MAD for Winamp is the fix.
MAD itself is a high-quality MPEG audio decoder. The plug-in brings that decoder to Winamp. Why is it better? Like all good things digital, it has more internal precision:
Internally, MAD represents the decoded audio signal with high precision. Combined with a form of dither, this allows output samples to be calculated with less objectionable quantization noise and more audible dynamic range than most decoders produce today. The result is unusually high-quality output that is a more faithful reconstruction of the signal encoded in MPEG audio than you may have realized possible.The difference is startling. Had I not listened to MP3s on the Aiwa CDC-MP3 in my car, I wouldn't have known how good it could be. Also, K6 and Cyrix owners take note:
Because MAD uses integer computation rather than floating point, it is well suited for architectures without a floating point unit. All calculations are performed with a 32-bit fixed-point integer representation.Not that those CPUs don't have floating-point units, but, well, you know.
Anyhow, the MAD plug-in for Winamp is highly recommended.