Winamp Community Update Project releases first Winamp Preview

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 3, 2019
Music and Video

WACUP -- the Winamp Community Update Project -- released a preview version of the music player to the public yesterday.

WACUP is a third-party modified version of the music player Winamp that is based on Winamp 5.666 patched and not the recently leaked Winamp 5.8 Beta.

Radionomy, the owner of Winamp, released the beta officially as a reaction to the leak to provide interested users with a clean copy of the application to avoid malware abuse.

The company revealed that it had plans to release a new version of the music player in 2019; whether that will be the case or not remains to be seen. Considering that there have not been any new releases, except for the release of the leaked beta since Radionomy acquired Winamp, it is anyone's guess whether 2019 will see the release of a new official Winamp.

Winamp Community Update Project

The first preview release of WACUP requires Windows 7 or newer. The program will install Winamp 5.666 patched on the system if not installed already as it requires that version. The lead developer of the project suggests that users install the preview into a separate directory to avoid conflicts with existing Winamp installations.

WACUP is provided as an installer at this point in time that may install Winamp WACUP edition on the system or copy it for portable use.

It includes the following features that set it apart from Winamp 5.666:

  • Includes crash and security fixes.
  • Support for Big Bento modern skins and native cPro skins.
  • Tweaks that improve the loading and shutdown time of the program.
  • Plugin, command-line, and media format support improvements.

You find the most recent changelog here.

WACUP displays a skin selection screen on first run. It features classic and modern skins for Winamp. Note that there is also a checked box that allows the program to check for updates for tools used by WACUP; you can disable that and either update manually only or run manual checks for updates in the application.

The player opens with the iconic Llama Whippin jingle and the classic Winamp interface (using the selected skin).

wacup winamp audio

If you used Winamp before you will feel right at home; nothing changed interface-wise, every feature and button is still there.

What you may notice is the improved startup and shutdown speed, and better stability while running the audio player on the system.

Obviously, you have to integrate your music library in the player again if you did not upgrade an existing installation of Winamp on the device.

The project team plans to release bi-weekly beta versions and new preview versions once a month.

Closing Words

WACUP is an interesting alternative for Winamp users if the project team continues development and manages to release new versions regularly. There is certainly a market for classic media players like Winamp.

I stick to AIMP and MusicBee for now.

Now You: do you use Winamp or another audio player? (via Deskmodder)

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4.5 based on 5 votes
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WACUP Winamp
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  1. timtam said on July 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    this has been updated recently to a preview release

  2. Mikey said on December 28, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    OK, its December 28th 2019 still no Winamp updates…

    1. 3rdeyecandy said on February 23, 2020 at 12:32 am

      WACUP is still moving forward in 2020, but yes, Winamp 5.8 from 2018 is still the last, official version now.

      That said, I moved on from Winamp a decade ago, and from what I see of it now, I still don’t care to use it again.

      Back in the day I had only used Winamp for the Milkdrop visualizations, but that has now evolved to projectM, which works via a plugin in foobar2000 and is already in Clementine and QMMP.. Clementine seems to have the most visualization modules, but I think QMMP has more control. As for foobar2000, I haven’t tested projectM in it yet.

  3. NOT THE BEES said on January 7, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Musicbee for W, QuodLibet for L.

  4. Anonymous said on January 6, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    1by1 Is a very convenient audio player.

    For internetradio RadioSure was unbeatable. However since 2016 this radio-client had no updates and since short the RadioSure-site is gone. So using RadioSure is unsafe I presume.

    An alternative for a radio-client is phonostar-Player, after finding how to use I think is far more nicer than Radio-Sure and WinAmp (for internet radio), because phonostar-Player can be used full screen and has really more stations than WinAmp and RadioSure.

  5. Sony Player Skin said on January 4, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    I almost never choose a GUI instead of function, but Foobar vs Winamp 2.xx is really a let down for Foobar cold interface.

  6. \m/ Evil Metal \m/ said on January 4, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Evil Player :)

  7. Mod Collector said on January 4, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    This thing really kicks something…

  8. Scott said on January 4, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I’m running WinAmp 5.666 patched on one machine, 5.623 on another with the Sound Solution processing and SqrSoft Advanced crossfade plug-ins. Playback sounds like a professional radio station/club DJ. I suppose other newer players might have these capabilities, but after 10 years of the WinAmp configuration providing exceptional results, I’m at the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it stage.

    I have noticed that the WinAmp Music Library won’t scan my external music harddrive at the root level anymore; I have to scan several subfolders to add new material to the ML. With close to 4T of content on the library drive, perhaps I’ve hit an upper scan limit of the ML.

  9. Dave said on January 4, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I see no reason to change the current 5.666 winamp other then adding content to monetize it.

    I’ll stick with 5.666 and the MMD3 skin.

    I only recently needed to find a music player for a phone and I chose Musicolet beause it needs no data connection as it only plays local files and I have thousands of mp3s.

    I did go through them all recently and update the tags, adding missing info and art to work with the digital media player we replaced the car stereo with. MP3Tagger worked great for that.

  10. Ken Saunders said on January 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    foobar2000 for years now. I initially starting using it because it had the lightest resource usage out of all of the others that I tried, but I still continue to use it even though that’s not an issue any longer. I just like it and it’s customizable enough.
    I was a big fan of Winamp “back in the day”. If it returns to what it once was, I might be willing to try it again.

  11. Oscar said on January 4, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I’ve moved to foobar2000 after it was declared dead. WinAMP it’s great as a default player, but as a media manager I think foobar2000 is superior.

  12. Doc Flay said on January 4, 2019 at 3:13 am

    I don’t understand why the review doesn’t mention any of the new features.

    Surely the support for a variety of popular streaming media sites such as YouTube, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Vimeo and more, would have been worth mentioning ?

    Improved support for more podcasts, and after all these years will play more tracker files (and better), including Amiga Octamed files.

    This review only scratches the surface of the changes and new features, but as it is all buried in a familiar interface it may take a while to notice.

    WACUP is to Winamp, as Vivaldi is to Opera

  13. Viktor said on January 4, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Nobody listed XMPlay, you need to take a look.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 4, 2019 at 8:19 am
  14. belgiumwaffles said on January 3, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    I keep trying other audio players, but i keep coming back to Foobar2000.

    I was never a big fan of Winamp, but I’m glad folks are still working on it.

    That said, I’m still looking for an audio player that can SIMPLY play all the mp3 files in a folder randomly, without playing the same song twice.

    I can achieve the same result in Foobar2000 via “randomize” and saving that as a playlist, and then play that as normal.. But I want a faster option, such as a right-click>folder command (e.g. Play All Smart Random). Any tips?

  15. Ryan said on January 3, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Still using Winamp till this day.. Nothing can compare to it.

  16. barrymac said on January 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Foobar2000 for years. Found it when looking for a player that would bypass the windows mixer so that I could output best digital to an outboard DAC, and could also use ASIO. It has never let me down and the sound quality is top notch. I recall struggling a lot to get the interface configured into what I use now. I’m still discovering features I didn’t realize were there all along. Consequently I have not recommended it to others because of what I felt was a steep learning curve at the time, especially compared to WinAmp which I never hesitated to recommend. Happy to hear that it’s back (sort of)!

  17. Tamris said on January 3, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Yes, been using foobar2000 for quite some time.

  18. MaybeSteven said on January 3, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Foobar2000 (with Facet and SimPlaylist, and etc) baby! but the add-ons are closed source and abandoned as fucc!

    PS. MusicBee looks interesting… I love how Steven the sole developer refers to himself in third person.

  19. foolishgrunt said on January 3, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve never understood the undying love affair for WinAmp. The layout looks like something a Tony Hawk-loving teenager would have designed – I never found it intuitive or attractive.

    I use Clementine, which is cross-platform and whose interface is inspired by the classic AmaroK 1.4.

    1. lehnerus2000 said on January 4, 2019 at 2:14 am

      Simply download a new skin (the default is ugly) or create your own.

      As a rule, IMO all music players are unnecessarily complicated and often unintuitive.
      For example, ~6 years ago I (foolishly) decided to test MusicBee.
      It moved all of my ~10000 mp3 files into a new file structure.
      It took weeks to clean up the mess.

    2. DrO said on January 3, 2019 at 10:59 pm

      It’s a matter of personal preference. Different people like different things which is why we’ve got such a spread of different media players out there & it’s not like you cannot change the skin / look of Winamp or move / hide things.

      As comparably there’s a strong grouping of people who can’t stand the look of fb2k. Yes the base Winamp skin is dated but some people love it & if it’s doing no one harm, as long as they’re happy does it really matter? I’d have to say no but that’s just me.

      Choice is good considering everything has tended to go to only a minimal selection of offerings.


  20. Rrr said on January 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    It is maintained by former Nullsoft dev, Darren Owen (DrO).

    You could ask him in Reddit Winamp – – under name “doctor_o”.

  21. Yuliya said on January 3, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    AIMP 🧡 Both on PC and phone.

    1. Akari said on January 5, 2019 at 3:27 am

      WACUP > Everything Else

  22. Jeff said on January 3, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    The Big Bento Modern skin is awful. They have got rid of many UI elements including the menu bar. That skin is like a dumbed down Winamp with power user controls removed.

    1. Victhor said on January 3, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Menu is there, you need to pay more attention, or actually use the skin. The option to enable / disable it is exactly where it was on Big Bento.
      And what other power user control you see missing?

      1. Jeff said on January 5, 2019 at 4:04 am

        You’re right, I judged only from the Ghacks screenshot. I tried it actually. It is wonderful ! The player is still superb and extremely powerful like I liked.

      2. Victhor said on January 5, 2019 at 7:23 pm

        Well, as we say here, it’s a sign of a gentleman admit being wrong, I’m glad you did!

        Minimalism was something I kept in mind when doing it though, some things were “pushed” to Right-click menus or other ways of access. I recommend you to check the “new = ” labels on “Changelog.txt” to have a specific overview of the features. And “Hidden Features.txt” has a list of the not-so-obvious stuff on the skin. Both files are on the main folder of the skin (besides changelog is accesible from the skin)

  23. Ronj said on January 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I like winamp still using it for when I am out DJing

  24. gwacks said on January 3, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    “I stick to AIMP and MusicBee for now.”

    M2. I use an copy of AIMP3 of v3.55, build 1355 on one my old Win7 PC, which is tiny, fast, smooth, good quality, highly customizable and of course, made by some Russian man (is it important?).

  25. pHROZEN gHOST said on January 3, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I tried a lot of other players over the years. But, my main music player has been Winamp since the very beginning. The basic interface was all I ever wanted. In fact, I pared it down to just that. I got rid of the library and modern skins. I do use enhancer. It makes a marked improvement on the sound.

    For several years I used 5.666. I updated to the officially released 5.8.

    I’m not sure how they can improve things beyond what I have now. But, I’m willing to give it a try.

    1. DrO said on January 3, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      It really depends on what you’re doing with Winamp as to whether WACUP will appeal or not.

      So for example we’re working on making classic skins work better on higher resolution screens with the end result to be able to double-size all of them instead of just the main & eq windows (currently we’ve got the generic window frames doing it with the playlist editor to still be done).

      If there’s something that you specifically want improved / changed from how it currently is then let me know as we’re more likely to be able to achieve it than waiting for something ‘official’ to arrive.

      As I get that for a lot of people only the official builds will do (as I used to work on) but that 5.8 beta is a disappointment after almost 5 years wait (knowing nothing was done for most of that time) along with it released as “not an ongoing project” isn’t great when you still want to see it supported.


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