Introduction: External Winamp Control

Picture of External Winamp Control

Nowadays, winamp have full support to keyboard shortcuts. But some time, when winamp didn’t have this feature, I was thinking in some way to make a easy way to change music by simply pressing one button, it would make things faster and would help me to change music during games. So I decided to make a external control painel, to make it easier to change musics, volume up or down, toggle shuffle and many other features by pressing just one button. I found one winamp plugin that shows how to configure a external control using the Serial Port, being able to make 4 or 15 buttons control. I decided to make this, step-by-step, how to do it, hope you enjoy.

My site for those who would like to see more of my How-To's:
Pasteler0's Tech Blog


1. 4 push-buttons
2. SERIAL connector
3. Connector Box
4. Cable
5. Soldering iron and accessories

As you can put the buttons wherever you want, I decided to put mine in one old diskbox.
I decided to use a network cable to connect the Serial connector to the buttons, because its easier to organize and makes the work simplier and faster.

Step 1: Step 1

Picture of Step 1

Making the control:

1. Looking in the scheme, we see that we have to connect one side of each buttons to one cable, these will be solded in the pin number 4.

Step 2: Step 2

Picture of Step 2

After have done the soldering in one side of each button, you must then connect the other side with a cable that goes to the pins of the serial, now however is important that they are connected with the indicated pins (Just follow the scheme) .
Here you can see a picture of my work until now, it looks quite ugly I know, sorry

Step 3: Step 3

Picture of Step 3
Configuring Software

The software I used in this was COM-port Winamp Control V.1.42.

1. You must set the COM port you are using, usually normal computers have up to 2 ports, so just select the one you plugged the control.
2. Select the number of buttons does your control have. (In this HowTo, we’d choose the “4 buttons”)
3. Now you much remap the buttons, Its now the time you’ll see it is everything working. If you are able to remap all the buttons, congrats, its working!!
4. Its ready, now the last step, you have to configura what you want the buttons to do. This can be found in the “WINAMP” of the program. There you can setup many different options, like Volume Up, Volume Down, Next Song, Previous Song.
5. One cool stuff is there in “Type:”, where you can configure the way you wanna the buttons pressing to respond.

  • Click: Just one click to make it work. Can work with one or double-click.
  • Down/Up: This will activate the option when you press and a different one when you release the buton.
  • Turbo: Here you configure the options for holding the button, usually used for Volume Up and Down.
  • Clicks + Turbo: You can configure “Clicks” and “Turbo”Option at the same time
  • Clicks + Hold: You can configure “Clicks” and “Hold” Option at the same time

Step 4: 4 Step

Picture of 4 Step

And here is the final work... :)
Please visit my website for more howto's
pasteler0's tech blog


deathfromabove (author)2011-04-12

I really like this, anyone know how i could incoporate it into a VB project or make it send keyboard shortcuts?

Yerboogieman (author)2009-07-18

I want to use this in my car.

kt2112 (author)Yerboogieman2009-09-30

same here this would be great when putting an old laptop in car for music

FixedHDD (author)2008-09-19

hehe i'm going to build this right now

but i'll get the controlswitches direct in my computercase that means i'll drill 4 holes in the case....

that would be a perfect MP3-Machine

Pictures will come

FixedHDD (author)FixedHDD2008-09-20

Done! But this is only the bare electric circuit. now i'll paint my case black n yellow and then it's time to drill

axel5890 (author)2008-06-04

i like the green switches. where did you buy them at? they look like radioshack push buttons switch

Gonazar (author)2008-01-29

Can you adapt this for a usb port instead?

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2007-11-12

hey the software wont work for me. it saves it as unreadable when I use FireFox, and it opens a new tab with gibberish when I use Internet Explorer.

maybe you could give me a link to where you got it - all the files I download from instructables do this to me.

Robotrix (author)2006-09-23

Here's mine! I made my case from cardboard cause i'm ghetto

tj the gnome (author)Robotrix2007-05-29

lol i made a cardboard case for a broken PDA i fixed

pasteler0 (author)Robotrix2006-10-16

nice done! =)

Peter_Pansen (author)2006-11-15

This guy build one out of a Rotary phone control
Unfortunately the program is very crapy. You have to close it, or you won't able to shutdown Windows, and sometimes it disables itself.

But the idea is very funny I got one to

Brett (author)2006-09-05

Just about finished mine :). Last thing to do is the case.. but everything works so far. Brett

pasteler0 (author)Brett2006-09-08

Show pictures when done! =)

trebuchet03 (author)2006-09-04

I wish my laptop had a serial connection :P But you score an A :D

rotor (author)trebuchet032006-09-05

Internet to the rescue!

ok, yeah, it's a little more intrusive that you probably want, but I just wanted to post this for completness.

trebuchet03 (author)rotor2006-09-05

haha yeah, I know about those thingies :P I have the schematic on how to build one yourself somewhere in the depths of my hard drive too :P But $20 is a little steep :P

godsdog (author)2006-09-03

Do you happen to have pin configs for more than 4 buttons or is this the max? (thinking about using 16 button config utilizing binary)

Woeka (author)godsdog2006-09-04

If you install the COM-port Winamp Control programm go to help and then to the 15 button tab and there is a ... guess what ... 15 button version :)

Brett (author)2006-09-03

I like your instructable a lot. I am going to try it on my own as well. Two questions: What are the grey numbers on the left of the wiring configuration? I think the black ones are the pin on the serial port, but not sure what the grey ones are. Also, one prong from each of the buttons all connecting at a central wire (where port 4 is)?? Thanks! Brett

Brett (author)Brett2006-09-03

Nevermind question 2, still wondering about question 1. Brett

pasteler0 (author)Brett2006-09-03

The numbers in gray show the pins you mush use if you make it using a DB25 instead of a DB9

saites2001 (author)2006-09-03

Very adaptable. I like it.

About This Instructable




More by pasteler0:MouseMod ProjectBlinking ledsExternal Winamp Control
Add instructable to: