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AOL shuts down Winamp for good


Lyon275
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After 15 years of llama-whipping, AOL shuts down Winamp for good.

Former Winamp employees blame AOL mismanagement that began over a decade ago
WAFA_Dulles_Team_2012-640x480.jpeg
The Dulles-based Winamp team, as of 2012.

Winamp, the storied MP3 player bought by AOL in June 1999 for over $80 million, is set to shut down in exactly one month. According to a post that went live Wednesday at 12:00 pm Eastern Time on the Winamp website:

"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. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years."

On Wednesday, Ars confirmed the announcement with Geno Yoham, Winamp’s general director since October 2008. He declined immediate comment but said that he would try to arrange a future interview.

Ars wrote an extensive feature on the rise and fall of Winamp in June 2012, detailing AOL’s mismanagement of the property since its dotcom-boom acquisition. As we reported then, Winamp continued to receive updates and make a tiny amount of money for AOL throughout the last 15 years. AOL even released the first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011.

While the company has declined to release official figures, former employees who worked on Winamp estimate its current revenue at around $6 million annually. And Winamp still has an estimated user base of millions worldwide, a small fraction of which live in the United States. All of that appears to be water under the bridge now.

“There's no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition,” Rob Lord, the first hire and first general manager of Winamp, told Ars in 2012.

Justin Frankel, Winamp's primary developer, seemed to concur in an interview he gave to BetaNews. (He declined to be interviewed by Ars in 2012.) “I'm always hoping that they will come around and realize that they're killing [Winamp] and find a better way, but AOL always seems too bogged down with all of their internal politics to get anything done.”

Felser added that he recently seriously considered buying Winamp from AOL, too.

"I spoke with the [corporate development] folks at AOL a couple times. Even reached out to [Winamp creator] Justin [Frankel] who was totally not interested. I think we talked about $5 million with some trailing equity."

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Well, I haven't used Winamp since 2008 when I switched to Windows Media Center (the one from Windows 7), but I still feel it's wrong to shut it down. Millions of people still use it... anyway it can still be used after they shut it down but it won't get more updates... I'm someone sure that the same thing will happen with Yahoo Messenger in the next few years, the YM client hasn't been updated since March 2012... feels like that's a goner too.

Switched from Yahoo Messenger to Skype

Switched from Winamp to Windows Media Player, then Zune, and now to the Music app from Win8.1

Switched from Firefox to Chrome and now to Internet Explorer 11

Switched from Yahoo Mail to Hotmail (it wasn't called Outlook when I did the switch)

Thanks Lyon275 for sharing this, even if I don't use YM anymore I will get an .exe with the latest client release just in case I want to use it again after 5 - 10 years.

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Sad to hear news like this, it was the best radio streaming software i have ever used :(

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  • Administrator

Really sad to hear this.

But should have seen it coming for many reasons. One, many players like Foobar, Aimp and others have taken over. Then, if one sees Winamp's plugins page, you will understand that it doesn't receive the user support it got many years ago.

Ah well. I first tried Winamp about 9 years ago.

Say, anyone remembers this? :)

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I moved from winamp long time ago. I switched to AIMP3 and so far i like it. Sound is much better and it gets regular updates!

I think more and more people will switch to AIMP3 after this! :)

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you know there was a thread somewhere where some body was arguing that winamp is not dying and is better then aimp! - well shame on that person cause the person who you was arguing with is drinking beers laughing :D

I'm glad winamp is going! died time ago

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you know there was a thread somewhere where some body was arguing that winamp is not dying and is better then aimp! - well shame on that person cause the person who you was arguing with is drinking beers laughing :D

I'm glad winamp is going! died time ago

Didn't know about that. Searching finds this thread.

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2Old2Remember

Oh well Aimp is a good alternative with a lot of the features that wimamp has.

I only use winamp for auto tagging my tracks since it has the best auto tagger in the business. If you disagree point me to one that's better.

Edited by 2Old2Remember
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I personally store all my music in ALAC with iTunes but play it all using foobar.

Edited by Hottwire
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I personally feel AIMP is a great alternative to Winamp. Reason is simple, in addition to a lot of other things, it offers sound quality that is better than of Winamp. Atleast to me.

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Talking about sound quality, try foobar2000 :)

I personally feel AIMP is a great alternative to Winamp. Reason is simple, in addition to a lot of other things, it offers sound quality that is better than of Winamp. Atleast to me.

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SacredCultivator

Well for me I've used Winamp for...ever?

Although to switch to something like AIMP... does it have a feature similar to "iPod Support" that's the name of the program.

Basically something that allows for me to add music to my iPod without having to worry about syncing.

As honestly that's the only reason I've stuck to Winamp.

Might sound dumb, but Winamps native iPod support wasn't that great so I used that plug-in which is outdated (2010). *shrugs*

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I personaly liked it..But hey all good things come to an end..Time to move on

I moved from winamp long time ago. I switched to AIMP3 and so far i like it. Sound is much better and it gets regular updates!

I think more and more people will switch to AIMP3 after this! :)

Have never tried this software..Will give it a go..Being as a lot of you say its good :cheers:

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you know there was a thread somewhere where some body was arguing that winamp is not dying and is better then aimp! - well shame on that person cause the person who you was arguing with is drinking beers laughing :D

I'm glad winamp is going! died time ago

Didn't know about that. Searching finds this thread.

that's the one haha - I had to giggle reading this thread then thinking of that one user :D I feel sorry for him - Winamp was good when there was no competition and was one of the decent music players back then.

AOL broke everything back in the day

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Another oldie but goodie bites the dirt. Don't feel too badly guys, I've stood in 1/2 dozen pictures like yours of software companies gone bust due to mergers and buyouts.

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I've used Winamp for 10 years or so. I will continue to use it as long as it does what I need it to do.....play music. I don't rip with it, I don't catalog or organize with it, I simply play music with it. R.I.P Winamp.

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Winamp is good & useful.

AO-ILL should have croaked over a decade ago; it is useless in every possible way and it's stupid online s/w was a blight to every OS it ever dirtied.

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you know there was a thread somewhere where some body was arguing that winamp is not dying and is better then aimp! - well shame on that person cause the person who you was arguing with is drinking beers laughing :D

I'm glad winamp is going! died time ago

Didn't know about that. Searching finds this thread.

that's the one haha - I had to giggle reading this thread then thinking of that one user :D I feel sorry for him - Winamp was good when there was no competition and was one of the decent music players back then.

AOL broke everything back in the day

You must be reading it wrong (too much cheap beer in your system already?), I never said Winamp is not dying, I said it's not dead and it wasn't at the time I wrote it. I didn't claim it's better like others tend to throw around so easily. All I said was that I prefer Winamp and that it uses less memory and CPU than AIMP, which is still valid.

It's sad how some people find joy in all of this and it's a cause for celebration for them when something or someone dies. What did Winamp ever do to you? It must have been awful being forced to use it. Some people. Yikes. Your attitude speaks for itself and it seems you still have a long way to maturity even if your body tells you otherwise. Which is what you should actually be concerned about.

You should at least put some thought when trying to engage in conversation and to be honest I'm not entirely sure why I'm even wasting my time with you.

I'm still enjoying this piece of software and will continue to do so until a decent alternative comes along. It's going to be fine, don't worry about about it.

Edited by Purple Trail
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