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Winamp will return this summer

Winamp as an online platform (Source: Own)
Winamp as an online platform (Source: Own)
Initially released at the end of April 1997, Winamp has been intermittently dormant for nearly a decade ever since. The latest stable release is one year old and carries the 5.9.2 version number. A new Winamp version, described as "the best player to listen to all types of audio," is set to arrive on the 1st of July.

Those who were missing Winamp should be ready for this piece of code that made history to return this summer, as Llama Group SA aims for a July 1st release of what will probably be Winamp 6. For the time being, Winamp standalone is available for Android, iOS, and Windows, but the website also provides a complex online music platform. This platform's goal is to have at least 50,000 new artists available by the end of the year, and to hit the one million threshold before 2029 arrives. 

The first Winamp version landed on April 21st, 1997, and it quickly became popular enough that its creators, Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, sold it to AOL for $80 million just two years later. Winamp 2 was one of the most popular Windows apps and, by 2001, over 60 million people were using it. Unfortunately, Winamp 3 failed to live up to the community's expectations. Since 2003, Winamp has been struggling to hit version 6.0. Version 5 arrived in 2003, 5.5 landed in 2007, and Winamp 5.8 (Winamp 5.∞) was leaked in 2018 and launched by Radionomy, a company that had acquired it from AOL half a decade earlier. The latest Windows version is 5.9.2 and was released on April 26th, 2023.

In addition to the July 1st releases (the standalone player and an update to the web-based platform), Winamp fans should also get ready for the code of the classic release, which is scheduled to go open source on Septemer 24th. However, those in a hurry who miss Winamp and haven't done so yet can simply go with WACUP. This project is described as a media player "made to emulate some of your favorite media players from the past & bring them into the future" and its latest public preview version is dated May 10th. Another excellent Winamp alternative for Windows users is AIMP, a program that is also available for Android and sports excellent skins, as well as support for (many) Winamp plugins. Last but not least, those who treasure function before form should definitely give foobar2000 a try.

While the video below covers most of Winamp's history, those who want to know more about the transition from CDs to digital music should read Jeremy Wade Morris' Selling Digital Music, Formatting Culture, a book that also focuses on Winamp, alongside Napster and iTunes.

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Codrut Nistor, 2024-05-18 (Update: 2024-05-18)