Though Winamp has by default a very good mp3 decoder, it lacks many features such as replaygain, resampling, higher bit-depths, etc. Here is where the mpeg123 input plugin by Otachan comes in. This plugin is considered to be the best decoder for mp3 so far. The sound quality is crystal clear. The main plus point is that it supports ReplayGain. ReplayGain is used to make the volume of all audio files equal. I recommend MP3Gain to analyse your MP3 collection. MP3Gain will store the ReplayGain information into the ID3 tag.
Ok, so t start with, we will need the mpeg123 input plugin. Get it here. Dont worry about the chinese 😛 just click on the link which says “in_!mpg123_118ot104.2.7z Ver. 1.18y ot104.2 (342KB) (2006/4/11)”. This version is the current version at the time of writing. Then extract this 7zip file. Go to the “bin” folder. There will be three folders here, normal, SSE, and SSE2. Open SSE if you have a P3 or AMD K7 processor, SSE2 if you have a P4 or AMD K8 processor. If you are not sure, open the Normal folder. There you will find a file “in_!mpg123.dll”. Copy this file into Winamp’s plugin directory (C:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins” by default). Also, there will be a file “in_mp3.dll” inside the plugins folder. Rename that file to “in_mp3.old”. Now open Winamp. Go to Options -> Preferences -> Plugins -> Input. There you will see the entry for this plugin as shown in the screenshot below.
Double click on the Shibatch plugin. You will be presented with the following window.
Set up the options as shown above. Then, goto the ReplayGain tab, and set it up as shown below.
That’s it you are done! Now you can play MP3 files at pristine quality! If the files dont play after installing this plugin, you can try lowering the bit-depth in the output format. If you want to go back to the default input plugin for some reason, just delete “in_!mpg123.dll” from the plugins directory, and rename “in_mp3.old” to “in_mp3.dll”. Have fun!