Just yesterday, we told you that Winamp was preparing to launch a new audio player, called Winamp. The new version of Winamp is now available and most existing Winamp users may be surprised to learn that it is a web-based application.
Head over to Winamp, create an account, and start using the service on the Web. It is quite the leap from a desktop audio player that has attracted a large fan base thanks to its features and customization options, to a web-based player.
Users may have questions, including how they get their music collection to play in the player, or which features are new or have been removed. Since this new version of Winamp is web-based, it is necessary that users create an account to get started.
The first thing that users may notice after signing-in to their account for the first time is that the new Winamp player does not support integrating a local music library or online library of audio files to an account.
This leaves a very small selection of artists, those who have signed up already to promote their music using Winamp, and the streaming options podcasts and radio stations.
A click on Fanzone and the selection of Podcasts or Radios displays a long list of available options. The Radios tab displays filters for genres and location. Select Oldies or Hip-Hop-Rap, and you get a selection of radio stations that stream the selected type of music non-stop.
The listings are sorted alphabetically only and each entry is listed with an icon and its name, or part of it, only. This is a problem, as it makes the listings difficult to navigate and explore.
A click on a station or podcasts displays a profile page. There is a play button to tune right in, and a join option to add the station or podcast to the library.
Podcasts are categorized as well, and you may display a list of available finance, music, or education podcasts. There is also a language filter for several popular languages.
The profile pages of podcasts appear to have more content and information. The play and join buttons are available, but there is also an about page and a list of available episodes.
The search helps find useful radio stations and podcasts, but music is way too limited to be of any use. It remains to be seen if Winamp has the pull to drive thousands of artists to the platform to populate it.
The new Winamp is totally different from the old. It is a web-based player that can't play local music. The idea to create an incentive for artists to publish their content on Winamp is not a novel idea, but Winamp might have more pull than other solutions that attempted it before the company. For now, it is a web-based podcast and radio player.
What about the standalone desktop player? Winamp users have used it for years without official support, and this won't change. Whether it is going to be abandoned or if development continues remains to be seen.
Now You: What is your take on the new Winamp?