New Winamp in Early 2016, but don't get your hopes up
A former Winamp employee revealed on the official Winamp forum that a new version of the popular music player will be released in early 2016.
It looked like Winamp would be a thing of the past in 2013 when AOL announced that it would shut down the service. The company changed its mind shortly thereafter, and sold all Winamp assets -- including the popular Shoutcast platform -- to Radionomy.
The new owner of Winamp promised to step up the game and produce new versions of the client, but failed to do so.
In the now almost two years that followed, no new version of Winamp had been created and the only thing that happened was that the frontpage of the website was redesigned promising that "more is coming soon" and "the best is yet to come".
In December 2015 came the announcement that Vivendi bought a majority share of Radionomy. It is too early to tell how this will affect Winamp development and things may go either way.
A former Winamp employee revealed on the official forum why Radionomy failed to produce new versions of the client:
There hasn't been a development team. Although Radionomy certainly had goals and ambitions to release an updated version of Winamp, they have not had the resources to afford to do so.
There will be a small release some time in early 2016. There will not be any new features; this release will be just be a small update to replace or remove software libraries that were not transferred during the sale (such as Gracenote).
According to Ben Allison, Radionomy had plans for Winamp but not the resources to put them into action.
He mentioned that Radionomy plans to release a new version of Winamp in 2016 but that it will be the same version more or less sans commercial software libraries used in Winamp that Radionomy has no rights for.
Existing users should not have any incentive to update their versions to the new release if true. It is interesting to note that Winamp works fine after all these years of neglect and that that's unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
Winamp enthusiasts should not get their hopes up that the Vivendi deal will change things to the better, as it is unlikely that the software program is a high priority for the company.
Even if Winamp development would get the requirement resources, it would be difficult for the program to get new traction in the desktop music player market thanks to a rising number of excellent alternatives such as AIMP or Foobar.
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