May 23, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Winamp, the best MP3 player of the ’90s, just got a major update

Winamp, the best MP3 player of the '90s, just got a major update
Zoom / Winamp. Winamp never changes.

Andrew Cunningham

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, before the days of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, there was an app called Winamp. Winamp will be remembered by people over 30 years old as The The #1 music player for people who use Napster, Limewire and Kazaa to illegally download Aerosmith MP3 files on their desktop PC. (For anyone younger than that: it was like Spotify, but you need to manually collect every song you want to listen to and add them to the app yourself.)

Much like the influential Windows 95-era computer applications, it was eventually overtaken by newer software and business models and forgotten, Technically He didn’t actually die. Incarnation of the original Winamp Disappeared in late 2013closed by AOL after years of mismanagement. A company called Radionomy bought leftovers of Winamp from AOL in January 2014 and leaked an update to the app in 2016; A revised version of this version was officially released in 2018, a major update to version 6.0 It was scheduled for 2019.

Obviously, this plan did not work. But last week, for the first time in four years, Radionomy was launched New version of Winamp. Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 release notes indicate that the update represents four years of work across two separate development teams, delayed between them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the work done in this release focuses on the behind-the-scenes work updating the code base, which means it still looks and works like a Windows app from the turn of the millennium. The entire project has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, a large selection of audio codecs have been updated to more modern versions, support for both Windows 11 and https streams has been improved.

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The final release will be version 5.9, with some features targeted for release in version 5.9.1 “and later” (version 6.0 not mentioned). Requires Windows 7 SP1 or later, which will drop support for Windows XP.

However, in our limited testing, the “new” Winamp is still in many ways an outdated app, and one not designed for the age of high-resolution, high-density screens. This may cause usage issues, depending on what you are trying to run it on. But hey, for all the folks still trying to keep hope alive, it’s good to see something. This is not so strange NFT project Promised updates yet to come.

Menu image from Winamp