I needed to set up WinAMP to play m4a [MPEG-4 Audio] files, but was told that the only way to play it would be once I'd installed Quicktime on the system. However, I, like a lot of people suffer from a congenital [sic] aversion for QT - everything about it right from its file size, clunky interface, unintuitive short cuts, annoying tray icon, file association hijacking, browser hijacking, to the whole you-have-to-download-iTunes-or-suffer-the-consequences marketing BS, really gets under my skin.
So, I do my utmost to keep it away from my box with the same fervour as other rubbish like Real Player, [anything by] Yahoo! and the like. But, in the case of getting my m4a files playable via WinAMP [transcoding isn't really an option here], I was seemingly banging my head against a brick wall. Anyways, after much digging around, I found that it's actually rather simple, but just not documented well enough - hence this post :P
The solution below is outdated. You might want to read this instead.
This is how you do it:
- Download and install 3ivx.
- Once installed, test the m4a files in Windows Media Player.
- If successful, open WinAMP, and go into the preferences [Ctrl + P]. Under Plug-ins->Input, look for the Nullsoft DirectShow Decoder, and double click it/click configure below.
- In the pop-up, add the file extension of the audio file - m4a. Click OK, and if need be restart WinAMP, and queue 'em m4a files now - they should play fine :)
The same process will very likely apply to all the (x264 etc.) m4v video files that have started cropping up everywhere nowadays.