Things have changed drastically in the music listening space, where services like Spotify and Apple Music reign supreme. However, there is still something to be said for listening to music through files such as MP3. Winamp was one of those classic pieces of software, first released in 1996, that plays MP3s and more.
However, it stopped receiving updates in 2013 after parent company AOL shut down. A newer version was leaked in 2018, but especially there haven’t been new versions of the software for a long time. That’s until July 22, 2022 when the developers dropped a new construction by Winamp.
This version, called Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999, is presented as the culmination of 4 years of development. Some improvement points of this software include better compatibility with playing Windows 11 and VP8.
While the music listening experience has certainly changed since the heyday of the download era when Winamp reigned supreme over most software, there are still a large number of people who prefer to listen to music via files such as MP3, myself and our boss guido included.
However, updating could be a matter of too little too late. While it’s nice to have something that brings name recognition and an update to the software that many are probably still using in its outdated form to this day, the way people listen to music isn’t the only thing that has changed.
Many other audio players have since been released since even the last proper Winamp update. Both free and open source software that brings new features that Winamp just didn’t understand.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with something simpler in its music listening experience. In fact, there’s probably a large group of people who prefer things that way. Only time will tell how much additional support Winamp will receive, both from developers and people who listen to it.