Winamp 5.8 Beta leak appears on the Web

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 16, 2018
Updated • Oct 19, 2018
Music and Video

A beta version of the upcoming Winamp 5.8 media player found its way to the darker side of the Web where it is now being distributed heavily.

Winamp, which was once a very popular media player for Microsoft Windows devices and is still used by die-hard fans up to this day, has had a rough patch in recent years.

AOL, the then-owner of Winamp, announced in 2013 that it would shut down the service and the Internet Radio directory Shoutcast.  The company sold Winamp in a turn of events later that year to Radionomy, owners of a platform to create, discover, and listen-to online radio stations.

While that meant that Winamp was saved for the moment, it did not really improve the situation otherwise; new Winamp versions were not released and while developers did mention here and there that a new version was in the works, nothing came out of it in the almost 5 years after Radionomy's acquisition of Winamp.

Update: Winamp 5.8 has been released officially. You can check the changelog here and download it there as well.

A Winamp developer revealed in 2016 that work was underway on Winamp 5.8 but that the team did not want to release the beta version at the time because it would lack quite a bit of functionality. A forum post on the official Winamp forum listed the changes of the beta version.

Neowin reported today that a beta version of Winamp 5.8 leaked on the Web. It appears to the the "real deal" but a version from October 2016. It is certainly not something that you would install on a production machine or on anything really that is outside of a sandbox or virtual environment.

Select Help > About Winamp to check the version of the player. There you find listed the version and the release date of the build (which is October 2016).

A scan on Virustotal returns three hits out of 62 different engines; likely false positives. The beta version comes with quite a few important changes including the following ones:

  • Winamp 5.8 is fully compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 8.1
  • Minimum required operating system is Windows XP Service Pack 3.
  • All Pro license features have been removed.
  • Replaced proprietary decoders for mp3, aac, H.264 and Mpeg-4 with open source or free to use decoders.
  • DRM support removed.
  • CD ripping and playback uses Winodws API.
  • Windows Audio (WASAPI) support.
  • Shared DLL files are stored in Winamp\Shared.
  • MP3 Encoder must be downloaded manually.
  • Added an option to disable video support completely.

Closing Words and verdict

Considering that the build is from October 2016, it is clear that development is progressing at a snail-speed pace. Whether Winamp 5.8 Final will ever be released is up for debate; what is clear is that lots of users seem to be interested in Winamp despite it being more dead than alive for a long time.

It will be tough for the player to compete with regularly updated audio players such as AIMP, MusicBee, or the classic foobar2000.

Now You: Would you switch back to Winamp?

Winamp 5.8 Beta leak appears on the Web
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Winamp 5.8 Beta leak appears on the Web
A beta version of the upcoming Winamp 5.8 media player found its way to the darker side of the Web where it is now being distributed heavily.
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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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