WinAmp Visualization - Milkdrop

I would say that WinAmp touched each and every one of us. From the early days of jerky Internet when WinAmp was king, and its visualizations plugin was stuff straight from heaven, this mp3 player had kept us hooked like no other music player we know.

iTunes, in comparison STILL struggles to gain acceptance and like most bundled music players, had to come with all sorts of tricks and tricks to ensure downloads. WinAmp, however was as pure as it gets, playing all formats and keeping it real – VLC, another open source favourite, did take over the world, but WinAmp will always remain special to a whole bunch of us. VLC, anyway could never crack through WinAmp’s simplicity.

Well, all that’s set to become history now.  Bought by AOL in June 1999 for over $80 million, Winamp is set to shut down in exactly one month. According to a post that went live Wednesday at 12:00pm ET on the Winamp website – Winamp.com and associated Web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.

Ars wrote an extensive feature on the rise and fall of Winamp in June 2012, detailing AOL’s mismanagement of the property since its dotcom-boom acquisition. As we reported then, Winamp continued to receive updates and make a tiny amount of money for AOL throughout the last 15 years. AOL even released the first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011.

While the company has declined to release official figures, former employees who worked on Winamp estimate its current revenue at around $6 million annually. And Winamp still has an estimated user base of millions worldwide, a small fraction of which live in the United States. All of that appears to be water under the bridge now.

Winamp-logo“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,” Rob Lord, the first hire and first general manager of Winamp, told Ars in 2012.

As we bid goodbye, here are the last official download links:

For Mac | For PC | Android

Goodbye, old friend.