Winamp is music software that apparently won’t die. A fork Notes that the developers recently released the classic MP3 app’s first update (5.9 RC1 Build 9999) in four years. While not a dramatic change on the surface, producers described it as the “culmination” of years of hard work, including two teams and a pandemic-induced hiatus. There are big changes, including a move to a much newer development platform.
Software has a long history. Winamp rose to fame as the playback software of choice in the early music download era, with all the MP3s you (or maybe your parents) got from fledgling digital stores and equivalents. It played in many common formats and was well known for its highly customizable interface skins and visualizers.
Parent company AOL (the former owner of Engadget) went out of business in 2013, a year after competing apps and streaming options like Spotify took hold, but that wasn’t the end. Radionomy I bought Winamp 2014 to support her online music plans. and the team recently promised a “completely redesigned” experience with podcast and radio features, as well as a closer relationship with artists.
The return of Winamp will not revive the digital zeitgeist of the turn of the millennium. Streaming still dominates, and chances are you’ll be listening more on your phone or smart speaker than on your computer. But if the llama-themed launch sound is permanently etched into your brain, this might be a welcome dose of nostalgia.
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