Remember Winamp, the customizable music player that first arrived in April 1997? The popular music player is now getting an overhaul and will re-launch as a mobile app next year. As of now, there is no further information on the Winamp 2019 release date.
Here’s what little we know about the Winamp 2019 release date
Winamp was initially launched in 1997 by a company named Nullsoft. The customizable music player supported music visualization features, skins, plugins and tools for managing a digital music library. In 1999, AOL acquired Winamp but did not work on it much. Then in 2013, AOL revealed plans to end Winamp, but later, it was acquired by Radionomy. Now about five years later, the company has revealed big plans for the popular desktop music player.
Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian told TechCrunch that before the big Winamp 2019 release date, they plan to release a minor update on Oct. 18 in the form of Winamp 5.8. The 5.8 update, which can be installed easily on an Windows 10 machine, will include bug fixes and address compatibility issues. The music player was last updated in 2013.
The Winamp 2019 release date will mark the release of Winamp 6, a totally new mobile app. Radionomy’s Winamp 6 is expected to be an all-in-one mobile app that will support all music forms, including streaming music like Apple Music, internet radio, podcasts and MP3s. Further, the app will support both iOS and Android. The company will update the desktop version of this legendary customizable music player as well.
“There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience,” Saboundjian told TechCrunch. “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.”
What to expect from Winamp 6
TechCrunch hints that Winamp 6 will allow users to access content from Google Music, Spotify, Audible, podcasts and files stored on the device. It will be interesting to see if Radionomy actually achieves such a feat of making Winamp a one-stop solution for all music needs.
It must be noted that all these apps like Spotify, Google Music, etc. have their own apps, so Radionomy will have to provide a better incentive to convince users to try Winamp 6.
Saboundjian shared no information on how the new version will support platforms like Apple Music, Spotify and others. There is also no word on if Winamp will get the same customization features that made it so popular in its early days. Such controls don’t exist on Winamp anymore, and there is no word on if the company plans to bring those features back.
Nevertheless, the company has already started teasing the new Winamp experience on the official website, saying, “There’s more coming soon.”
What led to the downfall of Winamp?
Winamp’s user base was uncountable in the late 90s, considering it was the default audio player for many. However, with the advent of streaming services and touchscreen phones, the classic music player lost its place. Something else that contributed to its fall was that it wasn’t made available officially on mobile platforms. Though some unofficial versions of Winamp reached fans on Android, it wasn’t enough.
“Winamp users really are everywhere. It’s a huge number,” Saboundjian said. “We have a really strong and important community. But everybody ‘knows’ that Winamp is dead, that we don’t work on it any more. This is not the case.”
AOL bought Winamp in June 1999 for over $80 million. However, AOL’s mismanagement of the property is another big reason for the fall of Winamp, Ars Technica suggested in June 2012. Though AOL issued regular updates to Winamp, including the first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011, it wasn’t enough.
“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,” the original general manager of Winamp, Rob Lord, told Ars Technica in 2012.
Winamp’s primary developer, Justin Frankel, told BetaNews he always hoped that AOL would realize they were killing Winamp and come up with a way to improve it, but “AOL always seems too bogged down with all of their internal politics to get anything done.”