Winamp: new music platform and source code release

Martin Brinkmann
May 17, 2024
Music and Video

Winamp used to be a popular audio player for Windows. Things went quiet after its heyday and rights changed hands several times in that period.

Veteran users of the player had big hopes when a comeback of the player was announced in 2021. After a, mostly, bug fix release in 2022, a new Winamp Player was announced for release in 2023.

The release turned things around significantly, as it was launched as as web-based application and not a traditional desktop app. Even worse, the web-based player did not support playing local files. Everything seemed to be designed to push the new Winamp platform. This web-based platform gave artists a home and users the opportunity to follow artists and subscribe to their music.

Llama Group SA, the current owner of Winamp, revealed plans to launch the final version of the Winamp platform on July 1, 2024. Its aim is to recruit at least 50,000 artists in 2024 and one million artists by the end of 2028.

Besides the launch of the platform, Llama Group SA also plans to launch a new Winamp player on the same day. The player will be "the best player to listen to all types of audio" and the primary option to listen to music from artists on the Winamp platform.

Winamp source code release

Today, Llama Group SA announced plans to release the source code of the original Winamp player on September 24, 2024. This is the classic version of the audio player and not the web-based Winamp version.

Interested users may submit their name and email address on the FreeLLama page to receive information about the source code release.

Winamp users who do not want to wait for that release can check out WACUP, the Winamp Community Project, which is based on classic Winamp but actively maintained. The latest version can be downloaded from the official website.

Closing Words

Whether the new Winamp platform and player will succeed remains to be seen. Much depends on the actual player. If it is based on classic Winamp, but supports modern features, then it has the potential to succeed.

Most Winamp users are likely sticking to the latest classic release or the Wacup release at the time. It will be difficult to get them to switch players.

The release of the source code on the other hand may lead to more classic Winamp forks. How those fare against Wacup remains to be seen.

Now you: do you still use Winamp or do you use another audio player?

Winamp: new music platform and source code release
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Winamp: new music platform and source code release
A new Winamp player and the final version of the Winamp platform will be released on July 1, 2024. The source code of the classic Winamp will also be released.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 21, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    i’m only using wmp 12 and winamp 2.95 from 2003, only for music. Especially winamp is very skinable and lightweigh compared to other new audio players.

  2. Yoda and The Seagulls said on May 19, 2024 at 7:06 pm

    Audacious –

    “Audacious is an open source audio player. A descendant of XMMS, Audacious plays your music how you want it, without stealing away your computer’s resources from other tasks. Drag and drop folders and individual song files, search for artists and albums in your entire music library, or create and edit your own custom playlists.

    Listen to CD’s or stream music from the Internet. Tweak the sound with the graphical equalizer or change the dynamic range with audio effects. Enjoy the modern Qt-themed interface or change things up with Winamp Classic skins. Use the plugins included with Audacious to fetch lyrics for your music, display a VU meter, and more.

    Audacious runs on Linux, BSD derivatives, macOS and Windows.”

  3. GatesFoundation said on May 17, 2024 at 11:02 pm

    This is excellent news. Hopefully they are open sourcing the old version rather than their poor new version, which is simply a lousy bloated web app.

  4. whocares said on May 17, 2024 at 4:53 pm

    XMPlay was my go to alternative to WinAMP but after a few years I switched to Foobar2000 which has the worst stock interface but the most custom-ability options on desktop to make it look like anything if you use user plugins. To bad their Android version is stuck with the crappy user interface.

    1. Allwynd said on May 18, 2024 at 6:24 am

      foobar2000 has a good looking GUI, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It looks like every other program.

      People seem to have their minds deluded that a player (audio and video) must have some ugly, impractical skin that makes it stand out like a zit from the rest of the system for it to look good.

      1. bruh said on May 22, 2024 at 12:57 pm

        Allwynd come on now, no need to play these games. Foobar is a speedy, efficient, and reliable player, but it falls short in the looks department.

        It’s customisable, but even the highly customised themes don’t look too impressive, most of them. Most of the best foobar themes are from before 2010 back when component developers were still carrying the torch, a good number of which ended up stopping due to lack of co-operation from Foobar dev(s).

  5. Anonymous said on May 17, 2024 at 4:46 pm

    What’s your opinion about Aimp as an alternative?

    1. Allwynd said on May 18, 2024 at 6:37 am

      It’s good, I’ve used it for several months, but I prefer foobar2000 on Windows, it is simply the best and the simplest player, you don’t need anything beyond that.

      All players out there are mostly good. I’ve found that Winamp is mostly nostalgia, as foobar2000 is superior and faster at enqueueing songs and reading their metadata.

      There are some like Music Monkey, Music Bee and Clementine, which are more library-oriented, but I’ve found them to be really slow and rarely receive updates.

      There was JetAudio, which prided itsf as the best player to provide you with the best audio quality, but I think unless you have good speakers and audio card, it makes no difference.

      For me on Windows foobar200p is the best, I can use it onLinux, but I prefer the alternatives there better. I used to stick to Rhythmbox, but it began causing me issues and I found Museeks, which so far is pretty good, I’m still new to Linux and I haven’t explored all options, as well as I’m no longer my younger self who would spend hours just to try every audio player and test it in every way possible, I just find the first thing that works and stick with it.

  6. Tachy said on May 17, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    Winamp Pro 5.623 with the MMD3 skin.

    Stil kicking the Llama’s ass!

  7. pHROZEN gHOST said on May 17, 2024 at 2:52 pm

    WACUP is alive and well …

    1. Harro Glööckler said on May 17, 2024 at 10:43 pm

      After looking at some screenshots of the Preferences window, it seems it’s just an AIMP reskin.

      1. pHROZEN gHOST said on May 18, 2024 at 3:52 pm

        Harro Glööckler : Are you the type of person who only looks at photos to read the news?

      2. Alpaca said on May 18, 2024 at 9:07 am

        Its the other way around. AIMP is a reskin of Winamp. WACUP is the original Winamp with bug fixes, tweaks and new plugins.

  8. bruh said on May 17, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    Fools, Foobar2000 is the best player – however a source code release is a decent good will gesture, they know their new “winamp” sucks and that the old one is better.

  9. samurai cat said on May 17, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    Qmmp is currently open source Winamp alternative.

  10. Benjamin said on May 17, 2024 at 11:16 am

    For listeing at the desktop my favorite is Deli Player for it’s hgh audio quality and endless options.
    For managing my music on the desktop and listing to my hardware stereo equipment & audioplayer via DLNA i use Media Monkey 4 & 5
    Years ago my main audio player at the computer was indeed Winamp which was fun as well for it’s many add ons and skins.

    1. AussieBoy said on May 18, 2024 at 7:47 am

      I used MediaMonkey for a long time, but switched to MusicBee several years ago and have been very happy with it (now on v3.5), especially its cross-fading between songs and ‘better’ (IMHO) Dark Metro/Orange interface and configurable screen layout.

  11. James said on May 17, 2024 at 10:47 am

    Version 5.666 is still my go-to. VLC in a pinch. Reminds me of when M$ bought out Lotus Notus (crappy interface, superior application) then quietly killed it.

    1. Rex said on May 18, 2024 at 5:35 am

      Lol what are you smoking, it was that IBM bought Lotus Corp in the 90s and continued to develop Notes/Domino as an alternative to Outlook/Exchange. Recently they divested their Lotus division to Indian IT major HCL.

      1. Jeraldo said on May 19, 2024 at 4:51 pm

        Aw, muffin. Notes has been dead since early 2000’s, probably before you were born.

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