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.




User Comments: 48

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1 person liked this |
Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

"...the app has survived essentially on life support for years..."

Got that right. Good riddance I say. Foobar is superior.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I never knew about WinAmp on Android. I'll have to check that out.

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

VideoLAN player is free open source, plays audio of many formats .ape, .ogg .flac .wav as well as mp3 and plays video as well

1 person liked this | mailpup mailpup said:

I used it years ago but not often enough to keep it installed. One of the things I liked was the large variety of skins available.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Maybe as a token of goodwill, winamp can release a winamp pro version with embedded key so the interested user can use the full features of the registered version.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I used WinAmp years ago. From my perspective WinAmp was way too buggy. By the time all the bugs was worked out, the application was too bloated for my liking.

I don't need an application telling me how to manage my files. Which is why light weight players such as media player classic is perfect for me. You don't even need a script, a single command from command-line will create Playlist.

1 person liked this | mctommy said:

VideoLAN/VLC was the death of winamp on my desktop... why use several programs when VLC could read everything including mkvs.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I use to love Winamp over 10 years ago now, haven't used it for at least that long though.

ikesmasher said:

I didnt know there was a winamp app. Or that it was even still around.

Welp now I know. and its too late.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Until Windows changed from version 7 to version 8, it used to play DVD-Video for free. That's what you should be mourning the passing of.

corvard said:

They closed Winamp development, because it was not profitable. There was official announcement.

Rabbit01 Rabbit01 said:

Milkdrop.

That plus Shoutcast Radio for me.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

FYI you can use Milkdrop with Foobar: [link]

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I tried them all, but never liked their album cover layouts and always ended up back with WMP.

NimbusTLD said:

FYI you can use Milkdrop with Foobar: [link]

Thanks you so much! Milkdrop is the only reason I still use Winamp. I've started dabbling with Foobar lately because of its simple and powerful transcoder, now it looks like I can safely switch to it permanently without regrets

1 person liked this | Ma_ga said:

Playlist, Jump to and Queue.

I'm going to use it to the end of the time, no even foobar do that for me (and I like the foobar playback quality).

turismozilla turismozilla said:

What is it with these fuckers that take their code to the grave with them because they failed to make a buck out of it?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What is it with these ****ers that take their code to the grave with them because they failed to make a buck out of it?
I'm sure for the right price that code could be yours, if you want it bad enough.

turismozilla turismozilla said:

I'm sure for the right price that code could be yours, if you want it bad enough.

Often when I have something that is no longer of value to me I let it go, certainly wouldn't lock it for eternity so no one can ever find it or use it. Spider Player dude did the same... "Oh, I can't make money off of this, fnck it, it's the end and nobody can have it."

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Used Winamp for years. It was an essential download on my win2000 and XP boxes. It did get bloated though.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Liike Yukka said, the new versions are bloated. I have been using winamp and still do since the aol days but I only use v2.95 and have it in my dropbox for when ever intall a fresh copy of windows.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I only use v2.95 and have it in my dropbox for when ever intall a fresh copy of windows.
If I remember correctly the earlier v2 versions were the ones that were buggy. It has been so long ago, I wouldn't swear to it. I always upgraded with newer versions and I think it was around version 4 that I stopped using WinAmp.

DuhWookie DuhWookie said:

Aww Winamp <3 You will be missed. I remember using you in like 2003 to listen to all my music. Long live Mediamonkey now

Lurker101 said:

Foobar is superior.

Once you use Foobar, you simply can't use anything else.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Cause Winamp, it really works!

nismo91 said:

Once you use Foobar, you simply can't use anything else.

fully agree with this. though the main reason I used foobar2000 is because of its superior and upgradeable DSPs for the sound. soon I realize the unlimited customizability of the UI is another reason why foobar2000 is the best media player today.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Even with some bloat on it, winamp is still just just a 11 mb download

I've never stopped using it since I found it, I really cant understand garbage like itunes, half a gig of ram to play an mp3 file

although I never used winamp for video, only mp3, maximum efficiency, low profile, works wonders, PERFECT

Guest said:

I am still using winamp as my main player on the android

I use it to hear shoutcast at night

1 person liked this | psycros psycros said:

Winamp has never been the best video player unless you take the time to install all the right codecs, etc. But for audio its simply unbeatable. I'm will laugh in the face of anyone who tries to seriously put forth FUBAR or VideoLan as superior alternatives. Neither one has even a tenth of the plugins Winamp does. Media libraries? *What* media libraries? Winamp owns that too. Laughable. I also get a kick out of the "bloat" comments. Oh sure, there's bloat - if you count completely optional bundled software. By that definition anything that includes Chrome pre-checked for install (I.e. 99% of all programs today) is also "bloated". Winamp: for audio junkies the best there is and probably ever will be. BTW, mods, if you're not going to delete turismozilla's comment then you damn well better not delete mine.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I used Winamp for years till I discovered foobar. I started looking for something else because it seemed to be going downhill.

Guest said:

I just use itunes cause I have an iphone

Littleczr Littleczr said:

I only use v2.95 and have it in my dropbox for when ever intall a fresh copy of windows.
If I remember correctly the earlier v2 versions were the ones that were buggy. It has been so long ago, I wouldn't swear to it. I always upgraded with newer versions and I think it was around version 4 that I stopped using WinAmp.

I can't even remember an error with winamp v2.95. I use windows media player classic for movies and winamp for music. Winamp v2.96 is light and to the point, I love the equalizer , it is all I need.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I can't even remember an error with winamp v2.95.
I was meaning earlier v2 version than 2.95. I'm thinking the V3 era is when WinAmp finally stabilized. But then it could have just been me having issues. I couldn't say either way.

JC713 JC713 said:

I never really used WinAMP. Some of my friends have tough. They say it was a great program.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Used Winamp a lot in the windows 95 and 98 days, didn't bother with it much with Windows xp as windows media player was good enough.

Guest said:

'aWARemote' app for Android and iOS allows you to control your Winamp from smartphones, tablets etc over WIFI... Not sure how many people know of its existence....

2000 - Present Winamp user. Ceasing of development doesn't bother me a bit. I'm using a version from 2006 or so anyway :P

tonylukac said:

At least spotify secured new financing:

[link]

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Been using it for years with DFX. Sad to hear this.

Guest said:

I've been using Winamp since 2003. I use Winamp every single day. I have it on my home computer and my work computer. It's sad to see Winamp come to an end. I guess I better grab the latest version of the app and keep the download stored in a safe place on my hard drive.

Neonracer Neonracer said:

Gonna Miss that Favorite Phrase.....

Winamp..... Winamp... It really whips the llama's Ass.....

I still use it, and wil continue to do so. I guess I should better Dl the Android App!

Guest said:

Does this mean Shoutcast will no longer be available? Will another media player work with it?

Guest said:

Sad day, I've used winamp for years now, never updated it, never had too. It just worked so much better than windows media player which was built in for managing my playlists. Oh well as long as it continues to work on my laptop I'm not sure I'll switch.

Guest said:

Haha All companies purchased by AOL have inevitable death!!!

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

I think "best" depends on your needs. I like VideoLAN because it installs easy, doesn't hijack file extensions, doesn't try to install toolbars etc, plays damn near anything, and when I turn off the access the internet setting it does so (unlike LG smart TV's apparently). I don't need media libraries, plug-ins or any of that. I want simple and works well, VideoLAN does that. Simple interface too although if you want to you can dig deeper.

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

Free and open source is good as well. It's whatever you are comfortable using. If it does what you need and you like it, regardless of the software,be happy

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

There's also a plugin for foobar that allows it to use winamp plugins.

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