Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Iconic ’90s Media Player WINAMP Is Making a Comeback | AIB

The year is 1997. Mobile phones are not yet a product of mass consumption. The Internet is available to everyone, but it is not extended. The date is 21 April, 21 years ago, but it was the moment when the American company Nullsoft launched Winamp, one of the first multimedia players with which many of us discovered the magical format of .mp3 and later others made to measure that the player increased in capacity to reproduce more audio formats, as well as video and images.

Created by a hacker and a programmer, Justin Frankel, and Dmitry Boldyrev, in just two years was already so popular-it consumed very little space and resources, together with a very simple interface-that the company AOL (America Online) acquired it in 1999.

Winamp returns in 2019

Like many other programs of the ‘Early Internet,’ its history of ownership ended as soon as alternative music and video began to emerge – the output of iTunes, for example, was a fierce competition. In 2010, and seeing where the present was, Winamp became an app and had a version for the smartphones of the time, both for Android and iOS. Although unfortunately in 2013 both the mobile versions and the PC version itself were discontinued, Winamp was about to die until a Belgian online radio company rescued it.

Winamp was a pure Internet history at a time when the 56k modems were making weird noises and watching a 20-megabyte online video was an odyssey. As such he can not die, and in fact, it will have a second chance in the current environment since as the CEO of Radionomy Alexandre Saboundjian has confirmed to the Techcrunch site that Winamp (v 6.0) is getting rereleased in 2019.

Winamp is getting a makeover as an all-one audio player. This new edition is not just a media player, but an internet media center. So Winamp 6 is not only for the local reproduction of MP3 but also podcasts, even has streaming radio stations and cloud connectivity.

“People want an all-in-one experience, and I think Winamp is the perfect player to do it for everyone, and we want people to have it on every device,” said Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian. This means that Winamp will also have a mobile smartphone leg (iOS and Android).

Radionomy released an “official” version of version 5.8 last week, which should be a sign of goodwill towards the community. It will not be fundamentally different from the leak, but developers want to fix bugs and increase stability. As to the new version, Saboundjian did not want to comment more precisely but promises a consistent user experience across all platforms.

The app is expected to land for Android and iOS sometime in 2019. In the meantime, the Winamp chiefs will need to negotiate with streaming services for permission to integrate their offerings directly into the future application. This will be crucial to the comeback if Winamp hopes to return with an original application with strong added value.

However, a few questions remain. For one thing, it is unclear whether the streaming providers are involved in this form of integration. On the other hand, the interface of Winamp will be drastically rebuilt. Whether you can continue to adapt as fully as before, is unclear.

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Santhosh DR
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