Well this really whips the Llama’s ass: Winamp is closing up shop on December 20th, 2013. The music player will no longer be available for download from Winamp.com after that date, although I suspect you’ll still be able to find the free app at other websites.
The good news is that there’s nothing stopping you from downloading Winamp today and continuing to use it for as long as you like: There are plenty of folks who have been using versions of Winamp 2 for years since they weren’t happy with the later versions of the software.
Update: Winamp lives to whip another Llama’s ass.
Winamp first hit the scene over 15 years ago, and it earned a reputation as a powerful, customizable tool for playing those newfangled MP3 files everyone was downloading from Napster, among other media files.
The utility stood out for its relatively straight-forward user interface, support for equalizer effects, playlists, plugins, and skins. In the late 90s, before iTunes came around, it was one of the most popular media apps around.
But a few years after AOL acquired Winamp from developer Justin Frankel, he quit the company and the software he had helped create… and it’s been losing momentum ever since. Ars Technica published a pretty great article last year on the rise and fall of Winamp… and the possibility of a second coming which apparently never really came.
While AOL has done a few interesting things with Winamp over the years, including launching an Android app, it’s been a long time since Winamp dominated the media player landscape the way it did in the 90s.
What do you use to listen to music on your PC these days? Windows Media Player? Foobar 2000? MediaMonkey? iTunes? VLC? Or are you a Winamp holdout?
via Hacker News
I usually use xmms which is basically Winamp for Linux/X11 right down to being able to share skins. On newer debian machines it is qmmp that looks like Winamp/xmms. It gets the job done without hogging resources.
https://www.change.org/petitions/to-aol-keep-winamp-alive —> sign it and share it! No matter how pathetic would sound, several thousands are still a voice!
Winamp was a revolutionary piece of software on the scale of MS Word and in some ways even more so. They were one of the first to introduce or invent software features we now take for granted. Interface skinning and modular plugin design were mostly concepts only on paper at the time. Music visualizations and even playlists did not exist. What started as Winamp’s installer is to this day the second most popular Installer platform (NSIS) and some of the Winamp enthusiasm still lives in gnutella – the largest peer-to-peer network and another lovechild of Winamp’s creator Justin Frankel.
The best part about Winamp was surely it’s openness – although it was a closed-source, commercial entity everyone was encouraged to write skins and plugins to expand the program creatively. Internet radio was around before Winamp’s implementation but the ShoutCast server enabled anyone to stream music and video from their garage for free! It’s sad to watch this pillar of creative freedom be destroyed by the greed of corporate suits too incompetent to figure out how to monetize such a potential.
I have become fond of Music Bee, wish they had an android client, rest in peace WinAmp….
It’s painful to accept that the likes of iTunes are the music delivery platform of the future.
Seriously though, what am I gonna do?
Tons better… 100% free !!!
I stopped using winamp only one week ago. I used to use the app for shoutcast radio but the app is not that great. I use Xiialive now
I’m very happy with my Aimp3
Man, those were the days. Thank you for the music Winamp (and ABBA)!
Does this only impact the PC client? Any idea if they are still going to support the Android app?
both I believe.
Winamp was great at version 1.55 as a lightweight Windows media player client. It ran on the earliest Pentium models (60 MHz) and Windows 95 on up. Winamp played back high bit rate mp3s, and even variable bit rate encoded mp3s. Sadly, one had to run version 5 (a much heavier weight client) on Windows XP on up.
Nowadays, VLC is probably the closest thing to a universal media player (VLC even plays Blu-Rays). The only thing is that it may not be legal to use VLC in the US as the VLC developer, being based in France, doesn’t pay licensing fees for the video codecs VLC uses. (Apparently, French law allows free use of codecs without having to pay royalties.)
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