WRINKLES: How to Use Stereo Bluetooth Headsets with Winamp
Note: the “Wrinkles” section of this cell phone blog is aimed at sharing handset-related tips and tricks. It also covers everything which is associated with the Symbian OS, accessories, applications and so forth one way or another. It could have been titled “tips and tricks” or “how-tos”, but I wanted to avoid those commonplace titles.
If you own a stereo Bluetooth headset, sometimes you might want to pair it with your computer rather than your handset. The benefits are obvious. Imagine your handset battery doesn’t have enough juice. Imagine your bluetooth-enabled notebook or PC is around and you don’t want to spend some time on transferring music to your smartphone. In these cases, you can listen to music via a good number of applications such as Windows Media Player or Winamp. By default, Windows Media Player 11 (which is installed on Windows Vista and can be downloaded for Windows XP) is capable of recognizing your headset key presses. This means you can use your stereo Bluetooth headset to control various aspects of audio playback. However, the problem is that the fast forward and rewind functions don’t work well with Windows Media Player. Windows Media Player is also a tad sluggish compared with other apps.
If you want to get a smoother experience, use the free and powerful Winamp media player in conjunction with stereo Bluetooth headsets. By default, Winamp doesn’t recognize headset key presses, so you should activate the “Winamp Preferences” dialog (Control+P), go to the “General Preferences” tree view, locate “Global hotkeys”, check two check boxes which say “Enable default multimedia key support” and “Global hotkeys enabled”, and close the dialog. If you use the TAB key to navigate around this dialog, the two check boxes are located just after the “Close” button.
Nokia BH-503, Nokia BH-604, and Nokia BH-903 are all picked up by Winamp 184.108.40.2068 and other 5.XX Winamp releases. Last but not least, make sure “Global hotkey support” is installed if you want to customize Winamp components and plug-ins upon installing the application.
For screen reader users
If you use JAWS for Windows and have defined Control+ALT+J as the hot key which brings up the application, upon enabling “Global hotkey support” and closing the “Winamp Preferences” dialog you get an error message because one of the Winamp hot keys conflicts with your JAWS hot key. While the error is quite harmless, you may want to use another hot key for JAWS.