Billy documentation 1.02

What can it do
How to use
Frequently asked questions
Keyboard shortcuts
Background information

Billy is a no nonsense audio player that allows you to quickly play an entire directory of MP3 files.

[mark=02]What can it do
Billy can play WAV, MP3, and OGG files. It can usually load entire directories of MP3 files 2 to 8 times faster than winamp or media player. Billy plays music albums without any gaps between tracks, so an overlapping applause or beat will continue. The player is 100% controllable by keyboard and its easy finder and special rename functions help you to find and organize your files quickly.

[mark=03]How to use
It's practical to have a main music folder where your music files are located. In that folder you can create subfolders containing your artists and/or albums. To load your music files to your playlist, hit [F4] and select the folder of your choice.

Press [Enter] on a file in your playlist to play. Press [Space] to stop. You can drag the files into your preferred order. You can also change the playmode (ie. to shuffle) with [ctrl + m].

Files are displayed as filenames. Most music players visualize music files with embedded tags. It take ages to load these tag-files, therefore Billy doesn't support tags. No need to worry! Hit [F2] to rename a file directly from your playlist. In order to view your playlist with its parent (sub)folders (which could be the artist and album name), try hitting [F8].

If you are somewhat experienced with playing your music with Billy, you might want to organize your music collection. Everyone has his own way to do this, but Billy has a unique multiple filename replacer, which can rename entire albums with a single click. Select the multiple files and hit [F2].

It's easy to find a file in your collection. Add all your files to the playlist and type a part of the name of the song or album you are looking for. The easy finder pops up with the found results. Select the file you want to play, and hit [enter].

Pressing F5 checks the playlist for new/removed files. This can be very useful when you are downloading songs and want to check if they're completed. If so, they will be added to the list (according filedate, so you can find them easily).

Pressing [ctrl + del] (crop) while having a playlist with queued items, gives a playlist with only the queued items.

Pressing [F2] (File info) on multiple files, launches the multiple filename replacer. Use this to rename entire albums with a click.

Use the [~] key (above the tab key) to jump to the currently playing song.

Hit the [pause] key on your keyboard (right upper key), to lower the volume with 30%, which can be useful if you receive a telephone conversation and quicly want to lower the volume. The coolest thing: this hotkey always works, even when Billy is minimized and you're working inside another application. Hit [alt + pause] to go to the next song, this also works globally.

Hit [ctrl + space] if you don't trust your sound. Billy will maximize your windows mixer, unmutes the wave channel and resets panning.

[mark=05]Frequently asked questions
Can Billy play radio stations or video files?
Billy is meant to play audio, not video. I am working on a small simple dedicated Billy radio version too, which will be in the Billy package. I used to have the radio and mp3 player in one, but I decide to split them up in two different applications to stay small, dedicated and fast! :)

Where are the MP3 tags?
Billy intentionally doesn't show MP3 tags for songs. Read why.

I've installed Billy and I also have winamp on my system. At first my MP3 files opened in Billy, but after a while winamp is opening them. How do I get Billy to open them again?
Probably winamp is claiming them back at start-up. Unselect the MP3 association in winamp. Re-check the MP3 association in Billy settings.

How to get rid of the tiny Billy if I double click a file
Go to the Billy settings and change the 'Double click a file in Explorer' option to 'Enqueue in playlist mode'.

I don't hear anything while playing with Billy
1. Make sure your Billy volume is at 100%
2. Press [ctrl + space]
3. Install latest DirectX and soundcard drivers.

How do I change the volume?
Drag the 100% sign up and down or use the numpad - and + keys.

I want to install a newer version, what should I do?
Just install the new one over the old one. Your settings will be kept.

What are Billy's known minimum system requirements?
- 133MHz Pentium I or comparable
- 32MB RAM
- 1MB Hard Disk Space
- 16bit Sound Card
- Windows 98
- DirectX 3
If you have an older system, mail me.

Billy is kind of gay. Where are the skins?
Billy will stay skinless. You can modify the playlist colors, font type and font size though, see the Tweak section of this documentation.

What's the difference between opening a folder and a favourite?
Favourites are static, which means that the playlist is saved exactly like you saved it. Track order is saved. Any unfound files will stay in the list.
Opening a folder is dynamic, it just builds a playlist based on the files found and the default sorting setting.

Winamp and almost every other player have the time of the songs in a column next to the title. Why doesn't Billy have that?
It would lower the performance of Billy dramatically since every single file in the list has to be read. You can always select a few songs and press Ctrl + T.

If I choose the 14 LED level meter, my volume indicator disappears. Where did it go?
Good question :) click on the dB indicator and drag your volume to your desire. Why? If you know a proper way to place the volume in Billy, please mail me, because we couldn't find a good place, and most advanced users who use the 14 led, don't need volume and want pure 100% sound.

How can I always start Billy with an empty playlist?
Clear your playlist.txt and make it read-only.

Does Billy support Surround Sound in 4.1 or 5.1 outputs?
Yes though not tested yet. The level meters are two channels only.

Can Billy handle any Winamp visualization plugins?
No, but maybe in the future.

The favorites order changes every time I add a new one. How can I stop this and keep my hotkeys?
Rename your favorites with a number prefix since they are sorted alphabetically. For example:
01 - Radiohead
02 - Muse
03 - Placebo

Any plans for Linux or the Mac?
The sound engine I use is Bass. Which doesn't support Linux or Mac. Therefore I am stuck to that limitation.

[mark=10]Keyboard shortcuts
PauseSpace or numpad 0
StopHit numpad 0 twice
Next / previousTAB / Shift + TAB
PlaymodeCtrl + M or click statusbar

Open folderF4
Add folderF3
Add fileCtrl + O
File info (rename)F2
Remove from listDel
Remove from diskShift + Del
Explore from fileCtrl + E
Crop selected or queuedCtrl + Del
Finda..z or Ctrl + F
Add to favoritesCtrl + D
Organize favoritesCtrl + B

Toggle view playlist styleF8
Toggle level metersCtrl + L
Refresh playlistF5

Extra functions
Volume- + or drag 100% sign up/down
Softmute (30% of volume)Pause key (global hotkey)
Next trackAlt + Pause key (global hotkey)
Previous trackShift + Pause key (global hotkey)
Multiple filenames renamerF2 on multiple selection
Minimize to trayF11
Jump to playing file~ key
StopHit numpad 0 twice
Seek normal (4 sec)Cursor keys <- ->
Seek fine (0.1 sec)Shift + cursor keys <- ->
Seek big (60 sec)Ctrl + cursor keys <- ->
Toggle shuffle, repeat, etc.Click on statusbar
Clear queued /shuffled listChange playmode
Move itemsCtrl + up/down, drag items
Select allCtrl + A
Save playlistCtrl + S
Load playlistCtrl + Shift + O
Copy filenames to clipboardCtrl + C
Explore from billy directoryCtrl + Shift + E
Realign windows mixerCtrl + space
Calculate total playlist timeCtrl + T
Move files up/downCtrl + cursor key up/down
Sleep timerAlt + T

Numpad keys
PlayNumpad Enter
Stop/PauseNumpad 0
SeekNumpad 1 / 3
Previous / Next trackNumpad 4 / 6
Change volumeNumpad + -
Change playmodeNumpad 8
Selection up/downNumpad 5 / 2
DelNumpad .
Queue / Unqueue trackNumpad 9
Open dirNumpad *
Add dirNumpad /
Billy love mode :)Numpad 7

[mark=06]Background information
Manual uninstall
- Uncheck the registered file types
- (Re)move the Billy directory

Level meters
Billy uses calibrated level meters.
The default 6 led meter has the following dB values:
-60 -30 -15 -6 -3 -1
The 14 led meter has the following dB values:
-oo -60 -40 -30 -25 -20 -15 -12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0

I do my best to keep memory and cpu usage very low. If you want to keep cpu en mem usage low, minimize Billy to the systray, since all visuals are turned off then. Pressing numpad 0 (Stop) twice releases the soundcard and sound engine.

Track changes between mp3 files have an annoying gap by nature. Billy tries to remove this gap without brutally discarding silence intended by the artist. Therefore if you have badly ripped files, ie. ones with 2 sec silence at the end of each track, this unwanted silence will be recognized as artists intended, so it will be played. Make sure you have files of good quality.

I don't want the settings form get too full, so for all you nerds out there; you can tweak Billy a bit more. Mostly by opening your Billy.ini, add a [Tweak] section, and add a few secret keys.

Don't put Billy in the tray when minimized
file: root\billy.ini
section: [Tweak]
key: minimize_to_tray = 0
default: 1

Modify softmute percentage
file: root\billy.ini
section: [Tweak]
key: softmute_percent = 0..100
default: 30

Modify the colors of Billy, like Winamp5
Add this file to your Billy folder and restart Billy. You can modify the colors by editing that file.

Do not restore file associations at startup
file: root\billy.ini
section: [Tweak]
key: claim_associations_at_startup = 0
default: 1

AuthorSanne Schaap
Artwork, concept and testingEmiel de Jager
Level meters algorithm & calibrationGert-Jan Wiersema
Support & code portionsLaurenz van Gaalen
Sound engine and decoderBass by Ian Luck (un4seen)
InstallerInnoSetup by Jordan Russel
Program CompressionStripReloc by Jordan Russel
Parts of TCoolTrayTroel Jakobsen
Many tipsPeter Below
Beta testingSammy Dirksz
Henk Schaap
Frouke van Es
Ivo van Boxmeer

By using Billy you agree with the points described below.

The author shall not be held responsible for any damages, direct or indirect, that may arise from the use of Billy. The author accepts no commitment or liability to support Billy or to address any problems that may be encountered in using it. The program is provided 'as is' without any warranty of any kind.

Billy is Freeware. You may use Billy for any purpose, private or commercial, without payment or registration. You may freely redistribute Billy, subject to the following limitations:
- You may not charge a fee.
- You may not include Billy as part of a product for which a fee is charged.
- You may not alter any part of Billy.

The author retains all rights, present and future, to Billy.
Copyright (c) 2004 Sheep Productions / Sanne Schaap.

Please contact me if you have questions, bugs, suggestions or idea's. Keep in mind that this software is intended to stay small. Therefore I can't expand it with unpopular requests.