Winamp, a popular third-party Windows application for digital audio playback (mostly files ripped from CDs or downloaded via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks), is back. Developers published latest firmware version (Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999) late last month, four years since the last update. The current version “is the culmination of 4 years of work” since the last release (pandemic-related hiatus) by two different development teams. The program has been migrated to a newer codebase (VS2019), new features are expected to be added after testing.
At the height of the download era, Winamp was famous for its ability to play the most popular audio formats and customize the user interface with disruptive visualizers and unique “skins” that changed the look of the program. With the proliferation of the iTunes Store and later digital streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, Winamp’s popularity declined. in 2013 the parent company of AOL turn off its development. The company was soon sold to Radionomy, a Belgian digital audio company. The last version (5.8) before this latest update was released in 2018 after an early leak forced the developers to release it themselves.