Winamp is set for a comeback, you can sign-up for the beta now

Nov 22, 2021
Music and Video

The official website of Winamp has been updated. It says that a new version is coming. We have heard this before, so if you are a fan of the classic music player, I'd suggest not getting your hopes up too much.

new Winamp website

This isn't the first time the company has teased a new version is "coming soon". It happened in 2016, and later in 2018, shortly after Winamp 5.8 got leaked. But, for fans who were expecting good news, nothing came to fruition with regard to version 6.

Winamp has had a pretty rough journey. AOL acquired the music player from Nullsoft in 1998. That's when it became popular. A decade and a half later, Winamp's ownership changed hands when Belgian online radio aggregator, Radionomy, acquired it in 2014. French media conglomerate, Vivendi, infamous for its hostile takeovers, acquired a majority stake in Radionomy in 2015.

There has been little to no development related to Winamp for quite a while. The music player last received an update in the Winter of 2013, i.e., Winamp version 5.666. A leaked version of the player, Winamp 5.8 beta surfaced in 2018, and was later officially released to the public. Ever since then, there has been barely any word about its development. So it comes as no surprise that its cult following keeps pestering the devs about an update for their beloved music player.

winamp 5.8 beta

That might change soon, strong emphasis on both might and soon. Bleeping Computer reports that Jeremy Scheppers, Winamp's Head of Product development, said they were excited for the re-launch of the music player. That's pretty cryptic, actually, that tells nothing.

The new Winamp portal, spotted by Vosveteit, says that the next-gen version of the music player will be a remastered one. It also goes on to mention that the program will connect your music wherever you are, including podcasts and radio stations. Fair warning, the website seems to chug, especially while scrolling. The old version of Winamp is available for download near the bottom of the page.

Winamp new version teased

Sign up for the Winamp beta

There is no new version available just yet, but you may opt in to the Winamp beta program to test it when it is released. Did you notice the new Winamp logo in the top corner?

Winamp beta version

The landing page mentions that artists and creators will be able to release their music, control their content, make money and connect with the fans through the service. The message is clear and obvious, Winamp will offer some sort of streaming service of its own. There are several job listings that outline the company's plans to monetize the service, through ads and sales. And given the location requirements for the postings, the service should be available globally, or at least in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Winamp job listings

Darren Owen, a former Winamp and SHOUTcast developer, and the current developer of WACUP (Winamp Community Update Project) shared his views on the upcoming version on reddit (u/thedoctor_0). He says that the new Winamp may offer a streaming service, potentially similar to Spotify. The client software might just be web-api wrappers, like Electron. While the official page claims a remastered application is coming, Owen thinks the focus may be on a web-based client, and a mobile app, and not on the desktop program. If true, old Winamp skins may not be compatible with it.

That's an interesting take on the music player from a former developer, or does that sound like a recipe for disaster?  A Spotify rival from a radio aggregator does make sense, and so does ads in the stream for monetization, or at least to push users to subscribe to a premium service for the ad-free experience. But none of this sounds like the Winamp we know and love.

I don't think it is fair to judge it before it has been released, so let's keep our fingers crossed and hope it really whips the llama's ass.

Winamp is getting relaunched and you can opt in to receive beta version
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Winamp is getting relaunched and you can opt in to receive beta version
Winamp is teasing the launch of the next gen version. Find out more about it, and sign up for the beta version.
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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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