New Winamp in Early 2016, but don't get your hopes up

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 31, 2015
Music and Video

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.

Now You: Do you think Winamp will make a comeback?

New Winamp in Early 2016, but don't get your hopes up
Article Name
New Winamp in Early 2016, but don't get your hopes up
Radionomy plans to release a new Winamp version in early 2016 but it will not include new features or improvements.

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  1. WinAmped said on March 19, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I normally use FreeBSD but planned on keeping Windows 10 Pro on the new computer I just bought. I hadn’t used Windows for over 10 years but when it came to what player I wanted for my tunes I went straight for the one I had always used, Winamp .

    I was surprised to see they had sold the company and were no longer putting out updates, but went ahead and downloaded the last version.

    Hopefully everything will work out for the update and it will regain the user base it once had. It’s the best played for Windows by far.

  2. Anonymous said on January 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm


  3. LewdGeek said on August 10, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I Still using Winamp and I am proud to say it and I hope one day Winamp will come back and shut the mouth of everyones

  4. DD-Indeed said on July 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Been using Winamp for 12 years, there’s no other way of playing MP3’s or FLAC’s in a proper way. Winamp is the kind of software, that does not do anything for you (*coughing* Apple’s iTunes and the many time mentioned issue of automatic backups, etc, etc…), and you can customize the Winamp as much as you want to. I myself use Lyrics plugin to get the song lyrics during the playback and Chronotron, a pitch and tempo changing plugin, that spices up the songs. I’ve hooked that to the DFX Audio Processor-software and using Pioneer SE-M521 headphones —> Perfect sound IMO.

    World has changed a lot during the past 10 years years and propably one of the reasons, why Winamp has been down for some years, is:

    Music Streaming.

    That’s right, Spotify, Deezer, etc, etc, have revolutionized the way of listening the music. If only Winamp could get that same system carried over with huge and proper deals to musicians and record companies, retaining the customization of the software and the plugins, we would have a winner over there. Winamp has brilliant sound processor compared to other products, especially of those steaming apps, that generally have horrible sound quality IMO. Trouble is to get the deals, and how the prices would go with them to the customers. But as for me, I’m ready to pay 50 $ a year from a Winamp, that has streaming services as well, where you can listen to whatever song you like.

    Let’s see, that does the owners of the Winamp think in the same way…

    1. LewdGeek said on August 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      I have never use Music streaming site and I will keep winamp forever and I DONT FUCKING CARE I will play my CD in Winamp for the rest of my life.

  5. WinAMP owner Since 1999 said on March 8, 2016 at 6:48 am

    WinAMP is, hands down, the best MP3 player for the Windows platform (not to poo-poo its extended usage, just pointing out my own).
    It is a mystery to me that anyone says iTunes is #1. To date iTunes has wiped out or re-cataloged my 1/2 TB music lib – without notice – three times. I have over 40 years of music (and I am old enough to have seen all of the songs be published the 1st time…) and have a very simple but specific catalogue method… Artist, Year – Album, songs. How hard is that? Frankly I need iTunes like I need Herpes and Peanut allergy. I only have it installed under duress for my stupid phone.

    It should be obvious to anyone that the current owners should hire Frankel back to oversee his marvelous creation. Everyone else has hosed every opportunity to realize his intended application. Sadly, the buyers have only been interested in milking a cash cow (or Llama).


    If it were me… (yeah… as if! But if it WERE me) I’d return to v3 in terms of user configurability. I would link directly to DeviantART for skins and other user visual components, take a page from the Social Media networking of LastFM and cozy up with Facebook (even though I HATE Facebook) to let folks know what I am listening to and what is trending.

    Maybe make a deal with Amazon MP3 for media purchases and re-license Gracenote (what idiot let THAT drop?!).

    You don’t need to tell folks how they need to organize their music (he says, raising an implied middle finger in the air to iTunes) they already have that sorted out. What they need and want is what WinAMP already gave us in spades; a clean interface that we can doll up to suit our desktop egos and rock solid media play.

    You want to do something spiffy? Fine, become bluetooth aware and let us use our phones to program the play/play lists. Give premium users the opportunity to stream their collection over the internet privately to their phones. I imagine a TON of folks would pony up if it meant that they would not have to pay big bucks for the larger capacity phones! and frankly, Holy Shit! Why are you not doing this now?!

    Go back to solution. Go back to Frankel; go back to creating a product people really want – instead of trying to sell us shit that your high paid moron pundits say we SHOULD want.

    1. Andrew said on March 8, 2016 at 7:50 am

      I take it you haven’t been following the winamp forums much. Benski and DJ egg have been working on a new version of Winamp (5.8) for some time, but after DrO left, they kind of had a lot of cleanup to do, and given the fact that it is a two-man team, that’s a lot of work, especially with replacing and stripping out propietary code.

      As much as I would love to see JF come back to Winamp, I doubt that would happen, even if they asked, because I think that he is too focused on his other projects and his current company.

      Radionomy hasn’t been milking much of anything winamp, just shoutcast, which makes sense because they are an i-radio company. They have really dropped the ball on all this imo.

      Still I do agree that they should shoot for something like Winamp3, that program had so much potential, but they released it wayyyy to early and too much in an pre-alpha form.

  6. Mithun John Jacob said on January 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Why can’t they release the code to the open source community ?

    That’s the most viable option when you don’t have any resource.

    1. Jerome said on January 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Would you just give away something you spent a few million dollars on?

      1. Andrew said on January 7, 2016 at 7:54 am

        Well considering that they only redesigned the shoutcast site and updated shoutcast, I think it’s safe to say that

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 7, 2016 at 7:45 am

        They have probably spend much of it on Shoutcast, but that is just a guess ;)

  7. Nikos said on January 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    As far I can tell from forum posts, especially from this one ( there is no actual development on Winamp because DrO left the dev team.
    DrO was the main developer on Winamp for years and after this the development seems to be impossible to restart.

    What a pity for a great piece of software like Winamp.
    Still my favorite music player.

    Damn you AOL – Radionomy – Vivendi
    Damn you all

  8. Vinícius said on January 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Most probably, Winamp will be sold to some other company sometime…

  9. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on January 2, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    I said it before, but I seriously don’t see them bothering with any major updates. It seems more likely that they’ll smash the Winamp brand into something else (and alienate the hangers-on of its community in the process) and whatever it is will eventually be forgotten.

    Winamp was great (maybe even still is for a lot of people) but the landscape is filled with alternatives now (free and not). Yeah, some may never replicate the “cut and paste” ease of skinning Winamp or boast a visualizer system like it had (though now in 2016, I argue the need for a visualizer at all but that’s another topic for another time) but many of them offer comparable functionality overall (some even more than it did) and are still in active development.

  10. Larry said on January 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Windows 7 + Winamp 5.666 fully patched + BogProg X-Fade input plug-in (cross fading for the input side of things) + Stereo Tool 7.84 DSP plug-in + Matrix Mixer 0.9.163d & DirectSound output plug-ins + Logitech Z906 5.1 speaker system + cPro skin + 64,000 music file library = a great looking, great sounding, easily managed, music collection.

    Winamp is still the most versatile digital music player available! It is not for wimps.

  11. Scott said on January 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Winamp 5.623 + SQRSoft’s Smart Cross Fader/Gap Killer + Sound Solution 1.31 Pro Processor DSP + a 220,000 file music library = a professional radio station with killer sound in a box for free. If any other currently available music player can handle those plug-ins and capacity seamlessly, I haven’t yet found it. Long live Winamp!

  12. Andrew said on January 1, 2016 at 12:20 am

    I’m glad Ben finally shined some light on what was going on, it is really a shame that Radionomy fired/laid off all the developers. This also makes me weary about the future of Winamp. Still, I am loving my Winamp 5.63 w/ ml_ipod & cPro2 skin

  13. Jeff said on December 31, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Obligatory Musicbee recommendation.

    It is easily the best player and manager I’ve ever used. The developer does incredible work on it, and thought of pretty much everything.

    1. LewdGeek said on August 10, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      its a fucking reskin of iTunes XD

    2. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on January 2, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Honestly, if I didn’t know foobar2000 existed and was just coming away from using Winamp, that is what I’d use.

  14. Leandro said on December 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I use AIMP, XMPlay and Foobar2000.
    AIMP 4 has just been released but most people see it with bad eyes just because it is Russian.

  15. TurnItUpSome said on December 31, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I purchased the licensed version in Oct of 2004. Doing the math, that’s over 11 years. It has always been my primary music player. If they would charge for a very new version, I would be happy to pay $50 or so for it. Maybe that would get them motivated to come out with a new version along with an Android version. I’m sure there would be a multitude of previous users who would jump back on the “wagon”. People tend to value something by how much it costs.
    Com’on WinAmp!. Many of us have been hanging on in anticipation for a long time.

  16. rckoegel said on December 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  17. Simakuutio said on December 31, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Still using Winamp daily. Tried pretty much all of those alternatives but what comes to usability, Winamp is still most polished (at least into my taste). And shoutcast directory is something I _demand_ from players… among other things Winamp provides by default.

    It’s good to have wide variety of players for all possible needs and tastes. For me, Winamp is still natural choise I’m not willing to change anytime soon.

    Happy new year to all Ghacks readers all around the globe!

  18. Dave said on December 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Still the best MP3 player on windows to date.

  19. birmingham said on December 31, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Reminds me at least on some chicks are really hot…

  20. Tom Hawack said on December 31, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Forgot to add this, for fun and souvenirs … my desktop on July 15th, 2005, with Winamp dressed up with my favorite skin at the time, on a 1024×768 screen :) Wow, 10 years already… ->

    Must remind you a lot of things as well, correct?!

  21. Tom Hawack said on December 31, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Winamp together with several other leading applications (i.e. ACDSee) were major references on my first days with a computer. I removed ACDSee when it became bloated and Winamp when I started hearing of repeated warnings concerning security issues. Maybe the Winamp story after that proved that the warnings weren’t justified, I don’t know. Anyway since then my approach to handling audio and video changed when I opted for separate applications for each, lite (yet complete) and fast software for audio, as well as for video. Not too fond of big factories which handle everything.

  22. birmingham said on December 31, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Why update? Why comeback?
    Still using 2.9 here, of course with a not horrible skin like above :)

    Have a good slide into 2016 ghacks and readers!

  23. najodleglejszy said on December 31, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I used to swear by Winamp until I noticed it was using relatively high amount of RAM (about 50 MB IIRC). I switched to foobar2000, which does excelent job and is much more customizable, sitting at 16.3 MB when I’m typing this comment.

    1. Pants said on January 1, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Who cares. Using RAM is good. If it chewed thru large amounts of CPU, then that would be an issue – but it doesn’t.

      I have a quarter million mp3 library, I have a 30,000 playlist. Winamp uses 230-250MB of RAM when opened and when in use (120Mb of that is the media library’s main.dat sql catalog file of my music). It’s also not bare bones – I have some plugins added and skin). Thrashing my sound system while I drown some beers and run around the house with my pants on my head, for five hours (last night was fun .. pics to follow) doesn’t even raise the temp – of anything. And my computer probably doesn’t even realize the its CPU was needed. Are you the same person is said the same silly things in the last Winamp article here. I just opened Foobar, with nothing in it and its sitting at 10MB of RAM. If it had to load/catalog a 1.4 million songs it’d be a different story, If it had to load a 30k playlist, again, more overhead and so on. I’d rather Winamp use RAM than not – it’s faster.

      As for Foobar (which I use for some maintenance purposes, and nothing against the program at all), IMO, it’s got nothing on what Winamp can do in terms of customisation, addons, and skins. I’d post a pic but then you’d all get green jealous fever and die.

      1. Abelardo Rodriguez said on May 2, 2016 at 2:12 am


        Maybe you can help me for organize 180,0000 files. the estructure base is


        I want to use in the winamp the estucture like a windows changing the the skin

    2. Lindsay said on January 1, 2016 at 2:33 am

      It seems to me that this is a complaint that could have made sense 15 years ago…

  24. Cool Winamp User said on December 31, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I have moved Media Players but I still look at Winamp every once and a while. It’s still capable, But I would really like updates.

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