Many of you will remember Winamp, the extremely popular free media player. The original Winamp was first released in 1997 with development discontinued in 2013. However, in 2018 a new version of Winamp was leaked online with developers subsequently announcing they were indeed continuing to develop the media player. Winamp has been in RC (Release Candidate) mode for some time, but a final version (5.9) has just been released:
- Choose between Modern and Classic skins
- Supports a huge variety of audio and video formats out of the box
- Access hundreds of free audio and video channels in the Media Library
- Burn your music to Audio CDs
- Easily create and manage your favorite songs through playlists
- Extend functionality through the use of “plug-ins”
- Customize the sound of your music through a built-in Equalizer
- Apply visual effects that are driven by your music with Visualizations
- Winamp carries forward the unobtrusive “Window Shade” mode
Back in the day, Winamp was one of the most popular music players, largely due to its animated visualizations and choice of skins, plus integrated equalizer, which resulted in a huge following. It has taken the development team four long years since that leaked version 5.8 to get to the v5.9 final release with the most significant change being the porting of the application from Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019. The version 5.9 installer will check for the required Visual Studio 2019 files and prompt users to install them when necessary.
It should be noted that, although this is a final release, it is certainly not the last version, with bug fixes and new features still in the pipeline. Version 5.9 final comes with a number of known issues, however, for the time being, the developer has disabled features that are likely to cause these issues and assures users it is safe and stable. I tested this version in a virtual machine and it performed as expected with zero issues.
- Read all about the known issues, upcoming features, and download direct: The Winamp Forum
It’s exciting to see this very popular media player resurrected, especially in a freeware landscape that has been devoid of anything new or innovative for some time. I’m sure older Winamp fans will be delighted and this latest iteration should attract many new fans as well.