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Winamp with its classic skin.

Winamp is a free jukebox program for Windows developed in C++ by Nullsoft and first released on 1997-04-21. The program uses a plug-in model which makes it easy to add support for additional formats and modify the interface. Out of the box, Winamp supports dozens of formats, but, taking plugins into account, it supports hundreds of formats, and several video formats. It also has a built-in library querying system and supports reading and editing meta tags for many formats. Winamp was also one of the first widely used music players on Windows to support patent-free formats like Vorbis.

With just its built-in plugins, Winamp supports AAC, FLAC, M4A, MIDI, MOD, MP1, MP2, MP3, OGG, WAV, and WMA.

The program became very popular very quickly causing AOL to buy it in 1999 for $80 million splitting it into a free version and a premium version. However, corporate ownership caused the program to stagnate, and, before long, many alternate players became more popular. AOL discontinued the program in 2012 and it was later acquired by Radionomy in 2014 who released the final version for free and promised the program would be completely overhauled in the near future. In 2015, Vivendi bought controlling interest in Radionomy and only a couple leaked beta updates have been released which have some new features, but are hardly an overhaul. The claimed version 6 which was supposed to be released in 2019 remains vaporware. The website is now a streaming audio service which is selling NFTs to raise money, which is disappointing.


I first installed Winamp in the early 2000s and found it to be a very competent music player. I especially loved the wide variety of format support which helped me record video game soundtracks. I used it for years to update the meta tags for music I downloaded or ripped so that it would look nice. However, after watching new updates become more sporadic and less impressive, I eventually became disenfranchised with the program and sought out a replacement and found foobar2000 which I still use. Over time, I was able to find replacement plugins for nearly every format and haven't used Winamp since.


This is the last stable release of Winamp.


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