A Good Day For Music, A Bad Day For Llamas
August 2, 2022 9:10 AM   Subscribe

After four years of development, a new, modernized version of Winamp has been released, whipping up frenzy in old school digital music enthusiasts and Andean pack animals alike. (SLBleeping Computer)

The main focus of Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999 is modernization, moving the code base from Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019. With modernization comes sunsetting of legacy support, as the new version needs Windows 7 to run.
posted by NoxAeternum (39 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Does it still whip the llama's ass? That's really the only thing that matters.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:22 AM on August 2, 2022 [19 favorites]

upon my install of this RC just now, i find it still plagued by the main problem i have with the older versions: the interface is so tiny it is unusable at 4K on my 55" TV that is my main screen. changing the skins has no effect. seems like it ignores Windows display scaling completely. maybe there's a setting somewhere idk.
posted by glonous keming at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

Ugh, right there in the upper right corner of the winamp.com website are the words "NFT Initiative"

I'll stick with my combination of MusicBee (for playing stuff in my library) and VLC (for other random media files).
posted by Foosnark at 9:26 AM on August 2, 2022 [17 favorites]

It still does a horrible job of recognizing all my bootlegs and ROIOs. Back to JRiver Media Jukebox.
posted by Ber at 9:39 AM on August 2, 2022

Isn’t the new Winamp some kind of spyware and/or crypto-pumping scam, or otherwise leveraging nostalgia for the old product to push crap of some sort?

I’m any case, the nice thing about Winamp is that the one main thing it brought to the table—the skin format—has become a de facto standard, so even if the official app turns to toxic garbage, there can and will be other apps that use Winamp skins. X11amp, an early Linux clone, was one of the first, and nowadays archive.org’s web-based MP3 player can show Winamp skins.
posted by acb at 9:46 AM on August 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

I just want to applaud the title of this post.
posted by foldedfish at 9:50 AM on August 2, 2022 [8 favorites]

How LimeWire, Winamp, Napster and more internet relics are finding new life in Web3
“For Winamp, it’s about integrating Web3 capabilities into their existing player,” Ascarez says. “Letting users combine their existing listening habits with NFT collectibles should they wish.”
Winamp is doing NFTs now, and its founder hates it
Among those who hate Winamp's latest move is Justin Frankel, one of the media player's original creators.

"I have spent the last number of years giving the owners of Winamp benefit of doubt," Frankel tweeted in response to the announcement. "No more. You are terrible."

Elaborating on his website, Frankel expressed "[s]trong disapproval for multiple reasons."

"Environmental impact is terrible, and also it is a negative-sum ecosystem so anything that encourages more people to buy into it so that the people who previously bought it (or mined-in) can cash out is a bad thing," he wrote. "Just to be clear the skin itself isn't being auctioned, a URL that points to the skin is. IIRC it was made by [Winamp co-creators] Tom [Pepper] and Dmitry [Boldyrev]."
posted by MrVisible at 10:05 AM on August 2, 2022 [19 favorites]

For a hot minute, I was excited. Oh well, there are sufficient other recommendations. I need a music player for a recreational dance group. So as not to derail this thread, if you have strong recommendations, memail me. Would be really nice if the current song title would show in BIG TYPE.
posted by theora55 at 10:32 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

No, please do derail the thread. I need recs for alternatives also. Everything EVERYTHING I've used since winamp sucks so hard I just gave up listening to music. I mean, music isn't all that important to me, but still.

I bounce around between mac, linux, windoze, android and an elderly iphone, so I could probably use any decent software at all.
posted by liminal_shadows at 10:35 AM on August 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

I too used and loved Winamp in the late 90s and early 2000s, but then Foobar2000 came along and I never looked back.
posted by bigendian at 10:43 AM on August 2, 2022 [8 favorites]

Mediamonkey is a good choice with good options for database management, tagging and playing
posted by Emmy Noether at 11:04 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

I was excited about this until I saw they broke the two main things I care about: Milkdrop vis and legacy XP support. Finding out it's just to promote NFT's is almost irrelevant when the deal is already broken...
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

Winamp is doing NFTs now, and its founder hates it

I was a huge fan of WinAMP up until about 2.9x but I definitely won't be installing this.

If Justin Frankel and the REAPER crew did a WinAMP reboot and brought that old school audio programming magic to a cross platform app like VLC that handled linux and Android I'd be all about it, especially if it could work with vintage WinAMP plugins and visualizers like AVS, Geiss and Milkdrop.

For a while I had a tiny old netbook running XP just for WinAMP and visualizers using the linein URI trick. It's great for parties or DJ gigs with a projector. A whole bunch of those AVS scripts still slap and don't have any modern equivalent that I've found that's as openly editable and not fluffy unartistic crap.
posted by loquacious at 11:17 AM on August 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

yea, I still use the old winamp, and don't think that this new release would solve any issues I have with it. Here's a feature I would really like to see - volume leveling between tracks. Like if a music player could look ahead at the next track to be played, take it's average volume, and make that match the average volume of the track currently playing. Mp3's being what they are, there can be so much difference between songs (or even between chapters of an audiobook) that it can be pretty annoying to have to ride the volume all the time.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:18 AM on August 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

N(o) F(ucking) T(hanks)
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:28 AM on August 2, 2022 [18 favorites]

Could never understand skins. Why? Who cares what it looks like? Anyway I'm sticking with Foobar - answers all my needs.
posted by charlesminus at 11:52 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

5_13_23_42_69_666: "Here's a feature I would really like to see - volume leveling between tracks"

That's why I use AIMP on Android, it has that feature. I haven't tried the desktop version, though.
posted by team lowkey at 11:55 AM on August 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

Llama abuse vs Kink -shaming llamas? That wasn’t on my bingo card for 2022.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 12:02 PM on August 2, 2022

Sounds like this version is actually the llama’s revenge. Good for the llama! Sad for us, but still.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 12:47 PM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I still have original Winamp on my old windows PC, but am stuck on a Mac for day-to-day at the moment. I miss Milkdrop! Is there a milk drop-a-like to use on a Mac, either with an mp3 programme or Spotify? I tried a few Spotify plugin things, and they all worked out being very complicated, for not much quality visuals...
posted by fizban at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2022

Gross. NFT bros bought Winamp and this "modernized" version can't even play FLACs? Pass.

While I myself just stuck with 5.666 there is a great community effort called WACUP that works off the final patched branch of 5.666 to make current bugfixes, quality of life stuff, etc.

While I'm at it, here is a website that has archived about 80,000 different winamp skins that give you get what you see is what you get previews and is searchable by keyword, color, fandom and more.
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:59 PM on August 2, 2022 [6 favorites]

+1 on the Milkdrop use case. Astounding there are no modern options. Also, didn't seem to have a problem playing my FLACs...?
posted by BigBrooklyn at 1:15 PM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Was recently switching over from Foobar and in my search for a replacement, MusicBee seemed to be the top recommendation. Sound is better than on VLC or PotPlayer and it has at least some skin support. Having trouble with playlists though, probably doing something wrong, but otherwise I like it. On Android I use Neutron.
posted by blue shadows at 1:20 PM on August 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

There's still XMMS. I'll bet the new winamp doesn't even play MOD files.
posted by phooky at 1:25 PM on August 2, 2022

That's why I use AIMP on Android, it has that feature.

Thanks team lowkey, I'll check that out
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:54 PM on August 2, 2022

The one thing WinAmp had that I have never seen in another player was the ability to have the Crossfader skip tracks shorter than a certain length.

I have dozens of little audio clips from numerous things - Columbo, The Matrix, The Simpsons, etc - which I used to love dumping into a huge random playlist of music MP3s. Having these little dropins crossfaded spoils the effect.

Of course, there's also the fact that I switched from Windows to Linux back in the early aughts.

It would be sweet if they were to release a Linux build and I could still get that Crossfader.
posted by mmrtnt at 2:04 PM on August 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

for some modern visualizations a-la-milkdrop on Android, check out projectM. you can use it while listening to anything!
posted by dobi at 2:05 PM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm partial to Plexamp. You DO have to have a Plex subscription for it, but it then lets you stream music from a Plex server in a nice interface.

I had been using AirSonic and Play:subsonic for open source streaming from my music server, but it suffers from the usual open source interface clunkiness, and there's no good Windows Airsonic clients (which I want so I can have keyboard controls so I can easily pause the music when I need to take a phone call at work).
posted by JDHarper at 2:06 PM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

mmrtnt, I'd love to grab a copy those little short clips some time if you have them available, maybe I can find a use for them.
posted by JHarris at 2:09 PM on August 2, 2022

just to add injury to the insult, in case any of you Milkdroppers aren't aware, here's a collection of something like 52000+ Milkdrop presets
posted by glonous keming at 2:11 PM on August 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

Could never understand skins. Why? Who cares what it looks like? Anyway I'm sticking with Foobar - answers all my needs.

Oh, man, they had so many cool skins. One of my favorites was one that emulated all of the analog tube and dial look and feel of an Apollo era NASA Mission Control Center desk. It just looked super fucking cool.

Sure, like anything most of the skins were hot garbage but if you wanted, say, an Audi Quattro or BMW M5 themed MP3 player they probably had many options for that kind of a thing.

They also had a ton of options for increased visibility or contrast. Which is less important on modern LCDs but was really nice if you had a crappy laptop with a passive matrix screen. Or if you had some weird need to have a totally red-shifted night vision protecting music/media player, which I have actually used more than once when DJing at an outdoor party or a star watching party.

In general it some of the skins were really handy for integrating into your desktop environment look, feel and colors so that when you had the player minimized to a toolbar you could just place it anywhere on your screen where it fit in and didn't cover up functional bits of your GUI and it was always there ready to play music.
posted by loquacious at 5:53 PM on August 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Skins- I dance with a group, and for Reasons it's extremely helpful to see the name of the dance music displayed. I was able to make a skin that did this and it was really useful. For some people, it's just fun, or less obtrusive on the desktop.
posted by theora55 at 7:24 PM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don’t know if anyone has done this yet, but there is basically everything you’d need in Unreal Engine to make some truly bananas audio visualization. Their Vfx system Niagara is just ridiculously powerful. The time consuming bit would be integrating actual music player functionality! I’m pretty sure it can decode a bunch of audio file types for streaming playback at least.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:58 PM on August 2, 2022

I still use classic Winamp for one specific reason: it can crossfade tracks and have the incoming track start at full volume and not fade in. I've only ever found this feature in Winamp and in Rockbox. If there's another Windows player that can do this, I'd love to hear about it; every once in a while I send out a general inquiry (like this one) and never get a positive response. Also, if there's a player for Android that can do this... but I've heard that there's something inherent in how Android handles audio files that makes it impossible. (Which doesn't necessarily make it true...)

But if this new Winamp has sacrificed FLAC support for any reason, let alone to, what... play NFTs? ... well, then it's doubly useless.
posted by Devoidoid at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

I second the suggestion that other people who love oldschool Winamp check out the WACUP (Winamp Community Update) project. (I currently actually use WACUP at home and Subsonic - via website or phone app - when elsewhere or on a non-Windows computer, so I do think it's a usable alternative!)

It's based on Winamp 5.666, so it's still compatible with Winamp plugins (Milkdrop!), skins, etc., but there's a chance in hell of getting bugfixes and new features added. That includes things like scaling for modern monitors and resolutions (definitely on the developer's radar.)
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 1:17 PM on August 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Engadget is covering this story with an article entitled “Winamp, your parents’ favorite MP3 software, is back”, which I will not be linking to due to the unnecessary viciousness of this headline.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2022

Well, if your parents met on AIM and/or LiveJournal, chances are they used WinAmp to listen to the mix tapes they sent each other.
posted by acb at 2:27 AM on August 4, 2022

Does WACUP support support MKV video files with Ogg Vorbis audio tracks? That's the one format I haven't been able to monkeywrench Winamp 5.666 into playing properly.
posted by Devoidoid at 8:22 AM on August 4, 2022

Since nobody's mentioned it, Audacious is Just A Player and can use (most) WinAmp skins. It's been my go-to for over a decade.
posted by suetanvil at 3:15 PM on August 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

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