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Winamp, the very best Music player of the 1990s, just got a significant update

the llama whipping continues

5.9 RC1 Build 1999 targets modernizing Winamp’s foundation for more features.

Winamp. Winamp never changes.

Enlarge / Winamp. Winamp never changes.

Andrew Cunningham

Back the late 1990s and early 2000s, prior to the days of the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, there is an app called Winamp. People older than 30ish will remember Winamp asthe premiere very good music player for peopleusing Napster, Limewire, and Kazaa to illegally download Aerosmith MP3s with their Gateway desktop computers. (For anybody younger than that: it had been like Spotify, nevertheless, you had a need to collect each and every song you wished to pay attention to manually and add it to the app yourself.)

Just like a large amount of influential Windows 95-era PC apps, it had been eventually outpaced by newer software and business models and forgotten, but it’stechnically never actually been dead. Winamp’s original incarnation petered out in late 2013, turn off by AOL after years of mismanagement. An organization called Radionomy bought the remains of Winamp from AOL in January 2014 and leaked an update to the app in 2016; a revised version of the build was officially released in 2018, and a significant version 6.0 update was planned for 2019.

This course of action obviously didn’t pan out. But the other day, for the very first time in four years, Radionomy released a fresh version of Winamp.The release notes for Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 say that the update represents four years of work across two separate development teams, delayed among by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of the work done in this build targets behind-the-scenes work that modernizes the codebase, this means it still looks and acts just like a turn-of-the-millennium Windows app. The complete project has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, an array of audio codecs have already been updated to newer versions, and support for Windows 11 and https streams have both been improved.

The ultimate release will undoubtedly be version 5.9, with some features targeted for release in version 5.9.1 “and beyond” (version 6.0 goes unmentioned). It needs Windows 7 SP1 or newer, dropping support for OR WINDOWS 7.

Having said that, inside our limited testing the “new” Winamp continues to be in lots of ways a historical app, one not designed for age high-resolution, high-density displays. This might cause usability problems, based on what you’re attempting to run it on. But hey, for several you people on the market still attempting to keep hope alive, it’s nice to see something on that’s not a weird NFT project and a promise of updates yet ahead.

Listing image by Winamp

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