The Llama finally whips ITS ass.
November 20, 2013 11:46 AM   Subscribe

12/20, yet another apocalypse falls upon the world. The death of Winamp is upon us. Today on the Winamp homepage, it was announced: "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. Please download the latest version before that date..."

For 15 years, Winamp has brought first, mp3s and then more and more file formats to the masses. Written by Justin Frankel it was one of the most widely used software based MP3 players. Nullsoft (Frankel's company) was sold to AOL in 1999. Frankel went on to found Cockos and release the audio production software Reaper.

Over the years a variety of Winamp versions were spawn. The classic Winamp 2, the disastrous release of Winamp 3 (which broke many features, and kept users stuck on 2.x and the merger of the two into the current king 5.x (which has its naysayers as well), with support for skins and plugins and backwards compatibility with 2.x that led to its ability to take up more users.

The AVS Advance Visualization system that Winamp introduced brought us some amazing visuals, especially in the form of Milkdrop Visuals. Milkdrop was a heavily modifiable visual effect system with custom modules and designs. It has been ported over to other systems and is open source.

One of the services that made a huge impact in streaming audio was the Shoutcast system, also developed at Nullsoft. This made it easy to broadcast to the world with just a computer and some audio files, and/or a mic. Shoutcast was both a plugin to allow one to stream and a central directory to access many different radio stations.

With the onslaught of services like Spotify, Pandora and the big daddy on the block, iTunes it almost seems as if it was bound to happen.

But there are little guys out there. Alternatives that have been mentioned are:

Clementine, Media Monkey, and the old open source standby foobar2000.

There were upstarts who tried to do something different, like Songbird. Songbird also announced its death this year.

Will there be an open-sourcing of the code to winamp? What does the closure of winamp mean to the central repository of streams listed at shoutcast.com?
posted by symbioid (173 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
.

It really whipped the llama's ass.
posted by selfnoise at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2013 [43 favorites]


It really whipped the llama's ass.

Goddamnit
posted by nathancaswell at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I still use Winamp every day. The best MP3 player, IMO.
posted by davebush at 11:51 AM on November 20, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm amazed that, after all this time and acquisition by a very large company, that logo is still the same.

.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2013


I still use Winamp plugins in Media Monkey.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2013


As one of the Winamp diehards (It's a playlist glued to pause, play and skip buttons. That's all I need in a music player, so kindly fuck off, iTunes) this doesn't really change much for me. After 15 years of development the PC software is pretty much a solved problem - the only update I need at this point is something to keep compatibility with future Windows versions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2013 [21 favorites]


I swiched to Music Bee a few months ago after havign some issues with winamp and not seeing any fixes in sight. Now I need to figure a 3rd party audio player for my Droid; the built in player doesn't really work for me and I liked the sync feature in winamp (when it worked, which was a rarer and rarer occurrence)
posted by jazon at 11:53 AM on November 20, 2013


While the previous post was deleted, I do want to take the time to mention wcfield's contributions to the post in the form of mentions of Gnutella and WASTE

And WASTE's Sourceforge page.

RIP Winamp.
posted by symbioid at 11:53 AM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Lets not forget that after being acquired by AOL, Frankel and the team at Nullsoft created Gnutella and WASTE.
posted by wcfields at 11:54 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Woah, RIP Winamp. It was the first MP3 program I used to listen to all my illicitly downloaded music from Napster. I've long since switched to iTunes for ease of iPod syncing purposes, but Winamp and its many skins and cool visualizations still have a place in my heart.

.
posted by yasaman at 11:54 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


And .

I have fond and hazy memories of cobbling together visualizations that worked perfectly for Schneider TM tracks.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:55 AM on November 20, 2013


.
posted by gauche at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2013


I would suggest VLC as a possible alternative. Yeah winamp and the skins functionality was a great part of my introduction to the world of mp3s.
posted by z11s at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


I said something about Justin Frankel and Nullsoft in the other post. About how they developed 3 game changing applications. Which is about 3 more than most developers ever do. I had totally forgotten about Shoutcast.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Winamp? No thanks, I'll stick with Sonique.
posted by pipeski at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


I used Winamp occasionally, but I didn't get heavily into MP3s until much later when the sound quality had improved and there were hard drives that could hold my entire CD collection.

I don't understand why Winamp 2.x remained so popular and there are still people holding out against the music library model. *shrugs*
posted by entropicamericana at 11:57 AM on November 20, 2013


I've used Winamp for many years, mainly because of Shoutcast. There aren't a lot of alternatives out there for Canadians. But the number of Shoutcast stations has been dwindling, and it's mostly foreign now. For some reason Germans are big fans of 80's rock.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:58 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think I switched to Foobar after some update that added in advertisements and changed a bunch of stuff around (or maybe just after a reformat). I always preferred classic Winamp, especially putting my entire library on shuffle, which Foobar never seemed to replicate.

Now I use Spotify, and haven't downloaded an MP3 for almost a year (except for a few songs missing from my collection for the MeFi music swap) and haven't ripped a CD for the past... 5 years, at least.

., I guess.
posted by codacorolla at 11:58 AM on November 20, 2013


hugs the poor, long-suffering llama

Good-bye, WinAmp. Thanks for letting me learn that there were other players out there beside that terrible Windows Media Player.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


It was the player I used to listen to my very first MP3 file...I will Survive, by Cake. I don't think I've used Winamp for at least ten years, though.
posted by rocket88 at 12:02 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I remember freshman year of high school spending two hours to get both WinAmp and an MP3 of Nirvana's cover of "Lake of Fire" only to find out that my 486/66 couldn't pull it. WinAmp was probably the first thing I downloaded on every new PC or reformat from 1999-2008.
posted by griphus at 12:02 PM on November 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, Shoutcast! How could I forget that! In college, I would DJ for my friends. I once had like 30 listeners one night for a 2-hr broadcast (with me talking nonsense every few tracks) and felt like the biggest success in the world.
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


Winamp had the best skins. I'd love to see a flickr gallery of them.
posted by furtive at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't used Winamp in well over a decade, but at the same time this feels like learning that kinda shitty store or restaurant you really loved in high school is closing down.
posted by sparkletone at 12:05 PM on November 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


We still use Winamp 5 nearly every day in the Muddgirl household, although recently we've been discussing switching to a better sort of library-centered program after having to deal with Amazon Cloud downloads, external harddrives, networked devices, etc. etc. Do those even exist, or does everyone assume that no one owns music anymore?
posted by muddgirl at 12:06 PM on November 20, 2013


Wow, I still use Winamp on a regular basis. I wasn't expecting this.

.
posted by Noms_Tiem at 12:07 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah well, thanks for playing all that music for me. I guess the only thing I can add is that it had a convenient DDE plug-in that let me easily use it as the player for a music library program I wrote for myself.

Just another proof that when you get beyond a small install base it's not so much the code as the community surrounding it that makes a computer program useful and pleasant. Winamp had a pretty great community.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:07 PM on November 20, 2013


*"In The Arms Of The Angels" plays over B&W footage of WinAmp skins and visualizations*
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 PM on November 20, 2013 [26 favorites]


Ugh. Was actually listening to Winamp on my droid five minutes ago. Have yet to find something that's as straightforward to use (and isn't crApple).
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:12 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, I just remembered spending nights messing around with AVS preset source code. I can't remember if it was before or after I started learning to code, but it was just readable enough that it was like flipping random switches and hitting buttons until something cool happened.
posted by griphus at 12:13 PM on November 20, 2013


I haven't used Winamp in a really long time and even when I did I always used the old 2.x versions, but back when it came out it really was the best music app around and Nullsoft was innovative in a lot of ways. Winamp was one of the first applications to have a lively community around things like skins and plug-ins and if anything commercial software companies have gone backwards since then in terms of allowing users to modify and customize their applications.

Also, a tabletop RPG analogy:
Winamp 2.x = D&D 3.5
Winamp 3+ = D&D 4+
foobar2000 = Pathfinder
posted by burnmp3s at 12:14 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry I didn't come to see you more often, Winamp. I switched to OS X, and then I needed iTunes to synchronize my goddamn iDevices. And now that I'm old I just click on the first song I see and hit Shuffle anyway. I just ... got used to it, I guess. You know, I can't spend all day fiddling with AVS plugins anymore, I have responsibilities now.

And thanks for never shitting all over my directory structure or rewriting my ID3 tags. You were a true pal.

.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:15 PM on November 20, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ugh. Was actually listening to Winamp on my droid five minutes ago. Have yet to find something that's as straightforward to use (and isn't crApple).

AOL took a big steaming dump on Winamp Android by shoehorning in audio ads when you try to play a Shoutcast stream. Really? Some slick MBA dipshit thinks that I'm willing to root my phone and flash a custom ROM but hesitate about switching Shoutcast clients?

the old open source standby foobar2000.

FB2K is not open source, although the SDK is BSD-licensed.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:18 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]



posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:18 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


What was the code name for the winamp MP3 decoder engine, was it nitetrane, nighttrain, or nighttrane. Because google doesn't seem to know
posted by Ad hominem at 12:19 PM on November 20, 2013


Man, I dunno if I'm more dumbstruck by the news or the fact that it took those idiots at AOL this long to kill it off.

I still run Winamp at home - with a library and listening database that goes back to... well, when I would get MP3s off of usenet. Looks like I'll have to devise a way to listen to music in a VM.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:20 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Inspector.Gadget beat me to the punch on "foobar's not open source". It does use open source libraries for media playback; the most recent version uses ffmpeg as the core of its playback engine. (Previous versions used mpg123 + a host of other audio format libraries directly.)


That said, foobar2000 does have a nifty wrapper for Winamp visualization plugins: foo_vis_shpeck.
posted by t3h933k at 12:20 PM on November 20, 2013


Had no idea Reaper was by the same people. That's one of the best bits of software I've ever used - loaded with features, easy to use, reasonable price, and (most importantly) an incredibly sensible licensing model that got me to pay for a license despite not having to (you get the full features just by downloading, it just gently nags you on load if it's not licensed). Wishing all the best for those guys in their onwards code endeavours.
posted by ZsigE at 12:21 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Ad hominem: "What was the code name for the winamp MP3 decoder engine, was it nitetrane, nighttrain, or nighttrane. Because google doesn't seem to know"

This page refers to it as "Nitrane"

and a . for Winamp and downloading Rush mp3s from ratio ftp sites over 28k dialup.
posted by namewithoutwords at 12:23 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sucks.

I run and will continue to run a vintage version of Windows Winamp on Parallels on my Macs. It's amazing but (perhaps by Apple's design) I have looked and looked and never found another decent music player for Mac that could do the things Winamp does.

Songbird perhaps came closest, but that was like a homemade, taped-together, crippled version of Winamp on a good day. Everything else is either amateurish and transparently not ready for primetime or, ugh, iTunes.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Winamp has never not been my default audio player since I made the jump from DOS to Win3.1, but I stopped updating it long ago. I'm sad that the project itself is closing down, but I'll continue to whip that llama for years to come.
posted by davelog at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't understand why Winamp 2.x remained so popular and there are still people holding out against the music library model. *shrugs*

if you have a large volume of mp3s that have shitty/wrong/absent ID3 tags, the library model doesn't work. this is why i'm still a winamp user, because when i originally ripped all my CDs i used a file name based organizational structure, there wern't any good metadata tools available at the time so ive stuck with my disknumber-tracknumber--artist-album-song naming system with associated album playlist in a folder tree organizational system to this day.

I don't generally buy mp3s i still buy CDs and rip them this way. if i do buy mp3s i rename then in this convention.
posted by Dr. Twist at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


Another one still using it here. And since before Napster. It isn't my main player, but it's still the lightweight app that plays an audio file if I just double-click one. Too bad there's not much chance of them just releasing the code.

Goodbye, old friend.
posted by tyllwin at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why Winamp 2.x remained so popular

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 2.x was before they supported video playback. 2.x was tiny, efficient code that wouldn't take up hardly any resources if you didn't want it to, but would still support any plugin you wanted (with a large visualization library).

AOL bought winamp because it was wildly popular (*wildly*!), and then they never had any idea of what to do with it, I'm suprrised it took them this long to kill it off, as I doubt they ever made a dime off of it. And they certainly weren't happy when their newly hired dev team released an open source peer-to-peer music stealing client.

Good times.
posted by el io at 12:27 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


.

I'd use foobar2000 more if it didn't just keep creating new playlists when I didn't want it too...
posted by Theta States at 12:28 PM on November 20, 2013


Don't forget their installer.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:29 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hello WinAmp my old friend
I've come to play with your settings again
Because a vision softly creeping
of a playlist designed for sleepin'
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the visualization of sounds
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on November 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Incidentally, oldversion.com still has a massive archive of previous versions. I wouldn't imagine that's going away any time soon.
posted by davelog at 12:32 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


The article says Winamp had $6 million in revenue this year, and that's got to be down from prior years. I'd be comfortable saying they brought in $80 million over 15 years, if only barely.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:33 PM on November 20, 2013


This really sucks the llama's ass.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:34 PM on November 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


I didn't know it was the same dude who wrote REAPER. REAPER is really impressive, and cheap, and fairly parsimonious with compute resources.
posted by chrchr at 12:36 PM on November 20, 2013


if you have a large volume of mp3s that have shitty/wrong/absent ID3 tags, the library model doesn't work. this is why i'm still a winamp user, because when i originally ripped all my CDs i used a file name based organizational structure, there wern't any good metadata tools available at the time so ive stuck with my disknumber-tracknumber--artist-album-song naming system with associated album playlist in a folder tree organizational system to this day.

I'm not sure where people are getting untagged MP3s, but okay. To me, the benefits of the music library is worth letting Picard do its thing. Hell, I would even go through and tag it manually if I didn't have any other options.

Anyway, godspeed, Winamp. May the llama's ass be forever whupped.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:37 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm surprised that AOL kept it going this long. Winamp was great in that it just played files without forcing you into any horrible library/database model.
posted by octothorpe at 12:39 PM on November 20, 2013


Always always been a Winamp user. I had to go with iTunes after getting an iPod for my iMusic to play in the iCar when iI'm not at ihome. Never used it for playing music on a computer though, that is Winamp all the way.

iTunes is a gigantic resource hog; Winamp just plays the damn music, or streaming radio, and that is that. Until someone else whips up something so simple and reliable, I'll keep right on using it.

(now if only I could get back the Happy Mode language add-on, weeeeela!)
posted by cmyk at 12:40 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 12:41 PM on November 20, 2013


I'm not sure where people are getting untagged MP3s, but okay.

It's not even an issue of completely untagged MP3s (although yes, if you rip CDs to MP3 yourself, it's pretty easy to miss the tagging options), it's an issue of MP3s that are tagged incorrectly, or are tagged differently than what the library software expects. Whenever I download podcasts I still have to correct the tags so that it shows up in a way that my MP3 player expects. It's a pain in the ass to do one at a time, much less contemplating going back and fixing the files I ripped 10 years ago.
posted by muddgirl at 12:44 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't really trust Picard all that much, but there are certainly programs that will parse apart the components of an /artist/album/number-name.mp3 structure and write tags. That's how I did a lot of my cleanup years back, and despite how long it took me to come around, I'd never go back. That said, the library managers have stabilized a lot. Once upon a time, it was a quite valid fear that you'd put your music library in one end and get wreckage out of the other. I kept my pre-library backup around for years.
posted by tyllwin at 12:45 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still use an ancient version of Winamp before they were ordered to remove Real support. I have a collection of old radio stuff I could only find in RealAudio format and the old unbloated Winamp is, was, and always will be the best .ra/.rm player I ever found.
posted by Spatch at 12:46 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure where people are getting untagged MP3s, but okay.

Illicit downloading. I still have a bunch of the mp3s I downloaded as a preteen in the bad old days of Napster, and tags on those were completely borked. After over a decade and multiple computer moves, switching to Mac, and using TuneUp to fix tags, those old mistagged files are mostly tagged properly now, but there was a long time where they weren't. And too, even some legitimately downloaded or CD-ripped tracks have bizarrely inaccurate genre tags, missing year tags, or artist tags that don't match up with your preferred sorting system (i.e. Various Artists instead of the individual artist in the compilation).

I let iTunes handle my music file management now because I can't be arsed, but Winamp was basically the only way to manage your music files if you maintained your own particular file structure.
posted by yasaman at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still use Winamp 2.81 on a daily basis.
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:54 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


My music library isn't a Music Library.

I have a bunch of albums. You know, those things you listen to from start to finish.

Then I have a bunch of lists. Billboard top 100 songs from every year in the last decade.

Then there's miscellany that's accumulated over a dozen or so years' of what could charitably be described as collecting.

Any person (or app) that tells me all three of those things should be wrapped up together with one pretty bow and called a Music Library should really stop doing that. It's as ridiculous as suggesting my 45s should be stored on the same shelf in the same sequence as my LPs. No.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:00 PM on November 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm exactly in the other direction. I have one list, of every friggin' song on my computer. It's sorted by artist. If I want to listen to an artist, I jump to that artist. If I want to listen to a song, I jump to that song. If I want to listen to nothing in particular, I hit shuffle and see what comes up. There's nothing a "library manager" can do to improve any of that.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:04 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


There really needs to be a return to tightly written dedicated function programs.

WinAmp is what I use. I really do not need or want itunes. I like searchable lists of music that are easy to manage with little other distractions
posted by edgeways at 1:04 PM on November 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Winamp is a very important piece of software to me. I use it to stream my nighttime shoutcast listening through a channel strip VST to be compressed and EQed to a lifeless extreme. I have very particular needs from it, and it works for me. There's also probably not another human alive who would look at my setup and describe it as desirable.

Winamp's design seems to be underscored by this tacit acknowledgement that no one program configuration can truly satisfy any but the most superficial users. So you adjust, until your adjustments become tweaks, which become hacks, which become solutions. Inelegant solutions, for the inelegant reality we inhabit. It's such a Windowsy thing.
posted by blue t-shirt at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I still use an ancient version of Winamp before they were ordered to remove Real support. I have a collection of old radio stuff I could only find in RealAudio format and the old unbloated Winamp is, was, and always will be the best .ra/.rm player I ever found.

Why not use VLC or something that will capture whatever's going to be output to your speakers and convert those to something that will be easier to play going forward?
posted by sparkletone at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by lapolla at 1:08 PM on November 20, 2013


.
Some nice eulogies here. I still use 5.x everytime I listen to music on my PC. I never had a problem with the Media Library, but that's probably because I've never bothered to organize any of my music.
posted by Lukenlogs at 1:09 PM on November 20, 2013


Another almost everyday user here. The android version had so much promise, especially with the syncing, which as noted above was awesome when it worked. Rightclick--> send to android device on network.
posted by Big_B at 1:13 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still have a bunch of the mp3s I downloaded as a preteen in the bad old days of Napster, and tags on those were completely borked

In winamp itself, I can right-click on a song in a playlist, choose file info, then click the auto-tag button, then OK. I discovered the correct title, artist, etc. to many old downloads. But I keep my files sorted manually anyway, and I mostly listen to music on Youtube or Spotify now.
posted by various at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2013


WinAmp is still light years ahead of iTunes, my only real problem with it being the 'Win' part. Sad that things really haven't progressed positively since the late 90s in terms of audio playback software.

And Reaper is great, I had no idea it was the same people. Huge props to them for releasing their fantastic ReaPlugs for free and the genius that is NinJam.
posted by mike_bling at 1:29 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that AOL kept it going this long

You'd be amazed at what AOL keeps around (dmoz and compuserve, for example).
posted by empath at 1:34 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've never been happy with any of the OSX media players. The good news is that you can get Foobar2000 running on OSX. You just have to jump through some hoops:

1. Download foobar2000.
2. brew install wine
3. Do the portable install of foobar2000 using WINE: wine foobar2000_v_xyz.exe
4. Create an applescript that runs: wine /Users/username/.wine/drive_c/path/to/foobar2000.exe
5. Export the applescript as an application and add an icon.
6. And now you have foobar2000 on OSX!

Admittedly, this is not a great solution for everyone but if you like foobar2000 you're probably a bit of a nerd, right?

Bonus: It's still much faster than iTunes or any of the OSX native applications, according to my very unscientific testing.
posted by yaymukund at 1:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember me some Winamp back when it was run off a series of giant disks. I heard my first Duke Ellington record on Winamp!
posted by Mister_A at 1:40 PM on November 20, 2013


The ratings and playcounts in my Winamp library go back to 2004, so this is gonna hurt. I made a few attempts to switch to iTunes or Monkeyaudio or whatever, but nothing seemed to be able to handle a big library nearly as well. Lately I've lost a little faith because I wasn't able to send new music to all my devices and sync ratings as easily as I wanted to, but I figured it was just a matter of time before they fixed this. Just yesterday I was looking for an airplay plugin. Damn, I'm gonna miss the llama.
posted by muckster at 1:42 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


At the moment, WinAmp is the the only Android music app that works with Zombies, Run! So I've been using WinAmp more in the last couple of weeks than in the previous five years.

RIP, WinAmp...
posted by suelac at 1:44 PM on November 20, 2013


Aww, man. I used Winamp back in the days when my MP3 collection was small enough to interact with on a "browse a bunch of folders because half of this stuff is poorly or not-at-all tagged" basis.

Somewhere I probably have a backup disk with the handful of WinAmp skins I used. Major Tom was pretty slick, and there was another one that had a very well-executed "brushed aluminum and red LED" stereo component look.

I became a full-time OS X user about 10 years ago when my then-employer gave me a PowerBook, and I switched to iTunes back when it was still pretty much just a music player. At this point my library contains just about every CD I own... Way too music to go browsing through folders for. Yes, iTunes these days is quite bloated, but it does what I need and you can pry my column browser and 10 years' worth of metrics from my cold, dead hands. I'm still mostly a "listen to the whole album" kind of guy, but once in a while I love being able to cobble together random smart playlists based on ratings, genres, and last played dates.
posted by usonian at 1:46 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


.

For the longest time, it was my player of choice when I found myself stuck using Windows because unlike iTunes et. al., it would just freakin' play the music. No "helpful" reorganizing of my already-organized library in some proprietary database; it was a player and nothing else.

Even when they started adding library-like features, I could just turn it off.

(My current player (on Linux) is Audacious, because it's still actively maintained, works with my favorite skin and just freakin' plays the music. There's a Windows version, BTW. Maybe in time, it'll be a suitable replacement.)
posted by suetanvil at 1:48 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


WinAmp was a groundbreaking piece of software. The Nullsoft developed winamp-like MacAmp (and an illicit download of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics) was my first exposure to MP3s in about 1997. WinAmp was great, light software. Foobar2000 is similar in spirit, but RIP WinAmp.

Also, the Reaper is really amazing software. Justin Frankel is kind of a God.

The best music player software I've ever used, far and away actually, is Amarok. Drag and drop playlists, quick links to wikipedia and last.fm artist data, highly intuitive browsing, so so great. However, newer versions of Amarok have lost their way as they have destroyed it with highly questionable UI changes. Clementine is a fork of that old awesome Amarok, but I've used it and I'm afraid my experience thus far is underwhelming, both from a stability and feature standpoint. Maybe they'll figure this out long-term, but they have yet to fully capture the elegance of the early Amarok.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wimamp will still exist, thanks to sites like oldversion.com, but it may not run well on tomorrow's operating systems. The browser verision of Shoutcast that connects to shoutcast.com will probably 404, but if somebody goes to the trouble of collecting stream links in one place again, the system could still be usable.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:51 PM on November 20, 2013


I've tried leaving Winamp every few years (most recently for Clementine), but there's one thing that I can do easily in Winamp that I can't figure out in the others:

Make a playlist of all music by artists I have three or fewer songs by.

I know my albums, but when I want to listen to something novel, I listen to my singles.
posted by Jonathan Harford at 2:02 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


My first exposure to Winamp was inside a ZIP file I patiently downloaded from a BBS - a copy of Winamp, and "Primus - Tommy The Cat.mp3". Good times.

I'm not sure where people are getting untagged MP3s

The web is full of untagged MP3, especially if you're chasing down obscure weirdness. MP3 blogs. Bands that broke up in 2003 and left a page with some downloads. Not everything is available as a super-slick torrent.
posted by Jimbob at 2:08 PM on November 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


.

I really have not been as happy with any Winamp alternative... and yes, I think of them like that.

With a plugin (I don't recall which one), it's the only painless way I have found to sync my iPod. (I don't touch iTunes except in cases of dire emergency, and I haven't had one of those in a while.)

MusicBee is kind of okay. I always hated VLC for some reason, and when I tried foobar2000 some time back I didn't like it.

I'll be saving some personal copies of the Winamp installer for future use.
posted by Foosnark at 2:18 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have music from a variety of old pcs, old music players, etc. Winamp plays everything, no hassles. Not too intrusive. My group uses it to create a playlist for every dance, really nice for going back to remember what dance that was that somebody wants to do again. Def. saving the .exe files in a few places.
posted by theora55 at 2:24 PM on November 20, 2013


.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:26 PM on November 20, 2013


Jriver has an amazing DSP engine that allows you to use the separate channels of a 7.1 soundcard as a 8 channel crossover, complete with crossover filters, shelving filters, notch and boost filters, etc.
posted by Teakettle at 2:45 PM on November 20, 2013


Dang. It's been a long time and I still love Winamp. So sad.
posted by PuppyCat at 2:46 PM on November 20, 2013


.
posted by jquinby at 2:47 PM on November 20, 2013


> Also, a tabletop RPG analogy:
Winamp 2.x = D&D 3.5
Winamp 3+ = D&D 4+
foobar2000 = Pathfinder
foobar2000 (and its ecosystem of plugins) is more like d20 or Fate. You can use it to create a pretty awesome media player with all kinds of cool features, but unless you like things to be ultra-minimalist you're going to have to get creative and build it yourself. (Or use something that somebody else built)

(I loved Winamp until version 3 came out and wrecked everything. I saw some of the crazy stuff foobar2000 was capable of and gave it a try -- I'd spend days tweaking my foobar2000 config until it fit my environment like a glove. Eventually, though, I got tired of managing my media library myself and just dumped it all into iTunes.)
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've long used Audacious on Linux, which supports Winamp 2 skins. There is a Windows version - no idea if it's any good though.
posted by COD at 3:05 PM on November 20, 2013


Milkdrop is the greatest music visualizer thing ever created by mankind. I have never, ever seen anything remotely as awesome ever.

I remember being REALLY excited when i finally got a computer, years and years and years later that i could really crank the quality settings up on and run milk drop at a really high resolution with the high resolution textures and everything. It looks so buttery smooth at 1080p at 60fps, or on a big HDTV.

Really, nothing looks like it. It's never quite the same twice. You'll go "oh, hey, that kind looks like that thing i've seen it do before" but there's always variation. And theres so much variation and different patterns and things it can do.

A particularly memorable moment is when it made an almost andross-like wireframe face that started blurrily talking along to the music. Everyone in the room was peaking on acid, and staring at it like the portal from ghostbusters had just opened in the wall.

I'm still sad i never got milk drop to run properly on OSX. And even sadder that it's now one of those things that will be filed away in the halls of history along with video toaster and lots of other fun stuff.
posted by emptythought at 3:08 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I switched to Foobar2000, don't remember why, a few years ago. It's been great, 'cuz it just plays the darn music, but all this talk of skins makes me realize how much I miss my favorite one, Nucleo. It's the closest I've come to the HiFi jet-set life.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:10 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Winamp? What's that? Is that like RealPlayer?
Just kidding. Kinda sucks.
posted by NiceParisParamus at 3:20 PM on November 20, 2013


Wanting to organize a library by folders and file names instead of tags is no reason to cling to Winamp. While it does have a traditional library feature where it scans the tags of all your files, foobar2000 also has a "view by folder structure" option that does just what it says: you can view your library as it exists on the filesystem without any contribution from tags. And even though it does scan your files and maintains a database, it's still relatively light in memory. In my case, for a database of about 23k tracks, it has a working set of about 63 MB.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just uninstalled Winamp recently because fuck me, I don't want visualisations, I don't want the library, I don't want info hauled in from the internet. I want it to play the track I clicked on, or the tracks I queued up. I don't want to have to wait for the program to load all of that shit before it plays the song.

Which, currently, on Windows 8 means I'm using the inbuilt media player.

It sucks too, but not in the same way.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:31 PM on November 20, 2013


VLC does an adequate job of no-frills music playing. Plays every damn format, too.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:34 PM on November 20, 2013


Learning that I could design my own Winamp skins is what started me down the road of UI design, and a lot of what I learned back then I've carried over into a lot of other disciplines such as website design. There was a small community of us back then, and somehow it grew into this vibrate "custom skinz" scene that gave birth to not only websites like Deviantart and Customize, but it was the playground for a lot of artists that eventually turned into today's designers. There was also a sort of tiny little industry that came out of it as well with studios like The Skins Factory springing up out of it, but much like Winamp and those obnoxious skins you could download for Windows Media player, the paradigm shift to this new touch-based UI design has killed off a historical part of early contemporary 'net design (is that a thing?)

/pours a 40.
posted by jcterminal at 3:37 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Winamp: probably my first mp3 player, and still the one I currently use.

I have the same issues with ID3 tags (downloaded from usenet, IRC, private FTPs, mp3.com and eventually some file sharing networks) and the fact that my music is albums, not "songs by artists". Split 7-inches are handled terribly by iTunes, etc.
posted by beerbajay at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2013


Hail and farewell winamp. Haven't used it for a while, especially since the ever-growing, never-shrinking, unpruneable ~\winsxs directory structure became so important to OSs out of Redmond and I consequently got so fixated on running only portable apps as much as I possibly can. You have to jump through bunches of hoops to make winamp more-or-less portable, while VLC portable is not just portable but fully stealth out of the box--doesn't leave any mouse droppings anywhere, not in any directories except where its own .exe resides, not in the registry, nada.

But I sure did use winamp a ton when it was new and I give it a blue ribbon and a gold star as it puts itself out to pasture.


> I'm not sure where people are getting untagged MP3s, but okay.

In my case, from about a decade of ripping classical vinyl. I just ain't bothering to type in a bunch of metadata. Not being totally unfamiliar with hierarchical filesystems, that's what I use.
Haydn F J
  \Op33
     \No1
        \Hungarian Qt
        \Julliard Qt
        \Tatrai Qt
posted by jfuller at 4:14 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


My first version of WinAmp was the last 1.x release. I remember finding 2.0 bloated and unwieldy by comparison, and sticking with 2.9whatever for years after 5 came out.

Eventually I switched to Macs, and got sucked into iTunes's gravity well, but I never stopped missing WinAmp, and at this point I doubt I ever will.

RIP, old friend. Thanks for the memories.
posted by Zozo at 4:15 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dang. It had its problems, but I always enjoyed how WinAmp -- once it was set up properly -- was just an icon in the lower right corner doing its thing, and you could check in on it doing its thing when you wanted to and it'd shift up to the upper right corner and be this nice, solid presence, but otherwise it'd be nowhere to be seen and still be pumping out tunes or a podcast while I cataloged Ed.D. reports that will almost certainly never be wanted or seen by anyone.

So, to WinAmp, my corner homey... the powers that be say you gonna die soon, but in this one pathetic node's wishes; long may you play Long May You Roam.
posted by cog_nate at 4:25 PM on November 20, 2013


Winamp is a beautiful and long-lasting example of not just an incredible music player...but a late-90s 'pc power user' aesthetic. It captures what was ultrasweet in 'cyber' design. The tiny compact layout, the crisp pixel-sharp icons, the 'digital analog' look - the skins ala Litestep. It's everything that was cool about being a computer nerd 15 years ago. Everything about it takes me back to being on IRC in 1997, downloading the latest cracked graphics software from illicit ftp servers or listening to Crystal Method while jamming out some web-design.

Despite the nostalgia factor it is still a beast of a player and the only one I use when I'm not playing music from pandora or youtube or soundcloud (which is rarely these days). I will continue to use 5.x for as long as windows will support it.

VLC gets used on my mac. No thanks itunes - you suck.
posted by jnnla at 4:35 PM on November 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


If it still worked, I'd fire up my old Compaq laptop (running Windows 98, of course) and play Everyone's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) on Winamp.

Then again, sometimes it's okay to let the past stay in the past. Less cringing and embarrassment that way.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:36 PM on November 20, 2013


Takes me back to the good old days when Napster was outlaw and Modern Humorist was still funny.

.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:38 PM on November 20, 2013


Every so often, I get sufficiently peeved to go out and try to find an Android music player I actually like. Last time, about six months ago, I was truly gobsmacked to find WinAmp in the Play store, and even more so to find it was recognisably the WinAmp I'd used for years before getting into VLC.

It was fun, It was nostalgic, It did play my music. It did whip the llama's ass.

But it still didn't do the things I wanted. It's still installed, but I'm still looking...

(What do I want? Very fast, very simple, decent searchable history of stuff I've listened to, very fast playlist generation along the lines of the "shuffle just pulled up this track which would be perfect for X" categorisation when I'm out and about, I've got around fifty gigs of all sorts of nonsense, and I have absolutely no patience for any sort of organisation that isn't immediate - anti-OCD, if you like. Oh, and it should sync silently and perfectly across all my devices and storage, which are desperately mutable.)

I am sad that WinAmp has hit the buffers. I'm amazed it lasted this long. It gave me a great deal of pleasure and it never (almost) caused me the red-mist syndrome that iTunes comes bundled with.
posted by Devonian at 4:39 PM on November 20, 2013


I still use Winamp exclusively for playing music, and you'll have to pull it from my cold, dead hands. Every year or two I survey every other offering out there I can find, and for me, nothing has come close so far.

I'll use it until it no longer works on Windows, at which time I hope to have an implant or something for listening to my tunes.

Fuck AOL.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:40 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just uninstalled Winamp recently because fuck me, I don't want visualisations, I don't want the library, I don't want info hauled in from the internet.

Winamp is massively configurable. Don't like that stuff, you just dig (and dig, and then dig deeper (something some folks understandably hate, but I quite enjoy, at least when it's Winamp)) and find the settings to get it looking the way you want. For stuff like the library, it's just a matter of disabling the library plugin, though.

I know Foobar is similarly configurable (if harder to do), but despite much effort, I never could get it to do what I wanted.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:43 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


That sucks! I haven't used Winamp on my PC for years, but I use it plenty on my droid phone to play my music library since the MP3 player that comes with the phone bites ass big time.
posted by surazal at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2013


I remember using WinPlay3 and MuseArc for a while before Winamp came along, wishing something more usable would come around, but I couldn't have foreseen how big a leap it was from those earlier players to the early Winamp versions. My machine could barely keep up with playing an MP3 without stuttering on the older players, but Winamp was so optimized I could run multiple instances for crossfading without my machine breaking a sweat.

I wish I could find something comparable for OS X. I used Cog for a while, and Vox does an okay job, but they're all missing things that Winamp had a decade or more ago on an inferior platform. I can't tell if it's that iTunes sucks the innovation out of the product space or what, but it's a shame, because I find myself using mplayer to play my MP3s far too often.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:50 PM on November 20, 2013


file:\\

RIP WinAmp. 2.91 forever!

I'm surprised it lasted this long under AOHell's ownership.
posted by loquacious at 4:51 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, it's the Play store. There will be pirate versions of Winamp available within hours.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:00 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if it's that iTunes sucks the innovation out of the product space or what,

I don't know. Maybe it's an Apple thing. And I say this as a guy who has 3 Apple products sitting by his elbow at this very minute, but I sometimes think the attitude is "The iTunes software has come down unto us from on high, who are we to attempt to develop blasphemous alternatives? Apple wants us to use this thing to play music, so use it we shall!"

I kinda use VLC on OSX when I just need to play a media file... but it's ugly and stupid compared to Winamp. Call that a damn playlist window?
posted by Jimbob at 5:56 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Currently using 5.x (don't want to look it up.) Was dragged kicking and screaming from 2.x. I had MP3s back when, I don't know, a long freaking time ago. I was still playing Raptor, which installed off of floppy disks, and Juno still gave you free email even though you had to call them directly. Bill Clinton wasn't just president, he hadn't been impeached yet or anything either. Long enough ago that 56k seemed fast - right up till when I tried moving MP3s between two computers from home instead of from the school's high speed lines.

Now I have to figure out what on earth I'm going to use instead. Bleh.

As far as I'm concerned, Juno never should have been merged with NetZero, nor should ONEList have been with eGroups (to say nothing of the travesty that is what happened once they were bought by Yahoo Groups.) WinAmp isn't even on the top ten list of most-obnoxious and ill-fated acquisitions/mergers from within the set of computer-related things I used when I was a teenager.

And BTW I also edit my HTML in Notepad. Get off my lawn, AOL, and take Apple with you.

posted by SMPA at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Started with version 2.something, resisted 3 for a long time, finally switched to 5. Now I mostly listen to Pandora, but Winamp is always there whenever I want to listen to an actual album, or anything on local storage. Never had to mess with the thing-- it just worked.

Sad to see it stop development, but at least it'll still work. Someday there'll be a decent replacement, but until then I'll still install it every time I build a Windows box.

.
posted by Zimboe Metamonkey at 6:41 PM on November 20, 2013


I have no intention of giving up Winamp until Windows Whatever down the road is no longer compatible with it.

And that fact would make me wonder why I'd be upgrading to Windows Whatever.
posted by delfin at 6:51 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


.

This: Winamp is a beautiful and long-lasting example of not just an incredible music player...but a late-90s 'pc power user' aesthetic. It captures what was ultrasweet in 'cyber' design. The tiny compact layout, the crisp pixel-sharp icons, the 'digital analog' look - the skins ala Litestep. It's everything that was cool about being a computer nerd 15 years ago.

I remember that you could fit the installer for many of the Winamp 2.x versions on a single floppy disk and still have room for a low-kbit MP3 or maybe two. We used to pass these around and listen to them on the school's lab computers.

For my money, the best replacement has been foobar — no frills or other crap, just music, playlist(s), and a library.
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 7:19 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


For my money, the best replacement has been foobar — no frills or other crap, just music, playlist(s), and a library.

Yeah, but it's got that default Windows UI. And the main window is...big. And square. And boring. I don't need a music player to give the impression of a full application - it's just something functional that sits in the background. The Winamp window was small, everything you needed crammed in tight, you could put it in WindowShade mode and hide it up the top of the screen above the title bar of your window, and watch the little spectrum analyzer lights flicker out of the corner of your eye.
posted by Jimbob at 8:03 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man. I remember installing this on my first computer running XP, then eventually fighting with it about changing file associations and the way everything I ever listened to ended up in its library... Still, it's among the programs I automatically installed on the Windows 7 install I'm typing this on now, because every so often, it really comes in handy.

.
posted by limeonaire at 8:06 PM on November 20, 2013


.

I've been using Winamp daily since 1999 or so. All I want is an app that plays an mp3 or an m3u when I click on it, and can play Internet radio (SomaFM, Radio Paradise). I don't want databases. I don't want it to update every few weeks and require a reboot. I want it to take up minimal screen real estate and show me only the title and artist. I don't want adds, information about the artist, or anything else.

Winamp largely did this although they have been adding more and more bloat over time. But it's been bearable.

I'm sliding into being a Mac user (at least part time) and a I really dislike iTunes. Winamp was always one of the apps I knew I would miss if I completely shunned Windows. Ah well.

Does anyone know of a simple MP3 player that works on Mac and Windows? Linux would be nice too while we're at it.

I wish AOL would just make Winamp open source.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2013


WinAmp is one of four music players I use (VLC, WinAmp, Mplayer and Media Player Classic). If I want a playlist, WinAmp is the best, if I want one song, nothing opens faster then Mplayer run off the command line. The other two are for weird formats even Mplayer won't play (or things with subtitles, as Mplayer sucks with those).

That said, WinAmp will probably keep working for a good while yet. I'm surprised they aren't selling it to someone; My understanding was that they still had a pretty good market share everywhere BUT America.
posted by Canageek at 8:15 PM on November 20, 2013


Count me as another holdout Winamp user. I have no real interest in elaborate library or tagging features, and have found Winamp to be simple and easy to use for basic playback of audio files and streams. Sorry to see it go.

I've been happy with VLC as an all-purpose video player, so if Winamp stops working, I guess VLC would be my first choice as a fallback. I'm glad to see some other possibilities mentioned on this thread, though, and may investigate a couple of them, just in case.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:15 PM on November 20, 2013


Does anyone know of a simple MP3 player that works on Mac and Windows? Linux would be nice too while we're at it.

VLC is a about as close as it comes. Simple. Plays anything. Screen real-estate is pretty minimal (although it's still no Winamp). Available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It's just not cool like Winamp was cool.

I have just downloaded foobar2000 to try it though, and yeah it's acceptable. Now, how do I get AVS visualizations happening in it?
posted by Jimbob at 8:17 PM on November 20, 2013


Discovering there are some glaring omissions in Foobar2000. Why the assumption that I have everything organized by albums, still? Why isn't there just a file-tree browser UI component? Geez this isn't that hard, people.
posted by Jimbob at 8:43 PM on November 20, 2013


Why isn't there just a file-tree browser UI component?

There is, but it's actually called "Album List." It's under "Media Library Viewers." Once you add it to the UI, you can change the view to folder structure. That should be what you're looking for.
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 9:00 PM on November 20, 2013


Oh man, I was sad to see this news. Winamp was my first real mp3 player, and the standard against which all others have been measured. I switched to foobar2k years ago, but I still remember Winamp very fondly. I don't remember exactly why I switched to foobar, but I love that it's simple, and ugly and easy to use. The killer feature it really has (for me) is that it uses the Windows api to listen for filesystem changes, so when you add music to your directory, it picks it up instantly. iTunes can't sync with the filesystem at all, and even good old Winamp had to scan through the directories periodically, which meant a considerable delay after you added music.

I still haven't found anything half-decent on OS X (I use both Windows and OS X daily.) iTunes is an unusable piece of crap, Clementine is the slowest piece of software I've ever used (and I've used Eclipse, people!), and all of the various open-source things I've used, like Songbird, have been unstable and slow, and had horrible interfaces.

.
posted by !Jim at 9:17 PM on November 20, 2013


MediaMonkey has a browse by location mode and is quite good. I do use WinAmp on my phone though. My first player was MusicMatch Jukebox, which is still my baseline, like dpaint ii is for bitmap drawing software.
posted by rfs at 9:25 PM on November 20, 2013


Apple wants us to use this thing to play music, so use it we shall.

I don't think it's so much this as "Apple wants us to use this thing to play music, and they'll ensure that any attempt to do otherwise is crippled." Once the iPhone sync format was munged to be proprietary, any iPhone user had to put their audio tracks in iTunes. With the state of the world today, one could write ones own syncing music app, and take iTunes out of the picture. But the world has moved on to the point that it's nearly irrelevant.
posted by wotsac at 9:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Something I realized the other day about how old WinAmp is, is that I sometimes run it in double-sized mode.*

On an 800x600 pixel netbook.

Mainly so I can actually see the spectrum analyzer. Because I actually use that thing for spot-checking music production mixes, because you find me a free spectrum analyzer with that bandwidth and response time, plus with adjustable peak falloffs and stuff.

Granted, my eyes may be getting old, too.

posted by loquacious at 9:31 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


MediaMonkey syncs up to ios 6, and has version in beta for ios 7.
posted by rfs at 9:32 PM on November 20, 2013


entropicamericana: "I don't understand why Winamp 2.x remained so popular and there are still people holding out against the music library model. *shrugs*"

Because a filesystem is a library? Some folks like to use tags, and for those, more than just files in a bunch of directories on a disk is required. For those of us that do not, we can organize by artist and album quite easily and can search our collections using standard OS functions. No need for a bunch of cruft.

At least that's how I've done it since the first time I was sent an mp3 and had to decode it using the Fraunhofer reference decoder that decoded to a wav file. This was before there were fancy things like mp3 players, at least on Windows. Winamp is called such because it was inspired by an earlier decoder than ran on various *ix flavors called amp, which was notable because it was much faster than previous decoders. These things mattered when Pentiums were still new.

yasaman: "Illicit downloading."

There was once a time when CD track list databases did not exist, and neither did ID3 tags. Also, original ID3 tags were prone to getting lost thanks to their location at the end of the file and the lack of widespread software support.
posted by wierdo at 9:55 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Winamp had the best skins. I'd love to see a flickr gallery of them

I'll be the unpopular one then. Winamp had mostly TERRIBLE skins. I mean, what on gods earth were they thinking. (See mozilla skins for a current example of this dead-end concept). It didn't help that many of the clickable elements were no bigger than 4 x 4 pixels! by contrast iTunes (post brushed metal) is far more clean, clear and usable. The market has spoken.
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:03 PM on November 20, 2013


No fucking way. No. Fucking. Way. I bought specialized hardware to make my computer pipe all audio through Winamp just so I can watch Milkdrop while listening to Spotify and Pandora. Fuck! Fuck fuckety fuck fuck. This is the worst thing to happen to drugs since Nixon.

I hope someone is still maintaining Milkdrop, tending the light at the end of the tunnel, etc.
posted by evil otto at 10:15 PM on November 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


.

I still use Winamp 2.95 daily.

From Ars Tecnica last year: Winamp’s woes: how the greatest MP3 player undid itself
posted by hellopanda at 10:19 PM on November 20, 2013


There is, but it's actually called "Album List." It's under "Media Library Viewers." Once you add it to the UI, you can change the view to folder structure.

I got this far, but how do I change the view to "folder structure"?
posted by Jimbob at 10:47 PM on November 20, 2013


I still use it on my phone and PC's. Can't believe they're not keeping it going in some form given the userbase.

Like Google Reader, it seems to be a problem with this era of behemoth capitalism. Products that can make millions are shut down because they're not making billions. Mega corporations would rather close it down than sell on the brand because they fear the embarrassment if someone else succeeds where they failed.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:25 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mega corporations would rather close it down than sell on the brand because they fear the embarrassment if someone else succeeds where they failed.

Why don't they just leave it there? Why do they have to make a big production about saying it will no longer be available for download after a certain date? How much, realistically, would it cost AOL to just leave a page with a link to the installer?
posted by Jimbob at 12:04 AM on November 21, 2013


.
posted by Gelatin at 3:22 AM on November 21, 2013


Guys, I know yay milkdrop and stuff, but Geiss? Geiss is (even after all these years) some pretty amazing stuff, too. (Made by the same guy who made (and recently open-sourced) milkdrop, so you know it's going to make you trip proverbial balls.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:07 AM on November 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, if you have the GPU for it, the Geoforms screensaver by him is amazing, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:24 AM on November 21, 2013


I got this far, but how do I change the view to "folder structure"?

Below the album list pane is a drop down labeled "View", which contains an option "by folder structure".

I don't get the complaints about the foobar2000 window size. I almost never see its window, it's always minimized to a tiny tray icon. If I want to know what I'm listening to, I hover over the tray icon and the tooltip tells me everything I need to know. To pause/play/etc I use keyboard shortcuts, or right click on the tray icon. The only time I actually use its interface is to manipulate playlists, which I have also found it to be the best-of-breed at. Most other music players I've tried have had the notion of only one "current" playlist, whereas foobar2000 lets you have as many current playlists as you want, each with a tab. And it remembers the current track of each playlist. I often have very large playlists with lots of stuff, but I occasionally want to go on a detour to listen to a few albums not in the playlist. Instead of having to add them to the giant playlist at the current play position, I just create a new playlist in a new tab, and when I'm done I switch back to the original playlist. And foobar even lets you play a track without having to first add it to a playlist, which is extremely useful when you're just flipping through your music and trying to find a particular song whose name you don't recall; you can randomly click on something and hear it immediately without disrupting the playlist that you're building.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:03 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could never get Winamp to work in Win7 without getting UAC messages every time I asked it to do anything. That was running in legacy mode and as administrator. I created new user profiles just to try to get it working. Clearly I am doing it wrong.

No other media player that I am aware of remembers what you were playing when you closed it and opens with the same list. You don't have to make a playlist, it just does it. I turned off the library thing because I use folders, as [$DEITY] intended.

Now I am using VLC and having to create playlists if I ever want to go back to an arbitrarily chosen list of albums and tracks when I open it which is a PITA. VLC also autoplays tracks when you add them to the playlist and is generally a case of me getting used to it's foibles rather than adjusting it for my tastes.

Amazing that there has never been a media player that compares with Winamp, maybe there never will.

.
posted by asok at 5:21 AM on November 21, 2013


No other media player that I am aware of remembers what you were playing when you closed it and opens with the same list.

Foobar does exactly that. There's an option you can enable that will additionally remember the exact timestamp you were at, not just the current track.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:25 AM on November 21, 2013


"I don't get the complaints about the foobar2000 window size."

Especially since at the selection of a menu item, you can make the layout (and size) pretty much like anything you want. That's a rabbit hole, though. And, in my opinion, giving its customizability and availability of skins, it's kind of surprising that the default layout and skin is so clunky. I think that they should have put time into layouts/skins that conform closely to various contemporary UI standards, according to what platform it installs to.

That said, I switched to foobar2000 a couple of years ago, I think, and I'm very happy with it.

I feel bad about Winamp's demise, but I'm definitely in the camp that was pushed away from Winamp by 3, though I didn't stop using it — I used 2 and then went to 5, but while 5 was a big improvement on the post-2 versions, I still felt like it was bloated and had lost much of that Winamp magic. I used it for a while and then eventually just gave in and started using WMP. I was happy when I discovered foobar2000.

I guess I'm really old because I'm not a convert to the streaming music services — I still want to buy my music, and buy albums. But I have put about 2/3 of my collection on Google Play Music, which I like a lot, and I find that I'm often just listening to my music with it and not locally.

People talked about tags, and I'm really obsessive about tags. So even if something came with tags, I'm not happy until those tags are erased and it's tagged according to my library's standards. Which is admittedly obsessive because I like things such as discogs and musicbrainz id's and standardized album and artist photos, etc. I therefore don't like my players altering my tags. For a while I used Helium to maintain tags, but it got bloated and then I discovered mp3tag, which I think is the best tag editor and (with some configuration and customization) library maintainer available. All new mp3s I use it to rename files to reflect basic information, then erase all tags, then normalize and check for errors with another utility (though foobar2000 is really good for this), then use mp3tag again to lookup info in discogs, musicbrainz, and last.fm (for photos and top 3 genres and track mood), then rename to a standard format and into a standard directory structure. Then Google Music's utility notices the new files and pushes them to the server.

This is a great system except that I have too many mp3s to ever manage to complete this maintenance on every mp3 I own. I'll work on it for a couple of weeks and then abandon the task for a while. But most of my collection is standardized this way at this point.

For me, my digital music collection is a contemporary manifestation of my album collection. It matters to have everything catalogued and sorted and standardized. But I know that many people just collect mp3s like pack rats, which is a different paradigm.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:48 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope someone is still maintaining Milkdrop, tending the light at the end of the tunnel, etc.

You can run Milkdrop on Media Monkey (along with the majority of Winamp plugins). With a little tweaking, you can also run Milkdrop 2.
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:54 AM on November 21, 2013


Oh yeah, I guess I see what you mean- you can't download Milkdrop directly- the website still tells you to download the latest version of Winamp.
posted by Dr-Baa at 6:01 AM on November 21, 2013


Niiice … guess who just paid for Winamp Pro for Android?
posted by scruss at 6:07 AM on November 21, 2013


.

The best way to listen to music on Android and Windows is dead.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:40 AM on November 21, 2013


It's really a shame. I went to iTunes because my iPad demanded it, even though I hate the thing. iTunes and Spotify may have won, but WinAmp can console itself with knowing it was the superior product.
posted by Legomancer at 6:42 AM on November 21, 2013


Still running Winamp 2.8. It works just fine.
posted by PHINC at 9:01 AM on November 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by xorry at 10:01 AM on November 21, 2013


I stopped using winamp after it started to get bloated, but it was moot after I moved to linux. Will miss you :-/
posted by TrinsicWS at 10:21 AM on November 21, 2013


I still use it every day on my Windows 7 workstation. I use Clementine on my *nix systems these days.

Sorry to see it go. It was my first media player that wasn't strictly for multi-track modules.

How I miss, miss, miss *.s3m.

Damn. I'm old.

.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 11:29 AM on November 21, 2013


One more "I still use Winamp daily and will continue to until OS compatibility really makes it more of a pain than it's worth" comment. It does what I want: plays music, lets me determine how the music is played fairly easily, lets me browse music in different ways, lets me throw together playlists fairly easily and stream things fairly easily and doesn't saddle me with clutter or ads and looks very, very nice.

So, no . from me. It'll be alive for a while.
posted by byanyothername at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2013




Shoutcast would be nice pickup for MS, but I can't figure out what use they could possibly have for Winamp.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:55 PM on November 21, 2013




Shoutcast would be nice pickup for MS, but I can't figure out what use they could possibly have for Winamp.

I'm kind of assuming Winamp is basically free to whoever is willing to pay for Shoutcast (since that seems like the more valuable acquisition).
posted by sparkletone at 5:15 PM on November 21, 2013


MS could use Winamp to replace or just as an alternative to the bloated wreck that is WiMP.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:20 PM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


AOL took a big steaming dump on Winamp Android by shoehorning in audio ads when you try to play a Shoutcast stream.

Much to my chagrin, it was in fact the iOS Shoutcast app that AOL decided to fill with audio ads. Still a big steaming dump.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:14 PM on November 21, 2013


Used to use it a lot, but then not so much anymore.
posted by nostrada at 7:56 PM on November 21, 2013


In some dream world in my head, there would be a new really badass metro-ui version of windows media player that included the best stuff from winamp, the visualizers, and just the tons of nice little tweaks and smartness it had(i swear it was the only app that could handle dunking a folder into a playlist if the folder contained audio files AND m3u/pls files without just ending up with a mush of duplicates and stuff).

It would also give them a really nice thing to say "hey, you sync your windows phone from the new badass WMP with winamp powah!"

now I'm intrigued... what's your setup like?

If it was anything more than this and this then I'm lollin here. Unless of course, they had one of the growing number of portable systems that only have one multi-mode audio in AND out jack that only does one at a time. And infuriatingly, apple has started doing this even on their $2000+ pro laptops. seriously???. Then you'd need a USB DAC that supported simultaneous input and output, the cheapest of which would be something like this(damn, i remember when the cheapest "real" one was around $150, times have changed)

I used to do this all the time though. I had the raddest setup in college, which is really where most of my fond memories of winamp came from.

See, a friend of mine had gotten a job pretty much straight out of high school working for the IT department at his old rural school district. It was the cushiest job ever, for quite a while at least. They would throw away basically anything that had the slightest problem and wasn't under warranty/contract anymore. One day, they threw out an entire dumpster worth of projectors. He had a bigass wagon, so he threw them all in his trunk. He randomly brought it up when we were hanging out... and i ended up with a pile of projectors. I tested them, and several of them only needed the bulb reseated or had clogged/seized fans and worked great with low hours on the bulbs and everything.

My other friend, who became my roommate, had gotten a rebranded mackie PA for his birthday in high school and a TON of LED stage-style lights from his grandma when she died(long story, but she collected "space age" stuff and apparently costco used to sell them).

So now we had an apartment that didn't enforce noise complaints seemingly at all right behind a bunch of bars, full of speakers, with LEDs behind/underneath ALL the furniture and around all the windows. Everything glowed from behind or below, and colors would fade throughout the entire room. The walls had projectors running, you guessed it, milk drop. At one point there was actually a pile of projectors in my room that weren't even plugged in.

We had a nice mixer with the headphone monitor out running in to the line-in on winamp running on a computer i had built up for my friend in a bombproof 90s 4u rack server case. This was accomplished with this trick(i wonder how long that link will stay unbroken?).

Some of the better parties i've ever seen or heard of went down in that place. Big ass underwear dance parties(including one started with a game of strip rock paper scissors by one of the weirder girls i've ever known). And in the background at nearly all of them was milkdrop, and people were always amazed that even if they plugged in their iPod it was synced up.

In the back room was a shitted up old bumper sticker covered tower(the entire front was kicked in, it looked like it had been hit with a car) full of hard drives that contained 100s of GBs of music, tv shows, and movies you could get at with samba from any other system in the house. Several of the walls had the cheapest home depot plastic backed drop cloths on them for the projectors to show on. You could call up anything, including the visualizer anywhere. All the codec packs were installed and such so winamp could just play anything.

Dunno where i was going with that, but looping back winamp so you could play any audio and have it generate the visuals from it reminds me of good times. That, and playing video in one instance of winamp while playing audio in a second and seeing if they sync up in intriguing ways. I remember doing that a lot with shows like spongebob... It would sync up in compelling ways more often than you would imagine.
posted by emptythought at 3:03 AM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


That, and playing video in one instance of winamp while playing audio in a second and seeing if they sync up in intriguing ways. I remember doing that a lot with shows like spongebob... It would sync up in compelling ways more often than you would imagine.

I'm really not sure your story makes sense since you haven't mentioned any huge amounts of weed being smoked.
posted by Jimbob at 2:14 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Mezentian at 1:21 AM on November 23, 2013


Incidentally, oldversion.com still has a massive archive of previous versions. I wouldn't imagine that's going away any time soon.

But if it does, perhaps oldversion.com itself will be archived at colossalarchive.com which I imagine wouldn't be going away anytime soon in the future but when it does, perhaps colossalarchive.com itself will be archived...

Like many, Winamp was the player I used way back when, followed by Quintessential Musical Player and now, Media Monkey.
posted by juiceCake at 6:19 PM on November 23, 2013


mplayer -ao jack music/artist/{albuma,albumb,albumc}/*

If the file doesn't have video data, it doesn't even bother creating a window. In other words, it is perfect.
posted by idiopath at 7:31 AM on November 24, 2013


idiopath: Yes, Mplayer is awesome.
posted by Canageek at 11:49 AM on November 24, 2013


PROD_TPSL: "How I miss, miss, miss *.s3m."

Until MP3s, most of my music consumption came from s3ms and mods. A few years ago, I found that the tracker scene is still as vibrant as ever, with new (not really new now, more like new 10 years ago) formats and everything. Of course, most music is now distributed as mp3/aac/whatever because it's smaller than the tracked version for anything under 10 minutes long or so.

I remember I felt like such a boss when I finally got my hands on a copy of Screamtracker 3. For about 5 minutes. Then I realized I had no clue whatsoever what to do with it. Eventually I gathered a bunch of samples and made it make some noise, but it was just noise. Obviously, my music making hobby did not last very long.

And really, the best mp3 player has always been mpg123. Well, at least since it superseded amp in like 1996. For the longest time we used a program called mserv (which I know thanks to my archive of home directory backups going back to 1997) which was something of a network-based jukebox. You'd telnet in (or use one of the smartphone clients that apparently now exist but did not then) and it would play music based on the preference of the logged-in users when nothing specific was queued or randomly if nobody was logged in. That box played MP3s continuously for around two and a half years. It was an old 486DX4/100, but it worked fine as long as nobody tried to put a new MP3 player on it.

These days the mp3 decoder alone would take up 5 to 10 times the memory that machine had in total. So would the Linux kernel, for that matter.
posted by wierdo at 12:51 PM on November 24, 2013


Does anybody know which (old) versions of Winamp have the RealAudio support mentioned by spatch? The old WFMU archives are in the format, and VLC is only so-so when it comes to playing them.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:13 PM on November 24, 2013


benito.strauss:
If you can deal with mplayer, it can deal with those files just fine:

mplayer -playlist listen.ram

IIRC the project actually relocated its IP to more permissive countries so it would be able to hold onto all its codec support.
posted by idiopath at 5:45 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]




I just remembered one of the reasons they gave for skipping from WinAmp 3 to 5: "Because nobody wants to download a WinAmp 4 skin."
posted by Zozo at 8:48 AM on November 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


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posted by koucha at 8:57 PM on December 3, 2013


Okay, I've been kind of freaking out the last day or two since I realized when Winamp is shut down, it will take the very large plugin library with it.

Sure OldVersion will hang on to the core program, but there's nowhere for the plugins to go.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:20 AM on December 11, 2013


There's AIMP, a lookalike homage to Winamp from Russia, which supports many Winamp plugins.
posted by Gyan at 7:42 AM on December 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


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