for an external cue
Jump to First Track - When the media file starts playing,
automatically jump to the first track specified in the cuesheet.
Write ID3v2 - The newly created MP3s will have ID3v2.
Force Xing header - Usually, only VBR MP3s possess a Xing
header. You can however force even a CBR to be created with an accurate Xing
File Format - Specifies how the component MP3 fils are to be named
My XMMS Plugin (XMMS mp3cue) This goes without saying, mediaCue and mp3cue are totally
compatible. For the actual file manipulation, I've even used the same code.
Jon Dee's Winamp 2 Plugin Cue sheets created by the Winamp 2 plugin can be read by
mediaCue and vice versa.
The same goes for MP3 support as well. Save to MP3 in mediaCue
and the Winamp 2 plugin will pick it up ... and vice versa *sigh*.
External Cue Sheet Editors You can create cue sheets
using external Cue Sheet Editors, or by hand and the plugin should
handle them properly, as long as standard cue sheet conventions
are followed. Some Audio CD rippers such as Exact Audio Copy create
the cue sheet for you, but I haven't personally tried that out.
Other Formats mediaCue can be used for all types of media files, as long as
Winamp 3 is capable of
seeking within them. hooray !
Press TAB to go to the next field in the dialog boxes.
Both menus, the track menu and the mediaCue menu come up on right
click ... you get the former if you right click on a song, and the
latter if you right click elsewhere in the window ... sometimes you
have to try several times before getting the right menu. Can you Suggest some
alternate behavior ?
General buffer checks have to be put in all over the place.
Disable MP3 specific options in the menus when you aren't playing
The splitter currently simply stops if it encounters bad Synch
within the MP3 - it will split upto the point with the bad Synch and
no more. Make it more tolerant of this / make the behavior
Give users the option of putting the mediaCue playlist in the
poppler or in another window or integrate it into the normal playlist
itself, if possible.
Certain media files apparently have a "contents" section stored within
them. If I get enough info on this, perhaps I can populate the
cuesheet automatically, so that you don't have to add the tracks in yourself.
Rewrite the documentation & this page as well. Include a text
readme with the plugin instead of this html file.
Download and Installation
Here's the installer. mediaCue v0.95b An
uninstaller and a readme page will be created in the Winamp 3
folder. Restart Winamp and the plugin window should show up in the
playlist sidecar. Can't get any simpler than that now, can it ?
mediaCue is quite useless without the poppler plugin becuase the
sidecar has minimal functionality without this plugin - and mediaCue
appears in the playlist sidecar. It will work, but you probably won't
be too happy. Download Poppler Replacement 2here It's a very minimal albeit useful plugin. (Thanks Plague).
mediaCue is freeware.Give some money
to your favorite charity and help your fellow man. And tell me about it.
If your audio file has a 3 letter extension (.mp3, .ogg, .wav ...), then the cue
sheet for that file will have the same name, but the extension
will be changed to "cue".
e.g. Audio File: myfile.mp3 Cue Sheet: myfile.cue
In any other case, (more or less than 3
letters in the extension) the file will be given an additional
extension viz. "cue".
e.g. Audio File: myfile.mpeg Cue Sheet: myfile.mpeg.cue
When exporting cue files from mediaCue, it will automatically supply
an appropriate name. If you stick to the supplied name, mediaCue
will find the cue sheet automatically when the file is next
loaded. Alternatively, you can specify any file you want when
importing a cue sheet for the current song, but then that would
have to be done manually each time.
As this is a BETA release I really would appreciate it if you guys
could check everything out ... from cue sheet parsing to ID3v2
integration and MP3 splitting for all kinds of MP3s etc. Do look at
the BETA ToDo section; I would really appreciate any suggestions and
bug reports. If there is a problem with the plugin, include as much
detail as you feel relavent.
I'm usually a paranoid tester. You probably wouldn't believe some of
the scenarios I'd test. But then again, it's possible that I missed
something (oops). The plus point here is that I've re-verified my
code while coding this plugin - that's because while coding my XMMS
plugin, I documented the program instead of programming the document
Non standard cue sheets can cause the plugin to behave
"inappropriately"; I suggest creating a cue sheet using the
plugin or an editor. The "by hand" method is error prone, and using
the plugin is simple enough, isn't it ?
I would really really
appreciate any suggestions or bug reports from you. A few words of
appreciation would go a very long way too. If you want to
volunteer to test out new versions of the plugin, drop me a
line. The only reason why the release gets delayed is because I
have to test the plugin myself ... and I usually keep putting
it off for later. Believe me, testing the mp3 support is no
Email: email@example.com MSN: infernalproteus at hotmail dot com
First of all - Jon Dee, for writing the original plugin and taking the
time to explain all the details of his plugin, ID3 tags and
Trance in general. His plugin is here
Nullsoft - For Winamp, Wasabi and their amazing free Installer - NSIS.
The guys on the Winamp 3 Developer forum very helpful
esp. WHEREamI, Tuatara, Russ and Plague - and
you, my BETA testers as well :). Thanks.
Last modified: Thu Nov 13 09:53:28 India Standard Time