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Goodbye, Winamp

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.

Lively

What is Lively?

Lively is a 3D virtual experience that is the newest addition to Google labs. It is available through a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer. It is Windows only for now. Lively does not feature one coherent world like Second Life but splits worlds up into different rooms. Lively was originally developed as a 20% project by Niniane Wang.

Google Lively is billed as a “chat experience” using avatars. Google says, “You’re about to embark on a chat experience in which you can communicate and express yourself using avatars in your very own space. Choose an avatar and use it to make friends and chat. Create rooms, decorate them to your liking, and make sure to invite your friends over.”
Choose a Google Lively room

What all does it offer
Lively runs completely in the browser and you use your Google account to log in and create your own avatars.

What all can you do on lively

Within the world, you can interact with other users, very much like you would do in Second Life. You can also watch YouTube clips on virtual TVs and share your own photos.

Users can choose from a number of preset animations for their characters, ranging from shaking hands with others, to applauding, crying, etc. By double clicking on certain items in the virtual world, users can also often activate some preset animations such as sitting down on a chair or jumping off a dive board.

Setting the plugin up and creating an avatar is a very simple process. Creating rooms, too, seems quite easy, as you can quickly import a number of templates to get started. Currently, all virtual items for Lively are for free, but chances are that Google will start charging for premium items in the future.

For now, the content in Lively is being created only by Google, though over time, they are planning to allow users to start creating their own content as well.

Rooms can be easily embedded into any webpage and worlds often launch with a basic skeleton of the room within just a few seconds.

Here’s how it works

Choose a Google Lively room

• From the Room List, click the title of the room you’d like to visit first.
• Use the tabs at the top of the page to sort rooms by most popular, most visitors, or newest.
• Once you’ve added friends or created a room, the My Rooms and Friends’ Rooms tabs will also be handy.

                     
Choose your Google Lively avatar

• Click My Avatar on the right sidebar.
• Click the avatar you like and choose Select Avatar (your avatar changes instantly).
• Once you’ve chosen the one you want, click the X to hide the menu.

 

Change your Google Lively avatar’s clothing

To change your outfit, check out the styles available in the wardrobe picker. Here’s how:

• Click My Wardrobe on the right sidebar to open your wardrobe.
• Browse or search the options in your wardrobe inventory and select items to wear. When you double-click an item, it’ll appear on your avatar instantly. You don’t have to close the window to find out if you like the look.

If you don’t like how something looks on your avatar, go back to your wardrobe, left-click on the item, and choose Remove Item.

If you want more wardrobe options, add new stuff to your inventory by o quickly change your entire outfit, click my avatar and choose I’m Feeling Lucky. You’ll see the new duds on your avatar instantly.

                        
Create your own Google Lively room

• Click new room and choose Create New Room to start the process.
• Look over each tab and choose what you want your room to look like, the permissions you want to grant visitors, and whether you’d like to play music in your room.

Conclusion

Lively lets you have the world available where you want it, rather than forcing you to go to a certain space. Or, as Google puts it: “It’s integrated with the Internet. It’s not an alternate destination. Our intention is to add to your existing life.”

 

Resources
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/lively_google_launches_virtual.php

http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/archives/003432.html
www.lively.com

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/be-who-you-want-on-web-pages-you-visit.html

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080708-181651

 

 

About MD

Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.