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

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member


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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Raoul Duke

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


Posts: 7,750   +834
TS Special Forces
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.


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.


Posts: 13,141   +6,438
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.


Posts: 417   +143
VideoLAN/VLC was the death of winamp on my desktop... why use several programs when VLC could read everything including mkvs.


Posts: 2,867   +3,024
Staff member
I use to love Winamp over 10 years ago now, haven't used it for at least that long though.


Posts: 3,131   +1,537
I didnt know there was a winamp app. Or that it was even still around.
Welp now I know. and its too late.


Posts: 18,732   +7,672
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.


Posts: 44   +47
They closed Winamp development, because it was not profitable. There was official announcement.


Posts: 39   +4
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).


Posts: 174   +55
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?


Posts: 174   +55
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."


Posts: 1,018   +167
Used Winamp for years. It was an essential download on my win2000 and XP boxes. It did get bloated though.


Posts: 441   +92
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.


Posts: 13,141   +6,438
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.


Posts: 11   +3
Aww Winamp <3 You will be missed. I remember using you in like 2003 to listen to all my music. Long live Mediamonkey now :)