Winamp is being rebooted as an all-in-one music player
The highly customizable music player which swept the internet during the late 90s is set to make a comeback as a “platform-agnostic” interface that integrates all your music and playlists from multiple sources.
90s kids will remember Winamp, the highly customizable music player that shot to fame across the internet during the mp3 era that was laid to rest after the advent of iTunes and shortly after the first iPod in 2001. Now, according to a recent report by TechCrunch, the legendary music player is making a comeback as a mobile app that will give you one place to listen to all your music — including playlists, podcasts, streaming radio stations, and more.
According to the report, the new Winamp will serve as a “platform-agnostic” interface which provides a single location to play music from both users’ file-based music libraries and from streaming services. There will also be functionality to access podcasts, online radio stations, and other services. Essentially, the plan is to update Winamp for both desktop and mobile so that it will be a single, searchable experience for all the audio you consume from different sources. But the fine details of how the new music player will integrate all these sources still remains unknown as not too many details about the project are out yet.
First released in 1997, Winamp was a popular freeware media player famous for its user-friendly music playback and its infinite choice of community-made skins (which many a millennial will fondly reminisce). After it was overshadowed by iTunes, Winamp was acquired by AOL in 2002, then sold to Radionomy in 2014. The last time Winamp was updated was in 2013, so news that a revival is coming should be welcomed by longtime fans of the app.
“There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience,” Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy said. “You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built. People want one single experience … I think Winamp is the perfect player to bring that to everybody. And we want people to have it on every device."
"What I see today is you have to jump from one player to another player or aggregator if you want to listen to a radio station, to a podcast player if you want to listen to a podcast — this, to me, is not the final experience," Saboundjian added.
There are no further details about what this new version of Winamp will look and feel like and it also remains to be seen if the much-loved customizable-skins will be retained. While the idea of having a central place to aggregate and search all your audio is certainly a lucrative one (especially on mobile devices), it’s unclear how Radionomy plans to integrate music from various streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music. Guess we'll just have to wait and watch what's in store for us, but one thing is for sure - millions of old-school fans will be waiting for the reboot of their once favorite music player.
The 5.8 release of Winamp will be coming this week to fix some bugs and compatibility issues, but the fully revamped version of the app, Winamp 6, should be released sometime in 2019.