When a legend dies, much of the world feels it. But how often is that legend a piece of software? If you were into digital music when the MP3 file format first became popular, chances are good that you crossed paths with Winamp. Chances are even better that you called it home for a number of years. It was as de facto a piece of software as one could get; the Photoshop of music players, if you will.
And now, it's soon to be killed off for good. On the official website, attempting to download the player will issue this warning: "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download."
The reasons for the closure shouldn't come as much surprise. Winamp doesn't enjoy quite the same audience it once did, and those that do use it tend to stick with the classics, such as 2.x, seen below.
Interestingly, my entire family (aside from me) still uses that exact version. Some of them have tried later versions, such as 5.x, but nothing compares to the ease of the earlier ones. For enthusiasts, Foobar2000 has become a popular choice (it's what I use), and for most everyone else, the PC might not even be the primary source of music listening nowadays, thanks to the popularity of smartphones (and not to mention cloud streaming).
Those who remember the old days of Winamp will undoubtedly vividly recall its tagline: "Winamp, it really whips the Llama's ass." For those who don't recall that, it wasn't just a tagline, it was a sample that came included with the player! No one could miss it. And who else out there had a ball goofing around with Winamp's rich visualizations? Geiss, anyone?
For the ultimate in nostalgia, here's one of Winamp's earliest versions:
I am sure I'm not alone when I say that Nullsoft remains in the hearts of many, and while Winamp didn't enjoy much success in recent years, it goes down as an absolute classic.
What am I supposed to use now?
omg - a legend dies! I've been using winamp since windows 98se >.>
yes like winamp the best of any music player.
I have had a Pro version key for so long I can't remember when I got it lol..
I never did get the llama reference
I haz a sad.
Me too 😞 :(
whats the difference to the free one? time to reboot chrome "going round and round with egg timer."
I honestly can't remember... I think it unlocks more codecs for ripping audio and some other stuff - its been so long
I use the fee version only,its still seems quite good though it be great to intergrate it as the player to give it radio sound.
Sad news. My first step into MP3's were with winamp and its what I still use today.
What the hell am I supposed to use now? Windows Media Player? PFFFT.
It's about time.