Radionomy, the company that bought the Winamp application, web services, and technology from AOL in 2014, revealed that it is working on a brand new version of Winamp that it plans to release in 2019.
The company plans to release Winamp 5.8, the recently leaked version of the next "classic" version of the media player, later this week. The release won't hold many surprises for users who downloaded the leaked version previously as it won't be that different from the leak even though the leak dates back to 2016.
Winamp 5.8 removes all Pro components from Winamp, replaced proprietary codecs with open codecs, removed DRM support, and enabled Windows Audio support among other things. The new version fixes lots of bugs that crept up over the years and should run better for the majority of users who upgrade Winamp to the new version once it gets released officially.
More surprising than the upcoming release of Winamp after a period of four years without any release is that Radionomy plans to release a completely new version of Winamp in 2019. Winamp 6.0 was confirmed by Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy recently in a Techcrunch interview.
The next major Winamp version would stay true to the legacy of Winamp but would provide "a more complete listening experience". Saboundjian wants Winamp to become the go-to player for all things audio; from classic local audio files and Internet Radio streams to cloud-based service integrations and podcasts. But turning Winamp into a universal player for all things audio is just one side of the medal.
Winamp has been a desktop player traditionally but that is about to change with the release of the next version of Winamp in 2019. Radionomy plans to release Winamp for Android and iOS in 2019 to make it the universal music player on all devices that users use to consume audio.
What I see today is you have to jump from one player to another player or aggregator if you want to listen to a radio station, to a podcast player if you want to listen to a podcast — this, to me, is not the final experience,” he explained. It’s all audio, and it’s all searchable in one fashion or another. So why isn’t it all in one place?
Saboundjian was tight-lipped about how that universal player would look like and if Winamp would integrate major services such as Spotify.
The release of Winamp 5.8 will please a lot of fans of the media player and may even bring back some that moved on to use a different media player on the desktop. It remains to be seen if Radionomy manages to release Winamp 6.0 for the desktop and mobile devices in 2019. Veteran Winamp users may remember the company's promise to release a new version of Winamp in 2016 but did not release one until, well. next week.
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