Winamp was a music player, first released in 1997, which quickly grew in popularity as one of the best media players for PCs. However, it began to lose steam after a series of poorly received updates in the early 2000s, and there have been a number of short-lived attempts to revive the project. Winamp is now under active development again, but the latest revival does not sound as much as the original application.
The original Winamp media player was under development from 1997 to 2013, with v5.666.3516 as the final release. In October 2018, an unfinished version of v5.8 was leaked, and Radionomy (the owner of Winamp, now known as Shoutcast) decided to make it publicly available. Several updates were promised, but they never came to fruition. Now the Winamp website has been redesigned again and promises an “innovative update of the world’s most iconic audio player.”
There is not much information available right now, but the new project does not sound like a standard music player. A section of the site says it will have “a unique space for creators” who will “connect closely with […] fans and earn a fairer income. “AudioValley, the parent company of Shoutcast and Winamp, says the new Winamp will” become the one-stop platform for audio enthusiasts, connecting creators and consumers of music, podcasts, radio stations, audiobooks and everything else peripheral contents.”
The new Winamp sounds more like a new audio streaming platform similar to Spotify or Pandora, than an update to a music playback application. AudioValley might just use the Winamp name to generate advertising (like this article) for an audio platform that most people might not otherwise care about, but I would love to make a mistake – there is definitely a shortage of media players right now, which is t simple webapps.
If you are interested in seeing what the new version will look like, you can apply to Winamp’s beta test team.