The State of AVS

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By tobsiv
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Today, I want to talk about recent changes in Winamp and AVS. Don't worry, this is not going to be a rant on how irrelevant AVS has gotten or how we all miss the old days. This article will focus on the software side of the matter.

To everybody's suprise, there were a couple of new AVS versions: 2.82, 2.83 and Justin's 2.9, otherwise known as Cockos Happy AVS. The former versions tried to align the outdated AVS with the changes that were introduced in newer Winamp versions, basically related to the localization of the software. Unfortunately, these version did not meet up anybody's expectations and they performed poorly, usually resulting in frequent crashes. Justin Frankel, the creator of the original AVS (and Winamp), did not manage to improve the situations with his fork. His new version of AVS focused on introducing a couple of (rather irrelevant) features.

As a reaction to all these problems, Nullsoft decided to bundle the older AVS 2.81d with its new Winamp versions (5.6 and on.) Again, things did not go too well due to changes in the architecture of Winamp. To make a long story short: no version of AVS will perform reliably with any new Winamp version.

The solution? Well, I wouldn't call it a solution, but there's a workaround. First, you need to install an old version of Winamp, the last version that works with AVS is Winamp 5.58. Then you will need any version of 2.81, the original or any modification like vis_avsmod. You will find a couple of more versions over here, but I recommend to stick with what I just described.

Of course, you can also use AVS with a couple of other players, most notably foobar2000 and XMPlay. I have previously written some instructions* on how to setup AVS for third party players.

Apart from that, you might still run into crashes when using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or any 64-bit version of Windows. Most of the times, those crashes are related with the Global Variables APE, but oddly enough they don't happen with every preset using that APE. Once your Winamp crashed because of that, the only way to get you out of problems is deleting the vis_avs.dat file (located in your Winamp/Plugins directory.) You can avoid this by installing and old Windows version in a virtual machine, such as the Windows XP Mode that comes with Windows 7 Pro (and Ultimate) or third party product like VMware Workstation or the free VirtualBox.

I hope you find this article helpful, please share it with everybody you know who has run into any of the described problems!

* backup link for the installation guide
© 2011 - 2021 visbot
anonymous's avatar
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natesuniverse's avatar
took a lil playing around as ElvisVR-War was the first one I went to and wouldn't render correct but a lil copy of the 5.58 avs dir and replace into the old I had got it all going and seems stable so far, much appreciation!
natesuniverse's avatar
Thank you! thank you! thank you! running in windows 7 with fullscreen. Oh how I have missed thee! Now to see if the old presets work.
MEANINGLESSexistance's avatar
would running avs in foobar on 64 bit win 7 make any difference as far as the global variables crashing issue? i do have winamp running in a vm, i am sure slower than what my computer is capable of. if so, there is a file missing from the instructions, and maybe a step or 2. i am not very familiar with foobar.
JoCe-from-France's avatar
my happy avs 2.9 with winamp 5.58 play fullsreen on windows 7 64bits only if launched as administrator!
InCUbuS-94's avatar
This could be a stupid question, but whatever, why he doesn't develop AVS anymore? I mean, there is a specific reason?
tobsiv's avatar
Frankel announced his resignation from AOL on January 22, 2004 [link]
WotL's avatar
Well written :thumbsup:

Now to get people to read it
anonymous's avatar
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