I use FreeAmp on Win 95 and thank the development team for great freeware.

FreeAmp can be used as a player for lectures, audio books and other training
material. After playing these lower bitrate recordings, I've found a few
bugs and have a wish list.


1. When playing back mono recordings that have been compressed using the mp3
codec bundled with Media Player, FreeAmp reports the mono recording as

2. FreeAmp does not minimize when the Minimize All Windows is activated.

3. FreeAmp was then minimized by clicking on the Minimize button. Another
application was then opened. When the FreeAmp button was clicked to restore
the FreeAmp window, only two small sections of the FreeAmp screen were
refreshed. It seems like paint messages are not being processed properly.

Wish List.

1. Finer control when seeking.
If the main window width was adjustable horizontally, the seek scroll bar
would be longer and thus offer finer seek precision for long recordings. I'd
like to have a small arrow button at each end of the scroll bar so that the
user could seek forwards or backwards a user defined amount. A variation of
this feature is used on some minidisk models to facilitate finding a
particular spot in a lecture.

2. Greater control of all functions using the keyboard.
I like the keyboard shortcuts in Windows Media Player.

3. Command line control of starting and finishing position and some other

4. Control of all functions using other programs.
I'd like to be able to control FreeAmp from a word processed document. e.g.
Click on a button in a document and the player starts at a certain offset in
a file. Poll the playback position from a user defined function.

5. An 'Remember' option to make FreeAmp start again at the same track and
the same offset in the track that it was when it was stopped. This feature
has been included in at least one hardware mp3 player. The assumption that
users always wish to start a track at the beginning does not hold true for
long material like lectures. My Rio is a pain when it resets to the start of
the track after pause has been on for a short time. Some of my tracks are
over 90 minutes long.

6. Playback speed (tempo) adjustment.
This is implemented in some Aiwa minidisk models as double speed playback.
The pitch does not change. Useful for fast revision of lectures. Would
adjusting something in the decoder make this possible? There are other uses
for this, especially if playback could be slowed down without altering the
pitch. Musicians could find it very useful.

7. Pitch adjustment.
Singers could have a single backing track which could be played back in any
key by selecting the appropriate preset pitch setting. This feature combined
with the tempo adjustment could be very useful. Is it possible to adjust the
decoded frequencies somewhere in the decoder by a user defined amount?

This are implemented in some mp3 and minidisk hardware. A bookmark defining
a track as well as an offset in a track would be useful for locating subject
matter in large collections of training data.

9. Control from a HTML document.
Some time ago, Netscape implemented LiveConnect. Voxware produced their
ToolVox player that could be totally controlled from JavaScript. This was
useful for the 300 byte/sec ToolVox recordings. Since then, I've often
wanted the same power over a player capable of much higher quality. Is it
possible to implement something like this for FreeAmp?

10. Playback of other formats.
I realise that FreeAmp is a multi-platform player, but I've sometimes wished
that FreeAmp could play some of the other formats supported by the Windows
ACM. Why? The ACELP format offers much better quality at very low bitrates
than does MP3 and is a better choice for mono speech where lower bandwidth
is important. Program logic may go like this: Is the .wav file format MP3?
Use the Xing decoder ELSE use the ACM Driver Mapper to select the correct
codec for playback.

David Smith.


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