We always loved you.
November 11, 2004 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Rest in peace, Nullsoft Winamp.
posted by Keyser Soze (33 comments total)
Well. That really sucks the llama's ass.
posted by sciurus at 9:04 AM on November 11, 2004

Well at least Winamp is still around (for now). The llama ain't dead, but I hope my favorite MP3 play doesn't stagnate and disappear as the article suggests might happen.
posted by Bag Man at 9:13 AM on November 11, 2004

I used to dread having people ask me to "explain" that whole "llama's ass" thing to them... After a while, I'd just respond, "You know, some things just don't have explanations." Fortunately, as I have a reputation for being a bit of an enigma, that was usually enough to make them stop asking....
posted by lodurr at 9:15 AM on November 11, 2004

feh. AOL sucks the life out of everything. some progressive soul in the company finds a new technology, the company buys it, and then the friggin' idiots in charge don't know what to do with it - so they fail to support or promote it, bundle microsoft's version in with their shit instead, and watch the company they bought die a slow painful death.

they killed netscape, great. and they're killing winamp now. yippee. my opinion of people who use AOL has dropped even lower.

(i have to say, i was worried about this from the start - the second AOL bought out nullsoft and moved shit to their own servers, the website started responding slower than a dead pig.)
posted by caution live frogs at 9:24 AM on November 11, 2004

I still remember hearing my first mp3 back in the day and thinking... "wow, this is going to change alot of things..."

So I for one, would like to give huge thanks to the Winamp crew for making all those countless hours I've spent working on my computer so much more enjoyable.
posted by tsuki777 at 9:26 AM on November 11, 2004

WinAmp is great. I moved to QCD some time ago (let the touting of other players begin!) but sad to see WinAmp go. It, together with Napster were often a significant part of parties.
posted by juiceCake at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2004

OK, I'm going to be completely ignorant for a moment - comeone explain the "llamas ass" thing. Pretty please.

As for winamp, when I was a pc user, you were my constant companion. I searched for mp3 players on other platforms that were a tenth as good as you. iTunes still, strangely, doesn't even come close. Ye shall be missed.
posted by jearbear at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2004

It seems like AOL has a special magic when it comes to acquiring companies whose culture it simply cannot bring itself to respect in any way, shape, or form.

[Dumb question alert:] Is it typical for big companies that grow by acquisition to be this ham-handed? MS does a lot of acquisition growth, too - does it suck this bad? Or is the MS culture already closer to that of the type of company it acquires?
posted by caitlinb at 9:59 AM on November 11, 2004

isn't the llama's ass thing a reference to wesley willis? he frequently used the phrase "that rocked the camel's ass" when making clear his satisfaction with something...
posted by pxe2000 at 9:59 AM on November 11, 2004


It's from a Wesley Willis song.
posted by xena at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2004

What's funny is that I spent 10 minutes tracking down winamp 2.7 yesterday, since I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to burn WAV files from CD audio with the newest version. That thing is a giant piece of bloatware for such a simple application (also, winamp 5 always takes about 30 seconds to load, even though I'm on a gazillion ghz box that's almost brand new).
posted by mathowie at 10:03 AM on November 11, 2004

30 seconds to load:
I don't see that happening on my 2800, even with plug-ins enabled.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:23 AM on November 11, 2004

Yeah, I'm not sure what that's about, Matt. Winamp 5.0 loads nigh instantly on my puny 1.8 ghz AMD. The library, however, takes a few seconds to scan. Not surprising with 12,000 (ish) songs.

If ya wanna talk bloat, may I refer you to iTunes? :)
posted by keswick at 10:54 AM on November 11, 2004

In the gaming community, there are many people out there who play not only to win,
but to make your life miserable. Back in the day, we used to call them "llamas".
The term died off long ago, but the people still remain.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2004

Winamp loads instantly if you start the Winamp Agent when you boot Windows. If you uncheck that option, it takes forever to load.

I won't miss it. It was a great player, but the music library wasn't very good. I've gotten so used to the automatic tagging features in MusicMatch that I can't live without them.
posted by fuzz at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2004

you know fellas, i was thinking --- that lodurr guy is somewhat of an enigma.
posted by Satapher at 11:31 AM on November 11, 2004

I like the ML in Winamp. A lot. Where do I find a better media library for my 25k songs?
posted by muckster at 11:34 AM on November 11, 2004

Man, this sucks. I think AOL should pull a Netscape and release the source.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:44 AM on November 11, 2004

Winamp 5, 6.5 seconds to start on a 2-year-old laptop, without "agent".

Those 6.5 seconds are worth it.

I hope Frankel resurfaces with another media player. I think I might even pay him for it next time.
posted by cell at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2004

For dead-simple use, it's hard to beat the older versions of WinAmp.

I, too, have come to rely on my MusicMatch library; but MM has a history of really bad major-version upgrades, and they're currently mired in a major-version hell right now. I.e., the current version applies oral suction to the gentalia of the males of a large northern swamp-dwelling deer species. Painful, painful; and the UI is just a piece of crap.

Things about WinAmp used to irritate me -- like the fact that they lied to you about whether it would suck up your file associations. (It always, always did...couldn't stop the damn thing....) But it was fast and didn't use a lot of resources. It's still the cleanest and simplest MP3 player for Windows that I know of. (If anyone wants to suggest something cleaner and simpler, I'll quickly bookmark it for later consideration on my slow 128MB laptop.)
posted by lodurr at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2004

Is it typical for big companies that grow by acquisition to be this ham-handed? MS does a lot of acquisition growth, too - does it suck this bad? Or is the MS culture already closer to that of the type of company it acquires?

I've heard a few stories about MS, and they seem to do a little better than most. They do want to bring the new company into the fold, but they don't seem to slash and burn like, say, CA [Computer Associates].

Now, CA, on the other hand -- they're nigh-universally recognized as the Great Satan of Growth By Acquisition. Just about everything in their portfolio was acquired as part of a takeover; one of the first things they do when they do a takeover is fire everybody they can't immediately see is useful. It's not uncommon for them to end up with none of the people who originally worked on the products that they bought a company to acquire. And their software also has a habit of getting orphaned pretty quickly, too.

I have yet to understand what it is that keeps CA in business. Everyone loathes them. You've probably never personally known anyone who used their software. And yet, they prosper. It's one of the mysteries of life, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by lodurr at 12:39 PM on November 11, 2004

my experience with winamp was largely similar to mathowies comment above. I did enjoy snuggling up to it anyway, even though it treated me bad.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2004

Winamp isn't quite dead yet. Last I checked, there are still a few souls toiling away at nullsoft, as well as an internal alpha of 5.06 going around. Have some links (please excuse the sitewhoring):

Winamp Unlimited

For anyone who wants some obvious and not so obvious tips for making Winamp run faster, please PLEASE check out Like the Wind

lodurr: go to winamp's preferences (ctrl+p). under file types, uncheck "Restore file associations..."

fuzz: the winamp agent does nothing to speed up the startup process. at least, that was what i was told last time i asked various nullsoft/winamp vets. your best bet for speeding up Winamp is the "Like the Wind" link above.
posted by lotsofno at 2:00 PM on November 11, 2004

Here's the pertinent thread in the Winamp Forums.

Seriously--what's the best media library? Is everybody hooked on iTunes or what?
posted by muckster at 2:12 PM on November 11, 2004

lodurr - you might want to give foobar2000 a try. It's simple and fast on the surface, but has a lot of useful advanced features if you dig deeper into the menus.
posted by nixxon at 2:12 PM on November 11, 2004

Speaking of llamas.
posted by muckster at 2:31 PM on November 11, 2004

"Media libraries" always seem like a redundant bunch of bloat to me. What's wrong with just organizing stuff in your OS's file system?
posted by Foosnark at 2:32 PM on November 11, 2004

In a word: queries. I like to be able to sort by title, artist, year, last played, best rated, recently added, tagged "chill," and any number of combinations. I like to be able to search for my favorite versions of "Harry Hood" that I haven't heard in over six months. I want to be able to play all my jazz before 1960 at random. The ML offers a zillion different ways of looking at your collection, and it beats the hell out of digging through explorer folders.
posted by muckster at 2:46 PM on November 11, 2004

I'm sticking with Winamp 2.9, it's what my 350MHz PC likes best.
posted by hippyboy at 5:10 PM on November 11, 2004

Itunes is pretty good if you have an ipod, so no need to snark. But even though I use it for almost everything, I keep a copy of winamp 2 on my desktop for playing downloaded tracks that I'm not sure I want to keep, and all my streaming MP3s go through winamp. And I can't see a day when they won't.
posted by ascullion at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2004

I remember my first experience with Winamp, and indeed MP3s - downloading a .zip file from a BBS in the late 1990s and finding inside an early copy of Winamp, and "Tommy the Cat" by Primus in MP3. And I never looked back.

What concerns me more is the closely-tied side project, Shoutcast - the best and most comprehensive net radio platform out there. It isn't going to go away too, is it? Is it?
posted by Jimbob at 6:23 PM on November 11, 2004

I remember being sold on it due to the fact that it was the only player out there that could scan through the song with a slider bar.

Say baby, do you wanna lay down with me?
posted by ed\26h at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2004

"Media libraries" always seem like a redundant bunch of bloat to me. What's wrong with just organizing stuff in your OS's file system?

When you get to about 10,000 or so files, keeping organized in a file system is a bit of a problem. I've got all my meta-data in a SQL database, which makes searching a lot easier.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:35 AM on November 12, 2004

« Older Blinded By Science   |   Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments