how to disable gracenote cddb on winamp

This is one of the most annoying thing about WinAmp. If you are a WinAmp user, you will notice that everytime you attempt to do playback on your own "compilation CD", you will get this annoying screen:



Basically, for those who are lucky, this screen will flash once, and go away on its own everytime you switch tracks during playback. For those who are one of the unlucky ones, it will require you to click on the 'Close' button because it the message will not go to away. Which is sort of a killjoy because it affects the the software by causing a short pause during playback.

What's happening here is, there is a plug-in in the WinAmp that looks up the audio CD information over the internet called CDDB. Here's an entry from Wikipedia that explains what CDDB is and how this works:


CDDB (which stands for Compact Disc Database) is a licensed trademark of Gracenote, Inc. It is a database for software applications to look up audio CD (compact disc) information over the Internet. This is performed by a client which calculates a (nearly) unique disc ID and then queries the database. As a result, the client is able to display the artist name, CD title, track list and some additional information.


... CDDB was designed around the task of identifying entire CDs, not merely single tracks. The identification process involves creating a "discid", a sort of "fingerprint" of a CD created by performing calculations on the track duration information stored in the table-of-contents of the CD (see the following section for an example calculation). This discid is used with the internet database, typically either to download track names for the whole CD or to submit track names for a newly-identified CD.

Since identification of CDs is based on the length and order of the tracks, CDDB cannot identify playlists in which the order of tracks has been changed, or compilations of tracks from different CDs. CDDB also cannot distinguish between different CDs that have the same number of tracks and the same track lengths.

So the problem is, when you do a compilation CD on your own, you don't really have a discid, and your compilation disc's information will not be available on the internet database.

Therefore, when the application/plug-in prompts that your CD is not found in the database, you can either:

  1. You can create a database entry for your compilation CD. Basically, the application/plug-in will give you a window to "add" your compilation cd's track information onto the Internet database. OR
  2. You can disable the CDDB function on your music player altogether.


I prefer the latter because


Now that you have a quick grasp on what is CDDB, I'm going to show you how you can disable the CDDB function on the WinAmp player. For this example, I will be using the latest version of WinAmp, which is version 5.5. So here's what you do.


  1. Launch WinAmp.
  2. For those using either WinAmp Classic/Modern skin, left click on the icon on the top left-hand corner of the application window, as such:

    winamp classic/modern screenshot


    then left-click on Option -> Preferences.

    For those using Winamp Bento/Big Bento skin, left-click on menu Option -> Preferences, as such:

    winamp bento/big bento screenshot

  3. Follow the instructions below to access the plug-in configuration (click to enlarge):

    winamp configure screenshot

  4. Disable the CDDB by unchecking the Gracenote 'Use MusicID' box. Click 'OK' when done.

    disable gracenote musicID



That's it. Again, have fun trying.

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9:12:00 AM,




25 Comments:
At Dec 7, 2007, 7:19:00 AM, Anonymous blue buddha dream said...

Thanks, disabling this annoying feature is now keeping our Winamp from crashing every time we try to play a CD. Who needs it?!! Good article!  

At Dec 7, 2007, 9:56:00 AM, Blogger mellowed blues said...

Thanks for your comment blue buddha dream. I've always hated this feature.  

At Feb 4, 2008, 1:03:00 AM, Anonymous P-Nutt said...

fuk gracenote! they had users for years donate cd data to fill the database, leading them to believe this was to be a public user controlled service - then they claimed all the data as their own and started requiring people pay them for the information the users had donated. i prefer freedb - totally user supported and open.  

At Feb 4, 2008, 9:03:00 AM, Blogger mellowed blues said...

Let's hope freedb don't go commercial on us, or worse still, get bought over by Microsoft.  

At Mar 23, 2008, 12:24:00 AM, Anonymous Luiz said...

Muchas gracias amigo, esto me sirvio mucho (Spanish)

Luiz  

At Mar 23, 2008, 8:25:00 AM, Blogger mellowed blues said...

De nada, Luiz.  

At Jul 6, 2008, 1:54:00 AM, Anonymous richard said...

thank you very much. I like winamp but hated this feature. Finally I'm rid of it thanks to you!!  

At Oct 15, 2008, 12:17:00 AM, Anonymous Ed0kun said...

Man, you just saved my life...could'nt find any web page that was talking about it in my native language (french) and your site was the first that explains it so easily :D
Thank you!  

At Jan 11, 2009, 5:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks!  

At Jan 18, 2009, 3:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this. this is really great and you are the best.  

At Feb 15, 2009, 7:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much! This was really useful! :)  

At May 14, 2009, 1:13:00 PM, Anonymous mcduggal said...

or the bang on advice  

At Sep 4, 2009, 12:35:00 AM, Anonymous Michel said...

Thank you, one less aggravation....  

At Sep 16, 2009, 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, just wanted to say thanks. I'm running 7 and gracenote was continously causing WinAmp to crash. A quick google results link to your article and I had confirmed the name of the plugin. Problem was dealt with in half of the time that was taken to write this comment.  

At Oct 11, 2009, 7:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful! Thanks much for this fantastic tip to disable an annoying feature!

You rock  

At Nov 8, 2009, 5:21:00 AM, Blogger Liz said...

thanks so much, mellowed blues! you have saved me much frustration. whenever i would click "abort" to stop gracenote, my winamp would just freeze and i'd have to force quit... so i tried looking in the preferences to disable it but couldn't find "gracenote" anywhere. as if they would make it easy to disable this stupid feature, right? thanks again for pointing me in the right direction. :)  

At Nov 15, 2009, 9:04:00 PM, Blogger Srđan said...

Thank you!!  

At Nov 24, 2011, 8:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!Tina from Brazil  

At May 17, 2012, 9:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the easy how to disable such an annoying feature!  

At Apr 7, 2013, 8:29:00 AM, Blogger Watsda Pointe said...

Thank you! Winamp is now useful.  

At Jun 7, 2013, 7:39:00 PM, Anonymous Brockney C said...

Genius, thank you. I installed Winamp today because I could not comprehend why Media Player would not display the tracknames even though a CDJ can.

The Gracenote thing was not quite as frustrating but it was a little bit annoying so disabling that was a touch!  

At Feb 18, 2014, 10:13:00 PM, Blogger Gober said...

Seven years old article and still very useful. Thank you!  

At Nov 16, 2014, 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SO MUCH! I've hated Gracenote for years, especially because it caused the track to pause right at the beginning. And I just don't care about getting that useless information! Well done!  

At Jul 17, 2015, 1:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was poking around in "Preferences" trying to disable it but couldn't quite work it out on my own. Thanks very much for the tip!  

At Aug 11, 2018, 1:26:00 AM, Blogger Brad Geiger said...

Thanks  


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