Winamp 5.9 Final Released after years of development

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 10, 2022
Music and Video

Two months ago, the developers of the audio player Winamp released a first release candidate of Winamp 5.9. The player, which many thought dead and buried, came back to life and users started to take notice again.

This week, Winamp 5.9 Final was released. If you have followed the release candidate review that Ashwin wrote, you know all the things that are new and changed already. If you are new, you may find the following summary useful.

First of all, you may download the final stable version of Winamp 5.9 from the official forum. There, you also find the changelog, list of known issues and other release information. You may also download Winamp from third-party sites, such as our parent company Softonic (still needs to be updated to the new release).

Winamp 5.9 Final

The last official version of Winamp before 5.9 dates back to 2018. Windows 11 was not released at the time, and many Windows users believed Microsoft's claim that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows.

Last year saw the release of Windows 11, and one of Winamp 5.9's major changes is improved compatibility with Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system. If you had troubles running older versions of Winamp on Windows 11, or could not get some features to work properly, you are probably good now running the latest release of the media player.

You may also notice that Winamp 5.9 requires a new Visual Studio runtime, which may be installed during setup if it is missing. The change is bad news for pre-Windows 7 devices, as Winamp 5.9 is no longer compatible with devices running Windows Vista or XP.

Another major feature addition is support for HTTPS streams. More and more sites and services have migrated to HTTPS, and the lack of support meant that Winamp users could not tune in to these streams anymore because it lacked support for it. Now, this is a thing of the past.

Other improvements include updated libraries and support for new formats that have risen in popularity in the past couple of years.

The list of known fixes is long, but most will be addressed in Winamp 5.9.1 according to the release notes. It is unclear when the point release will become available though. Major issues include problems playing certain hi-res FLAC files and relying on an older version of OpenSSL due to development issues.

As far as features are concerned that are still in development, there are a few. The development tream plans to add native support for multiple formats, replace "old Gracenote features (CDDB, Autotag, etc) with e.g. MusicBrainz or MusicStory", add more default services and other improvements.

Closing Words

The new Winamp release works well. While the developers may have a hard time convincing new users to give it a try and drop their favorite audio player, they may have better luck getting old Winamp users to try it once more.

Now You: what is your favorite audio player?

Winamp 5.9 Final Released after years of development
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Winamp 5.9 Final Released after years of development
Winamp 5.9 Final is now available. The first major release after four years brings support for Windows 11, https streams and more.
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  1. Rob said on September 15, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Anybody know something that can play exo files or convert them ??
    I prefered winamp portable for years it was way more capable than any other player I’ve used at the time. Looking forward to trying it out again.

  2. Jimmy said on September 15, 2022 at 3:59 am

    I got a message there was a new 5.9 version today sep 15th 2022 but it won’t play wav just mp3?

  3. DavidWallace said on September 12, 2022 at 11:53 am

    No JTFE? No upgrade! Version 5.8 still works.

  4. Henk said on September 11, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    I find nearly all music players are way overloaded with all kinds of useless frills and nonsense: such as never-used options, outlandish side functions, time-demanding “collection managing” nonsense, freaky visual side shows, unnecessary complex or weirdly “stylized” user interfaces. To be frank, they nearly all have become something I need like cat’s piss.

    As my music collection is strictly organized in album-based or collection-based folders, I do not even want to wast my time on playlists. All I want is a simple, basic, folder-oriented music player that does just one core thing: playing my MP3s well, meaning with good and adjustable sound quality, while staying nearly invisible in the background.

    So my favorite music player is 1by1 ( And on my Android phone I use the equally great 1by1 Android app.

    I love simplicity and yes, some people may find this player too simple. As in: “but over Bluetooth it does not show album art” or whatever detail you may complain about. But consider that it still does a wonderful job. Think of it as the Citroën 2CV of music players: the essential thing that it needs to do, it does very well, comfortably, reliably, with minimal fuss. No need for a ridiculous, complex, overweight Landrover in the same terrain!

  5. chikyuu said on September 11, 2022 at 10:27 am

    aimp for me…

  6. Baznooker said on September 11, 2022 at 9:36 am

    Give this new kid on the block a shot:
    Cross-platform and under constant development. There’s also a portable windows version.

  7. Max Zorin said on September 11, 2022 at 2:16 am

    Dopamine player is what I use.

    Nice interface. Open source. Just plays music without a bunch of add on crap.

  8. Nate said on September 11, 2022 at 1:40 am

    Favorite player these days is on my phone.
    Music Folder Player.
    I can use it to brows via folders, actual files on the phone…it also has a speed changer and pitch adjust to compensate the playback speed pitch change.
    I don’t browse artists, albums or genre…I just know what’s in the folders.

  9. Funkyy said on September 10, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve already downloaded and installed Winamp 5.9.0.
    Each to his own, it’s like keeping your old car with all its
    happy memories. I love nostalgia. lol

  10. Mothy said on September 10, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    For audio, I still use Windows Media Player to occasionally play a small collection of MP3’s. It works well for my needs but also because I like to limit installed software on the system (to reduce its attack surface and complexity). For streaming audio (ex. SiriusXM, Spotify, etc.) or video I use a web browser, usually ungoogled chromium so my primary browser Firefox ESR is available to be used for other more sensitive/secure tasks.

  11. Claymore said on September 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    XMPlay for me for 20 years. Plays every possible format whilst kept small and modular. WinAMP was nice, but just kept as backup player.

  12. Leak said on September 10, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    When Winamp announced that they would dabble in NFTs earlier this year they really convinced me to stay the hell away from it…

    1. WEnd said on September 10, 2022 at 9:10 pm

      Not the same maintainers. They are three different versions.

      1. Official Winamp forum version –

      2. WACUP version, which has gotten more updates and features than the Winamp forum version –

      3. Radionomy version which will have all that bloated social junk in it, not released to public –

      Anyway, I still use 5.8v, Build 3660. No issues and I see no reason to update to the newest versions yet.

    2. Leak said on September 10, 2022 at 5:54 pm

      And I also just noticed there’s a Foobar2000 version 2.0 release on the horizon, with some juicy improvements…

  13. Tirrell Dayton said on September 10, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Off track comment: Was hoping somone could finally help. After years, still trying to unlock my music files MS locked after I moved them from my several computers over the 10 years. Tried everything I could find – no luck. This is 2022… has to be a solution. Anyone know how to unlock them? They’re Windows Media Audio files…

    1. VioletMoon said on September 12, 2022 at 12:37 am
    2. Tsami said on September 10, 2022 at 7:46 pm

      I have no experience with this issue, but on the off-chance that you haven’t seen these already, there are several suggestions at:

  14. chesscanoe said on September 10, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    My audio requirements for Windows 10 are met by 64 bit AIMP 5.03 build 2398.

  15. Tachy said on September 10, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Still using Winamp 5.666 and it still works perfectly for my needs.

    My needs = 0 advertising.

    1. Tom said on September 10, 2022 at 4:20 pm

      You could download the installer from a site like Softonic that is known to bundle other installers with installers.

  16. Shiva said on September 10, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Always nice to have one more alternative. However, I must say that I have not changed this configuration since time immemorial:

    – Foobar2000 (archived music)
    – Potplayer (audio\video)
    – StreamWriter (radio)

    Recently added was MPV which I use for audio\videos on the web with the ContextSearch web-ext aid. With StreamWriter you can choose whether to open the stream with an external program, to me it seems to be an underestimated software.

    Certainly for audio players there is no shortage of alternatives, perhaps MusicBee? Well, Winamp fans will be happy. Just saying, to each their own.

  17. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 10, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Installer gets stuck in an infinite loop and never completes.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 10, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      I’ll stick with WACUP.

      1. JeffB said on September 12, 2022 at 8:26 pm

        I’m watching WACUP with interest. When will they offer a stable release to the public?

  18. jhen said on September 10, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    potplayer or vlc for me…

  19. Rot In Peace said on September 10, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Some things should stay buried. This is garbage, technology and THE WORLD has moved on..
    This is basically sex with your ex. Your dead ex.

    1. Marky said on January 3, 2023 at 8:31 pm

      Why do idiots always sort of wait to show up?, world moved in few ways but people don’t have to go the ways that have been dictated by a sick idiot trying to negatively influence others.

    2. Dustyn said on September 11, 2022 at 4:00 am

      You got problems son.

      1. Alessandro said on September 11, 2022 at 3:53 pm


    3. Anonymous said on September 11, 2022 at 2:09 am

      What do you suggest then? Winamp is still my daily music player. The only thing that comes close to it is AIMP, but I still always go back to Winamp. This technology will never disappear because it is among the greatest. Fast, light, and customizable. It’s quite versatile even without the source code. I’m assuming you use players like Spotify, which is bloated electron drivel that destroys solid state disks. Such Electron garbage will never come into contact with my PC. Winamp for life!

      1. Anonymous said on September 11, 2022 at 10:37 am

        Agree regarding Spotify. Another problem with Spotify is all the music that simply are not avaiable there. So I prefer local mp3/flac/wma and used Winamp for many years until 2018. Then I found MusicBee and I have never missed Winamp since. Musicbee is so much better than Winamp ever was, in so many ways. You should try it.

      2. Yarrr said on September 11, 2022 at 1:45 pm

        I don’t rent music. I steal music. It now belongs to me, and I don’t need an internetconnection to listen to it, I can copy it anywhere I want and use it how I want. Stealing music doesn’t help the artist, neither does renting music. It is what it is, in this day and age. I go to concerts, I buy t-shirts. In the 80’s I bought vinyls, in the 90’s and forward I bought the same vinyls on CD. THOUSANDS of them. Sometimes I bought cassettes and remastered versions of the same vinyls. I went to countless concerts, I bought more band t-shirts, hoodies, shorts etc than anybody. I have spent a sickening amount of money on my favorite bands since forever, like a madman. I should have bought a house and a car instead. TWO houses and TEN cars. I am now old and ass-broke, I own absolutely nothing and I’ll be damned if I have to RENT all that music again. Nope. This time we go by my rules. I have paid my dues, I am now a proud THIEF. And a music fan. All my music fits on a 1TB MicroSD card and that’s how I roll. You can kiss my donkey.

      3. Rot In Peace said on September 11, 2022 at 9:31 am

        I have 35k albums. I use MusicBee. Nothing comes close.

    4. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 10, 2022 at 3:20 pm

      You may want to seek professional help before you do something you could regret.

  20. Allwynd said on September 10, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    I think they are already working on 6.0 and that one will have an updated default skin, I don’t know if older skins will work, but I hope they better do. I usually don’t care about skins, my default audio player has been foobar2000 since 2009 so I don’t care how they look as long as they can play music. But having the old skins will make it more fun and it will preserve all those skin creators’ work.

    I currently have this newest version of Winamp installed just to see what will change, but I don’t think I will use it over foobar2000.

    1. bryan young said on September 12, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      Winamp 6 is a different dev team focused on mobile and web

  21. John Doe said on September 10, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    It is surprising that the Winamp forum is still using HTTP instead of HTTPS.

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