Winamp, Vintage MP3 Software, is Officially Back

Winamp, Vintage MP3 Software, is Officially Back

Winamp is back, the popular third-party Windows application for playing digital audio (usually from files ripped or downloaded over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks). The developers released the latest version of the software (Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999) late last month, four years after it was last updated. The current build “is the culmination of 4 years of work” since the last release – with a gap associated with the pandemic – by two different development teams. The application has been migrated to a more modern database (VS2019), and new features are expected to be added after testing.

At the height of the download era, Winamp was famous for its ability to play the most popular audio formats and customize the user interface with 3D visualizers and unique “shapes” that changed the look of the application. With the proliferation of the iTunes Store and beyond, the popularity of digital streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music has waned. In 2013, the parent company AOL discontinued its development. The company was sold to Belgian digital audio company Radionomy soon after. The latest version (5.8) was released before this latest update in 2018 after a premature leak pressured developers to publish it themselves.

Check out Pitchfork’s Longform feature “The Obsessed World of Digital Music Collectors” and “Rebooting Winamp Won’t Enjoy MP3s” on the platform.

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