What Ever Happened to Winamp?


Posts: 22   +28
I've been using Winamp since 1998 and until a couple of years ago. It's been great at the time, but what a pity not having any REAL update since around 2005... Right now I'm using Audirvana for it's catalogization abilities.
Soda stereo? I see you are a man of culture. Yes winamp was epic. I used until I found out I could play mp3s with mpc hc in 2006. Loved milkdrop music gfx. But winamp 5 became bloated. Winamp3 is the way to go


Posts: 923   +2,186
"So, why would you still use Winamp?"
Because it's lightweight, fast, efficient and still does the relatively static requirement that it was designed for?...

"But even with 40 million songs on tap, there’s a significant gap between what I want to listen to and what is available on streaming at any given time."
That's been my problem with the usual dorks who say "But I just don't understand why anyone would own a DVD / Blu-Ray player in 2020 when you've got Netflix". I do have Netflix and Amazon Prime as well and both combined have barely 5-10% of the catalogue size that DVD + Blu-Ray do. So if your taste in movies is somewhat more varied than Michael Bay, Marvell Super Heroes or the narrow slice of what gets offered in the usual 5-10 year "gap" period that fits in between lacking the very latest movies and simultaneously lacking most classics older than a decade, streaming may be a complimentary service it but it ain't even close to being a "replacement" technology for being able to own from a 10-20x larger choice, even ignoring the way half the catalogue disappears on / off every 2 years or so for "rights" reasons (which certainly doesn't happen with my collection of CD's, video games or books...)


Posts: 4,464   +6,657
Winamp is better for media "power users" for a number of reasons. Thanks to skins and plugins the customization potential is just bonkers and the UI is friendlier than garbage like VLC. It has the most powerful smart playlists by far once you puzzle out the syntax and it also plays video, although sometimes not as well as as other programs (MPC in particular). If you download an older version that has built-in Shoutcast support (Shoutcast was around long before Radionomy took on the name) then you have access to thousands of free streaming stations. A couple versions ago the Online Services browser including Shoutcast was either dropped or broken, but thankfully you can get it back. By installing an older, Shoutcast-enabled version of Winamp and then backing up your %appdata%\Winamp\ml folder you can then upgrade to a newer version and then overwrite the contents of that folder with the backup. This restores the whole Media Library from the backup including bookmarks, playlists, smart playlists, etc. The only problem is that Shoutcast appears to be in the process of either being modified or possibly abandoned completely. About a month ago clicking on a station to being streaming was broken. The workaround was copying the URL at the beginning of a stream link (the address including the port number), selecting "Open URL" on the File menu and then pasting the link in. As of today I discovered that Shoutcast streaming appears to be down completely. While categories are still shown there are no streams listed either within Winamp or at https://directory.shoutcast.com - even the site search returns nothing. I am really hoping this isn't the end for such a great service that's been there from the beginning of the online music scene. Winamp isn't the only media program that relies on Shoutcast for content, either - a lot of others including phone apps do as well.


Posts: 2,185   +873
With VLC, YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Prime etc... for video content and Spotify and Soundcloud for audio, I see no need for personal libraries anymore (unless you rip media and need the $$$). Now if you care about the best of the best audio fidelity, I suppose why not but I just don't have time to keep the libraries up when Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube gives me all the content quickly.

Never did use Winamp as much as I did iTunes (it made me killmyself everytime I would reinstall my Windows @iTunes).


Posts: 261   +469
No true Winamp fans? Well, true Winamp fans started project WACUP (WinAmp Community Update Project). Last updated May 21st, this year. Can't wait until it comes out of beta.


Posts: 754   +573
I was a winamp fan. Switched to AIMP the moment I saw multiple playlists, never looked back (yes I k now winamp got those eventually). I did miss visualizations since AIMP has them but they are low-res, but then again, I can play some screensavers that to compensate, or video files in media player on mute.
But sure, If AIMP didn't exist I'd happily use winamp over foobar or something else.


Posts: 758   +733
Since you can play any video or audio file with VLC, installing something extra is no longer necessary.

Not true; there's a couple of REALLY obscure audio formats I have stuff in that only Winamp has plugins for. And I'm too lazy to convert everything to .wav then into a more modern format.

Jerry in WA

Posts: 83   +83
I suspect you are not alone. I still use winamp, but with the big bento skin. Every time I try to use some other music app instead, I get frustrated with something about it and I just end up going back to winamp.

Winamp is like a trusty old friend. If it ever quits working, I will mourn it's loss.


Posts: 2,405   +948
It was OK but I think became popular not because it was great but because the right people got paid to say so and of course the bandwagon rolls on


Posts: 2,405   +948
Not true; there's a couple of REALLY obscure audio formats I have stuff in that only Winamp has plugins for. And I'm too lazy to convert everything to .wav then into a more modern format.
"REALLY obscure audio formats"


Posts: 817   +1,098
I haven't notice Winamp is gone. I use version 5.66 for few years now and it does what I think it was intended to do - plays music?


Posts: 352   +43
This app has have a nice screen saver that follow youre music. it was easy to get It playing. but system req was that mp3 was demanding a high end pc to run good..bad im the guy with the G u n. blood 2 the chosen one


Posts: 1,296   +1,924
Wow, thanks for this blast from the past!

I used to love spending hours curating my music collection, making playlists, picking out a song to listen to, etc. Back then my car had only a clunky six disc CD changer in the back so I was constantly burning new CDs and changing them out every day.

Then somehow things changed. I realized one morning that I had not changed the CDs in my car for over three months. My music collection went unaccessed as I just streamed whatever Pandora or similar services came up with. Now the idea of sitting down to make a playlist just feels so foreign. In the car I'm often listening to podcasts not music. Is this part of getting older and busier? Or some other factor? I don't know...


Posts: 3,329   +2,099
Not a big streaming fan. Spotify has lousy hi-fi qualities and it's search engine is near useless. SiriusXM seems to only play the same 6 songs per channel.

Combine the nearly 800 CD's I have ripped (along with who knows how many MP3's purchased) and a good player, and there's MY music preferences when and how I want them. WinAmp does the trick just fine for that...

Fox God Records

Posts: 108   +96
Now it's the Mega Codec Pack and VLC or MPC.

I used to make skins for Winamp. But I had to give up on Winamp when AOL got ahold of it. AOL was the work of Satan, and Winamp was suddenly in the same class of hateware as Real Player.

These days, I rip my media to my hard drives and if I want to watch something, I Plex it to the big screen or I move it to my phone or an external drive for transport. I don't use streaming.

See, I'm old and…

Well, you get it.