Winamp 5.9 RC1 has been released
Last year, we reported that Winamp would be making a comeback soon. And it's here, Winamp 5.9 RC1 has been released.
This is the first update for the popular music player since Winamp 5.8 beta, that was released in 2018.
What's new in Winamp 5.9 RC1
The music player has improved Windows 11 compatibility, support for vp8, https://streams, playback of .itz, .mdz, .s3z & .xmz compressed modules. The program now has a Podcast Directory. The browser tab has been removed from the Bento skin. Aside from these changes, the update fixes some memory leaks. The help link in the application directs users to a new online Help section.
According to the release notes, Winamp has been migrated from VS2008 to VS2019. Winamp now requires Windows 7 SP1 as the minimum required operating system, i.e., it drops support for Windows XP and Vista.
Though it wasn't mentioned in the change log, I noticed that the update also removes many of the old skins.
Issues in Winamp 5.9 RC1
The migration process from VS2008 to VS2019 has resulted in some known issues. The Milkdrop plugin's visualization works, but it has issues with some presets. Eleven of the worst affected presets have been removed, but are expected to be fixed in the Winamp 5.9.1 update that is slated for a future release. View File Info doesn't work, and ReplayGain calculation is broken for Vorbis files, .OGG. These bugs are also expected to be fixed in the next update.
Winamp 5.9 RC1 breaks compatibility with old plugins, including those made by former developer DrO (creator of WACUP), such as the Jump to File Extra (JTFE). Some required DLLs may not load on Windows 7 - 8.1.
Upcoming changes to Winamp
Winamp's developers have also published a list of upcoming changes that they plan to add to the software. This includes native support for more audio formats (opus, ogv/ogm, TS, H.265, HLS, VP9, etc.). MusicBrainz or MusicStory will replace Gracenote features such as Autotag, CDDB. There are plans to add more default services including Lyrics, and Jamendo.
Refer to the release notes for more information.
Warning: Winamp's forums do not have an HTTPS website.
Download Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999 from the Winamp website. The installer for the new version has been flagged by a few antivirus services on VirusTotal, the developers have indicated these are false positives. You can download Winamp 5.666 Build 3516 from the official website. Malwarebytes seems to detect the installer of the old Winamp 5.666 as malicious too.
The music player is quite usable for the most part. This is more of a maintenance release than a feature update. So far, it doesn't contain any of the bloatware that were expected to be bundled into the program, or any NFT stuff that was shared by the company's Twitter account earlier this year. A comment from the lead developer suggests that optional online services could be added to Winamp in the future, but for now they have no details to share about it.
If plugins are important to you, I'd recommend readers to either stick to the old version, or switch to WACUP (WinAmp Community Update Project), I prefer the latter as it is still maintained.
Have you tried Winamp 5.9 ? Share your thoughts about it.Advertisement