Winamp's comeback story starts this week

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,695   +124
Staff member

Winamp, the standalone music player synonymous with late 90s computing, is making a comeback.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian confirmed that a completely new version is coming next year “with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience.”

Radionomy, if you recall, purchased Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL in early 2014.

Winamp’s comeback story will be two-fold. On October 18, Radionomy will release version 5.8 of the classic Winamp desktop app featuring bug fixes and compatibility tweaks. Next year, we’ll get Winamp 6 which is said to be a mobile audio aggregator that brings all of your music and podcasts under one roof.

“What I see today is you have to jump from one player to another player or aggregator if you want to listen to a radio station, to a podcast player if you want to listen to a podcast — this, to me, is not the final experience,” Saboundjian said.

Saboundjian concedes that “the war is over” on desktop and really, he’s right. Aside from improved compatibility and bug fixes, there’s really not much left to add to a desktop media player. Does it play an array of file formats at decent quality? Check – move on.

On mobile, however, an argument can be made that the landscape is indeed fragmented. If Radionomy could somehow pull all of your audio sources into a single interface, that’d be a real accomplishment. I’m just not sure it’s possible to get the necessary licensing agreements to make it happen and to do so for every source out there (and to be a success, it would need to aggregate all music sources, not just a few of the most popular ones).

Lead image courtesy Reddit

Permalink to story.

 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,565   +2,462
I used to use Winamp all the time... Winamp 2 was the best player of its time... version 3, which came out in the early 2000s (think it was 2002), was pretty awful.

The article really should have included a little more history on the program however... just reading this article makes it seem like it was developed by AOL (the line, "Radionomy, if you recall, purchased Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL in early 2014." makes it seem that way).

AOL bought Nullsoft (Winamp's parent company) in 1999... which signaled it's downfall...

Anyways, this is simply a new mobile audio player that happens to own the license to the name "Winamp"... other than that, there is nothing in common.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,230   +3,475
I used to use Winamp all the time... Winamp 2 was the best player of its time... version 3, which came out in the early 2000s (think it was 2002), was pretty awful.

The article really should have included a little more history on the program however... just reading this article makes it seem like it was developed by AOL (the line, "Radionomy, if you recall, purchased Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL in early 2014." makes it seem that way).

AOL bought Nullsoft (Winamp's parent company) in 1999... which signaled it's downfall...

Anyways, this is simply a new mobile audio player that happens to own the license to the name "Winamp"... other than that, there is nothing in common.
Quite right. But what nobody seems to realize is that there was already an Android version of Winamp just a few years ago. It stank, of course, which might be why nobody remembers it. Here's what kills me, however: there really is no suitable replacement for Winamp on the desktop and once upon a time it supported not just Shoutcast but a number of streaming services. It still ties into lyric sites and Shoutcast but imagine the potential should they pursue some partnerships with Pandora, Slacker or other popular music libraries. Almost anyone would prefer to use a nice desktop player with proper audio controls versus an annoying web page that stops playing regularly. Add syncing of preferences between all platforms and you got a winner.
 

NimbusTLD

Posts: 108   +96
I, for one, welcome this news!!

Winamp is still my favourite desktop music player (the included Milkdrop visualiser plays a big part in this, along with the simple playlist queuing feature). However lately it has been unstable, with crashes and hangs common. I've begrudgingly switched to the no-frills Foobar.

Looking forward to the return of the whipped llama's ***!
 
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C

CortyDK

I still use Winamp on a daily basis.
I use an older version (5.66 I believe)

Rock stable, plays anything and everything I throw at it.

I like its interface, the fact it does not take up much screen real estate, and use of system resources are very low.

I have kept my favorite skins from back then.

Someone did a very good job writing Winamp back then.

"It really whoops everyone else's a...."
 
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Eldritch

Posts: 269   +373
I don't think desktop comeback is impossible. If it integrates to Amazon music, icloud, spotify etc and provides modular flexibilty which was the strong point of Winamp then why not?

Let it play local, cloud, stream, subscription services and provide proper support. Seriously, provide proper support. Update your site as clicking on dowload links to Forums and decade old threads. Its like entering a new house but finding you have wandered into an old mansion full of cobwebs and dust.
 

BSim500

Posts: 706   +1,500
Funny how things go full circle as I never stopped using it. Lots of "replacements" have come and gone some of which are comically bloated out with "the cloud" obsession, but there's never really been such a good lightweight, unbloated offline-oriented player ever since.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,725   +2,373
I loved this piece of software and way back literally everyone used this to play music. But as much as I liked it, there's no need for it these days when everything is streamed.
 

TheBob

Posts: 13   +4
I just hope they can get the program to lookup all the data for tracks as I like to keep them all up to date. Other than that I have not noticed any bugs so not sure what they are going to fix with the new version... Love this player and use nothing else.
 

fadingfool

Posts: 190   +191
A decent small footprint audio app with manually adjustable buffers for streaming and able to search an existing music library without creating it's own huge index - yep sign me up...... I suspect this won't be what I am looking for though....
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
and to be a success, it would need to aggregate all music sources, not just a few of the most popular ones
It could be just a couple, not necessarily all of them, heck, if it would be able to stream from either google music or spotify or imusic or whatever on that end even with a linked account it could win a LOT of audience.
Almost anyone would prefer to use a nice desktop player with proper audio controls versus an annoying web page that stops playing regularly. Add syncing of preferences between all platforms and you got a winner.
There is a really nice one that already syncs, It's called Spotify.

Today, a lot of people (Myself included) prefer the subscribe option for music, it beats the hassle of downloading or ripping and having to maintain a library.
 

isamuelson

Posts: 140   +32
I used to use Winamp all the time... Winamp 2 was the best player of its time... version 3, which came out in the early 2000s (think it was 2002), was pretty awful.

The article really should have included a little more history on the program however... just reading this article makes it seem like it was developed by AOL (the line, "Radionomy, if you recall, purchased Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL in early 2014." makes it seem that way).

AOL bought Nullsoft (Winamp's parent company) in 1999... which signaled it's downfall...

Anyways, this is simply a new mobile audio player that happens to own the license to the name "Winamp"... other than that, there is nothing in common.
Quite right. But what nobody seems to realize is that there was already an Android version of Winamp just a few years ago. It stank, of course, which might be why nobody remembers it. Here's what kills me, however: there really is no suitable replacement for Winamp on the desktop and once upon a time it supported not just Shoutcast but a number of streaming services. It still ties into lyric sites and Shoutcast but imagine the potential should they pursue some partnerships with Pandora, Slacker or other popular music libraries. Almost anyone would prefer to use a nice desktop player with proper audio controls versus an annoying web page that stops playing regularly. Add syncing of preferences between all platforms and you got a winner.
I currently use MediaMonkey on my desktop. It's not the end-all-be-all like WinAMP, but at least, it's still being developed. I did like that it had a plug-in to pull down meta-data from Amazon (including album covers) but Amazon pulled the plug on that. They have a new way of doing it, but it's convoluted in some ways and not as all-encompassing as the Amazon feed that used to work. For me, I mainly listen either to SiriusXM for music, or DI.FM, or Google Play. But I do remember WinAMP being the defacto standard. We'll see how this goes.
 

moral hazard

Posts: 24   +6
What WinAMP did better than other players then, and even now, is support a vast array of plug ins. For those who are stuck with bad speakers, or very good speakers, being able to use processors like izotope, BBE and others is sorely missed. Though some modern players, like MediaMonkey and MusicBee, carry on the tradition on the Windows desktop, there is nothing like that in the Android landscape, which sorely needs it.
 
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tipstir

Posts: 2,854   +199
Winamp has been replace by Virtual DJ Mixer and etc. To me Winamp today with so much we have to play MP3 on..