Winamp control with serial interface


Pasteler0 wanted to build an external control system for Winamp. Using the COM-port plugin he was able to wire up 4 control buttons directly to his serial port. The software also supports a 15 button mode. The switches are mounted in a clear plastic floppy disk box and connected to the computer serial port using CAT5. It’s a nice hardwired solution for control, but if you want just a simple remote, try WinLIRC.

[thanks geuis and ian]


  1. dave mabe says:

    This is kind of like the way I use a winamp plugin that creates an HTTP interface to send winamp commands. It’s really nice. I use it with Misterhouse to start playing music automatically when I walk into my office using motion detectors.

  2. B10hazard says:

    This is pretty cool, but the same thing could be done with the game port, and RMX

    In therory, you could have up to 4 buttons, plus 4 analog inputs, plus also use any other gamepad to further expand your controls

  3. Banzai says:

    Very awesome. I just finished making a dedicated music playing computer, and I was wondering if there was an easier way to use buttons to controll it other than the keyboard. It only took me about an hour to make this, I installed it into an empty bay on the front of the case using the blank bezel. Very cool and streamlined. :D

  4. adhit says:

    anyone have made tune table?

  5. Dave says:

    I’ve been using this same plug in for three years now at work. Threw together a 4 button controller out of parts I found in the computer scrap pile. Works great to contol the tunes even when the company mandated screensaver has popped up and you need to stop the music before answering the phone.

  6. n3ldan says:

    winamp? people still use windows?

    this doesn’t even come close to the laser/xmms combo.

  7. acidrain says:

    Anyone know of a way to use this in linux?

  8. Brian Shih says:

    You can also make a USB version of this with a PIC fairly easily. We enumerated ours as a game controller, but had to write host software to catch the game controller presses and convert them into winamp commands. That being said, the host software could turn them into any windows key presses so it had a lot more versatility. If you want source code (both assembly and python) you can check out our documentation here:

    Also, with some tweaking, the USB version should work in linux as well – i think there’s a usb library in C that’s open source for linux that you could use to capture keypresses, but I haven’t tried for myself.

  9. matt syme says:

    yeah ive been using this for ages, its great, i have one at my comptuer, on at my bed, one at my door and one in my shed. its really convinient

  10. rexdart says:

    Hmm..about that winlirc; do you have to build their transmitter, or can the software easily be “trained” to any IR emitter?

  11. carpespasm says:

    well, i just made one of these from cat5, a connector salvaged from an old serial mouse adapter, and some microbuttons from a dead vcr, once i got it going, i realized there is a schematic for a 15 button version in the help tab of the config program. still very simple and uses diodes to make a matrix

  12. Dax says:

    #10, I know that lirc can ‘learn’ transmitters so I’d assume that winlirc can.
    Anyone know of similar tutorials for parallel port, not serial? I only have one serial connector, and it’s part of a mouse (that I still use).

  13. Brett says:

    I just control winamp with my samsung i730 and a plug in called browse amp that allows you to control winamp by web browsers. The chick totally did you being able to control the music from your phone not to mention you can really freak out your roomates when you aren’t home by cranking up the tunes remotely.

  14. Andy B says:

    It looks OK, but you can’t beat the one i made a while ago for styling!

  15. dusch says:

    Pretty cool, I’ve just done it and housed in a nice case with metal finish. Very simple, but it works!

  16. pasteler0 says:

    dusch, well done man!!!

  17. Re: This is pretty cool, but the same thing could be done with the game port, and RMX

    RM-X has supported this same 4-button interface for over a year now. I like hack-a-day posting things like this, however, its a little sad to see something that was done well over a year ago, and done multiple times before.

    i would much rather see new, unique, and innovative things posted here (such as a telnet interface into a Lua session for direct command execution which can be used to remotely administrate a computer over the internet to que up .torrent files for download on a headless server)

  18. Duarte says:

    Have anyone seen anything like this, but as a stand-alone application to control the PC? such as running executable files, opening shortcuts to websites, etc
    Any Open Source projects around? =D
    Or any ideas how this can be easily implemented?

  19. Matthewbratt1879 says:

    i am making a 15 button one i got all the parts from and i built it into a small metal tin, any idias how to use the buttons like arrow keys or hotkeys?


  20. kovo1533 says:

    I have some question about using midi/gameport version. I have downloaded software called RMX for controlling winamp using joystick …… I calibrated it and wanted to use for volume control…… I have added this a functoin to axis Y, but it doesn´t work much good…… I wanted the higher volume….. so i moved with joystick up…….ewerything works, volume had gone up…….but then I moved with joystick down…..but volume didn´t go down but still up…… Isn´t this any bug in program ??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,441 other followers