End of an era: Winamp is shutting down after more than 16 years

By on November 20, 2013, 6:45 PM

It’s the end of an era as media player Winamp is calling it quits after more than 16 years of faithful service. The program rose to prominence in the late ‘90s and early 2000s as the go-to solution for listening to MP3s and streaming radio stations but popularity has clearly waned in recent years due to the proliferation of mobile devices and streaming audio sources like Rhapsody, Pandora and Spotify.

Created by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, the first version of the media player hit the web on April 21, 1997 and quickly grew in popularity. The software has seen a number of revisions over the years and was notable for supporting multiple formats, skins, visualization plug-ins and playlists.

During its peak in 2002, AOL purchased the application for $80 million in stock and has held on to the property ever since. The company eventually released a version of Winamp for Android and Mac although it never reached the level of success the Windows client enjoyed years ago.

It’s unclear exactly why Winamp is closing as no official reason was given but odds are, it’s simply no longer popular enough to sustain. As Ars Technica pointed out last year, the app has survived essentially on life support for years although those involved didn’t feel it was quite dead just yet.

You have until December 21 to snag the latest release before it’ll disappear forever although older (and arguably better) versions are still readily available for download on the web.

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