Winamp, the best MP3 player of the Nineteen Nineties, just got a major update

Enlarge / Winamp. Winamp by no means adjustments.

Andrew Cunningham

Back in the late Nineteen Nineties and early 2000s, earlier than the days of the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, there was an app known as Winamp. People over the age of 30 will keep in mind Winamp as the premiere music player for folks utilizing Napster, Limewire, and Kazaa to illegally obtain Aerosmith MP3s to their Gateway desktop computer systems. (For anybody youthful than that: it was like Spotify, however you wanted to gather each single tune you wished to hearken to manually and add it to the app your self.)

Like a lot of influential Windows 95-era PC apps, it was ultimately outpaced by newer software program and enterprise fashions and forgotten, however it’s technically by no means truly been useless. Winamp’s unique incarnation petered out in late 2013, shut down by AOL after years of mismanagement. An organization known as Radionomy purchased the stays of Winamp from AOL in January 2014 and leaked an update to the app in 2016; a revised model of this construct was formally launched in 2018, and a major model 6.0 update was deliberate for 2019.

This plan clearly did not pan out. But final week, for the first time in 4 years, Radionomy launched a new model of Winamp. The launch notes for Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 say that the update represents 4 years of work throughout two separate growth groups, delayed in between by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the work achieved on this construct focuses on behind-the-scenes work that modernizes the codebase, which suggests it nonetheless appears to be like and acts like a turn-of-the-millennium Windows app. The total venture has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, a big selection of audio codecs have been up to date to extra fashionable variations, and assist for Windows 11 and https streams have each been improved.

The last launch can be model 5.9, with some options focused for launch in model 5.9.1 “and past” (model 6.0 goes unmentioned). It requires Windows 7 SP1 or newer, dropping assist for Windows XP.

That mentioned, in our restricted testing the “new” Winamp remains to be in some ways an historic app, one not made for the age of high-resolution, high-density shows. This might trigger usability issues, relying on what you are attempting to run it on. But hey, for all you folks on the market nonetheless attempting to maintain hope alive, it is good to see one thing on Winamp.com that is not a bizarre NFT venture and a promise of updates but to come back.

Listing picture by Winamp

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