There was a time when Winamp was considered to be the future. I am talking about roughly 20 years ago. But what has happened since then? Is Winamp still good? Let’s find out.
A multimedia player called Winamp was released in 1997. In those days, computers were the only way to listen to music. Despite not being the first PC music player, it made creating playlists a breeze. Playlists were just a matter of dragging files over and listening to them.
Is Winamp still a viable media player?
Winamp is still used by many users today. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any recent updates. Streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, and the iTunes Store waned Winamp’s popularity over time. The company’s development was halted by its parent company AOL in 2013. Shortly after that, the business was sold to Radionomy, a digital audio company based in Belgium.
Since Winamp was sold off, it hasn’t changed much. You can still use version 5.5 or 5.6 if you like it. This update follows the release of the last version (5.8) in 2018, which was pressured by a premature leak to be self-published by the developers.
Technology is constantly evolving, and individual track purchases in the music industry are no exception. The development of smartphones and wireless networks led to on-demand streaming music audio services like Apple Music or Spotify becoming more popular over the following few years. With streaming services today, you can access over 40 million songs without interruption for a small subscription fee.
As people increasingly turned away from computers to listen to music, programs like Winamp became less popular. Nevertheless, after 4 years of hiatus, It has announced the release of version 5.9 Build RC19999, which includes Windows 11 support with improved audio stream playback and VP8 support. They even say that the migration from VS2008 to VS2019 is just the beginning of many new updates: “The Company also said that now that the structure is in place, they can shift their focus to the features.”
So, what’s the point of still using Winamp?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I still use Winamp streaming daily, and it’s great. But it is also true that, although there are 40 million songs to choose from, there isn’t much on streaming regarding what I want to listen to. Due to fluid streaming rights, what is available today may not be available tomorrow.
Whatever the reason, we will always remember Winamp with fondness. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Winamp was one of Windows’s most popular music players, but some loyal fans still use it today.RC1 Build 9999 of Winamp 5.9 for Windows was released in 2022, with many changes and improvements. Several new features are now supported in the latest version, including VP8 codec support, HTTPS audio streaming, and Windows 11 support. However, the new version does not work on Vista or Windows XP. In this release, most works was done to modernize the code, so updating won’t take as long in the future.
Until 2013, It had a huge library of skins and plugins for customization. If you’re looking to listen to some old favourites again, you can still find them in abundance on Winamp heritage.
It has not aged well. Although it doesn’t work, it’s worth trying, even just for nostalgia. Yes, it has a few bugs, and even after adjusting the scaling for current TVs, the user interface still appears pixelated. The fact that it’s Winamp makes it worthwhile. Try it out and reminisce about the early 2000s. Well, who can say? It may even become a full-time tool if its popularity returns.