Winamp Global Hotkeys and Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard

I’ve just spent, on and off, about 2 hours trying to work out why the media keys on my Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard weren’t working properly with Winamp 5.541 Pro.  I’ve finally managed to solve the problem by rolling back to older keyboard drivers.

It appears that the Intellitype 6.3 drivers aren’t compatible with Winamp 5.541 Pro.

Intellitype 6.3

When I reinstalled Windows XP Professional a couple of weeks ago I did as I was supposed to: I installed the latest keyboard drivers (Intellitype Pro 6.3). But when it came to setting up Winamp I discovered that it didn’t work as expected.

Winamp has a Global Hotkeys setting within its preferences. As the explanatory text says:

Global Hotkeys are keyboard shortcuts that you can use from within any running application.

And here you can “enable default multimedia key support”. My keyboard (the Microsoft Digital Media Pro) has multimedia keys, so what could be more simple?

Global Hotkeys enabled

I ticked the option, both options in fact, and closed the preferences dialog box.

Pressing the Play/Pause button once started the MP3 track.  Pressing it again paused it.  Success!

But then I minimized Winamp, pressed Play/Pause again and Windows Media Player started.  Eh?!


I tried a variety of solutions on the Winamp forums. Tick one, close, stop itype.exe, restart Winamp, reselect the option, close Winamp, start itype.exe … all that jazz.  Nothing worked properly.

How frustrating!

Rollback to Intellitype 6.1

I know that it worked with the last Windows installation, and I knew that I’d used the Intellitype 6.1 drivers, so I uninstalled Intellitype 6.3, rebooted my PC and reinstalled version 6.1.

And do you know what?  It worked.

What I’ve had to do in the Intellitype options is disable the Play/Pause button (because enabled it was still opening Windows Media Player) but it didn’t have any effect on Winamp’s ability to recognise or use the key.

Now when I press Play/Pause, no matter whether Winamp is minimized or maximized it toggles play and pause.

What’s missing

Intellitype 6.3 appears to offer a few new features not present in 6.1, such as the ability to save keyboard profiles, but to be honest I don’t need such a facility.  So long as my keyboard shortcuts work and my multimedia keys control Winamp I’m a happy user.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Winamp Global Hotkeys and Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard”

  1. I have exactly the same keyboard and I also noticed that the 6.3 drivers broke down the Winamp controls. However, when I ticked the ‘global hotkeys’ checkbox in Winamp, the issue was partly resolved. They even kept working when Winamp was minimized. A minor issue was that when using the volume control keys, it would affect the Winamp volume AND the global Windows volume. I knew for a long time already that rolling back to 6.1 would fix it, but I haven’t bothered with it yet since the most essential functions work for me. It would be great if we could control iTunes with it though.

  2. no other work arounds for this? i posted under winamp support supposedly its how winamp access the hotkeys or something but obv the drivers messed it up not winamp.

  3. The 6.3 drives seem to have stopped sending the the keys (they’re invisible to other software). Breaks all other media players / software etc. Broken my autohotkey scripts too. And upon trying to diagnose it found that the as far as autohotkey can tell the keys just aren’t being pressed.

    Works fine with WMP – as it seems to send through the key/command to that invisibly.

    I can’t find any option in the drivers to return to normal functionality.

    Why aren’t more people screaming bloody murder?! Completely unacceptable. I’m downgrading to 6.2.

  4. I’ve the same problem as all of you, I’ve had this keyboard for a few years and back when I was using windows xp and vista I didn’t even bother installing the drivers for my keyboard. Because I wasn’t using any other extra functions then Play/pauze ect.
    They would work without the drivers.

    But now I’ve got windows 7 and the 1-5 keys work great with the tabs. So I’dd like to have the driver enabled.

    I’ve also downloaded 4 replacement files, binded those files to the 4 keys (stop / pauze/play / forward / prev). They would work great with Winamp, but problem is I also use spotify.

    I guess a little program that would send Pauze/play (winamp and any other program that uses it) would fix the problem.
    now I just have to learn how to make such a file :).

    grts Thijs

  5. Same here….. On my old XP I founded a solution, but can’t remember it 🙁

    I know it had to do with making Winamp your default player, registering for inserting CD… a close itype.exe, register some hotkeys, restart itype.exe … but with Win7… not working anymore… think i’m gonna reinstall my old XP PC !! lol

    Once again, this is the main reason I don’t buy Micro$crap product, they try to take monopole on everything and controling everything…. the problem is that keyboard is a Micro$crap product…. we’re doomed !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.