Winamp, the Best MP3 Player of the 1990s, Receives a Major Update

Winamp, the premiere music player of the late 1990s and early 2000s that was acquired by Radionomy from AOL in 2014, has received a major new update for the first time in four years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report via Ars Technica: The release notes for Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 say that the update represents four years of work across two separate development teams, delayed in between by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the work done in this build focuses on behind-the-scenes work that modernizes the codebase, which means it still looks and acts like a turn-of-the-millennium Windows app. The entire project has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, a wide range of audio codecs have been updated to more modern versions, and support for Windows 11 and https streams have both been improved.

The final release will be version 5.9, with some features targeted for release in version 5.9.1 “and beyond” (version 6.0 goes unmentioned). It requires Windows 7 SP1 or newer, dropping support for Windows XP. That said, in our limited testing the “new” Winamp is still in many ways an ancient app, one not made for the age of high-resolution, high-density displays. This may cause usability problems, depending on what you’re trying to run it on. But hey, for all you people out there still trying to keep hope alive, it’s nice to see something on Winamp.com that isn’t a weird NFT project and a promise of updates yet to come.

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