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So you have an interest in skinning Winamp3? Excellent, you've come to the right place. This tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating a sample skin, from an empty folder to a fully functional WAL file. You can follow along step-by-step, or, if you already have a grasp of skinning and are looking for help with a specific aspect, use the Outline to jump to a particular section. This tutorial will show you how to make the skin below. The images, fonts, and pre-made scripts used in this skin are available in a ZIP file here. The XML and MAKI will be created as you follow the tutorial. If you follow this tutorial, I ask that you do so for entertainment and educational purposes only. Please do not submit this skin or a skin with only minor modifications to or other skin distribution sites. When you are ready to make a skin for submission, please use your own graphics and ideas.

Final Product


Whether you're following along with the tutorial or just using the site for reference, you're going to need some tools to skin. Making a skin does not necessarily require any expensive software nor a high-end computer. You can create decent skins using only freeware or programs you already have.

The first thing you should get, if you don't have it already, would obviously be Winamp3. Making sure you have the most recent version will ensure that your skin is compatible with what most others will be using. You can download the latest version here.

For the skin created with this tutorial, you won't need to make or alter any graphics, but if you are making your own skin, some sort of graphics software is needed. Most people use Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, GIMP, or even simple paint programs that come with your operating system. To reduce the size of your graphics, I'd recommend pngcrush. PNG is the preferred image format for skinning since it supports transparency and is compact in size.

For coding and scripting, you will need a text editor. I'd recommend that you use a text editor that supports syntax highlighting. You can find a few suggested programs on the Resources page. Additionally, for your MAKI scripts, if you choose to write any, you will need the MAKI compiler. The compiler comes with your Winamp3 installation, look for mc.exe in your Winamp3 directory.

Also important is a program that can extract from and compress to ZIP files. Skins are stored in WAL files, which are really just renamed ZIP files. I'd recommend either Winzip or WinRAR, although there are many more to choose from.

Finally, to round out your skinning toolset, you should check out the Winamp forums. Besides being a helpful and supportive community where you can seek help, members have made a bunch of programs designed to make your skinning experience less painful. Two that I have found to be of tremendous value are PSD2WAL and the more recent Gamma Worker. For assistance on using either program, check the Graphics page.


This tutorial assumes that you have at least some computer literacy. Beyond that, it was designed for an audience with little or no Winamp3-skinning experience. Throughout the three areas, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, the tutorial will get progressively more complicated and will assume that you have completed the previous sections. If at any time you require assistance, please visit the Winamp3 Skins/Scripting forum. Should you find any errors, please contact me via the Email link at the bottom of any of these pages. To get started, continue on to the Outline and select an area or section.

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