The End Arrives for WinAmp, Shutting Down December 20th

Winamp Closing Down

Winamp Closing Down

Ironically for someone who is a bit of an audiophile jazz purist, I hopped on the MP3 train way back in the late 90s and have been all-digital ever since. In the early days I used WinAmp … just like everyone else. Now we get word that WinAmp is shutting down before the end of the year.

TechCrunch has the news from AOL that they plan to shut down the site, kill the apps and discontinue all services by December 20th.

There is nothing mentioned on the official site, but the reality is that this closure has been a long time coming.

Do you remember first using WinAmp? It was super cool, there were loads of skins to fit your desktop, and audio plugins later on to tailor your sound. This was also the era when you could install things on company computers, so I had WinAmp at work with an external drive with MP3s I ripped from my CDs at home.

WinAmp will forever be paired with Napster, as it seemed the two grew in popularity together – kids would use newly spreading broadband access to download music from Napster and play it through WinAmp. Perhaps that is why with the ‘legitimizing’ of digital music and growth of iTunes, WinAmp fell out of favor. Or maybe it was the software itself.

For many the demise of WinAmp dates to the AOL purchase, as the first release after the buyout was the poorly received WinAmp 3. For many fans, the pinnacle of WinAmp was WinAmp 2, because it was lightweight, flexible and extensible.

The article notes that in the opinion of original WinAmp general manager “there’s no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition.”

You can still download the desktop version here, or the Android version here. As of now I would say grab it before it is gone.

What are your WinAmp memories?

Categories: Gear Bits, News


1 reply

  1. Just because of this I went ahead and downloaded it. Not as bad as I remembered it was when I left. I dropped it round about the time I switched to the Mac for personal use (for a time). Now I am firmly back in the PC world with a mix of WIndows and Linux. I used to run XMMS on Linux which would directly use Winamp skins. Those were the days.

    Winamp will be missed.