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Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Software |

The rise and fall of Winamp in its 15 years

The rise and fall of Winamp in its 15 years

Talking about these issues always makes me nostalgic and not be old, but because it was not long since the last time you use Winamp as my default player for digital music. Maybe some of you remember, but for those who do not remember, let me refresh your memory.

Back in late 1990 when the digital audio format became extremely popular and began dating applications called Jukebox, to play music.

Originally released in 1997 by two boys, Justin Frankel U.S. and Russian Dmitry Boldyre, quickly became the standard for play MP1, MP2, MP3, MIDI and MPEG-1. In those years there were not many programs that recognize the format and that there were not very good. Those who are over 30 you can tell how those years at the bottom of the web pages you could find the icon with the download link of Winamp, which was one of the things that made it so popular.

The options at that time were: Windows Media Player, it was a nightmare for the large amount of space it occupied in RAM, Real Player, which was rare and Winamp … I could run all your music without you die your poor Pentium I or II. As odd as it sounds, in the 90′s none of the two programs could handle something like playlists, or just as efficient as Winamp in the use of resources.

Thanks it worked for you could choose which modules you have on screen and what not, you could have only the equalizer and your playlist, in addition to its versatility minimized let you design your own skins (mine was from Metal Gear). Another option that became popular was that you rip left (passing to MP3) music from your CDs, so you can share it via Napster (another sad memory).

Frankel and Nullsoft then created with Rob Lord, dedicated to promoting your product almost immediately became the best option. The software is distributed as Shareware, priced at $ 10, although you could download it for free. Did that mean Nullsoft Winamp did not generate revenue? According to Lord told Ars Technica , reached USD $ 100,000 to collect monthly payments made by the people.

Unfortunately, its creators had the brilliant idea of selling Nullsoft Winamp and your pet with Mike the AOL Call the company in 1999, company was shattered and its internet service for home, eventually destroying the image of the famous audio player .

At the same time, acquired the company Spinner Internet Radio. Both projects were merged into Winamp, causing people who came from one and another company will begin with a series of conflicts over where to go with the program. AOL decided that people take the administration Spinner.

Under this format launched several program updates free of charge, but in 2003 ended up closing the offices they had in San Francisco and two years later, Frankel and Lord abandon everything, leaving the hands of the corporate project that effectively Winamp sinks into the swamp of forgotten what software users, this is partly due to the inclusion of idioticos modules, such as forcing users to install Netscape or additions of AOL, which made it harder to program.

A management problems and poor management decisions are compounded by the launch of the iPod in 2001, tying it to iTunes. AOL failed to make Winamp could adapt and compete, even though they had also launched its own music service. While growing iPod and iTunes, Winamp began to disappear.

However there are still loyal fans of this software, in fact, is estimated to be about 30 million users who use it daily. Currently the most recent update of Winamp offers playback of audio, video, playlists, podcasts, iTunes library import and for a small additional amount (the player is still free) you can take the Pro version that lets you record CDs to encode MP3 and H.264 video codecs.

In case you’re wondering the answer is: yes, Winamp is still small and powerful as before, at least in regard to reproduce audio formats. Accepts more formats like WMA, AAC, more skins and is available in Android smartphones.

While iTunes is the program more successful now, Winamp is still there – in the hands of AOL yet – although there are some who hope to be reborn, perhaps with some developments that may give back to relevance. After all, they are still 30 million users worldwide who use it.

Link: Winamp

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