Last week, Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian revealed that the company plans to overhaul Winamp, the classic music player best known as a Windows-first alternative to iTunes, to make it more vital for our more streaming-focused audio media world. That version is coming in 2019.
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Windows: When we heard that Winamp was shutting down, it was a devastating blow. Spotify, however, has seen fit to pay tribute to Winamp's legacy with a faithfully reconstructed player for its streaming service.
Today's best apps and services for search, email, music streaming and to-do management weren't always number one. Some of the apps we loved a long time ago are still out there, updating, adding features and keeping their fans happy even if they don't have what it takes to thrill tech bloggers or stay in the limelight. Here are a few of those old dogs you may remember, and some of the new tricks that make them worth a fresh look.
Android: Whether or not you use Winamp on a Windows system and enable wireless syncing, there's a few things to recommend Winamp for Android. It's got a good, better-than-default interface, it supports Shoutcast streaming stations, and can import iTunes libraries and playlists. In other words, it makes you think about using Winamp on your desktop.
Music-lover dmosiondz put the currently-playing Winamp track front and centre on his/her Windows desktop using one of the most popular desktop customisation tools, Samurize. This good-looking "Now Playing" dashboard boasts album art (middle), song lyrics (right), a Winamp controller (bottom left), plus the time, weather forecast, and system information. Dmosiondz explains the complete setup down to the fonts used:
Windows only: Winamp plug-in MiniTube adds YouTube videos to your music playlist. Fire up MiniTube when you want to see your music as well as hear it, and it searches YouTube for a video that matches the metadata on your MP3 file, and starts playing it along with the music automatically. In theory this is awesome, but MiniTube's implementation falls short in one main way: the video often starts after the song does, so it's not necessarily synced with what you're hearing. If you can't stand being a few beats behind, however, you can opt to listen to the YouTube audio instead of your MP3 file. MiniTube is a free download that works with Winamp.
Windows (with iTunes, WinAmp, or KMPlayer): Free plug-in tool MiniTube hunts down music videos from Flash-based video sites and plays them along with your tunes. MiniTube's signature feature is the ability to play the video synced up to your local MP3—in other words, lip-synced to wherever you are in the song when the video starts playing. Its video accuracy depends, of course, on the accuracy of YouTube uploaders (and the video's copyright status), but you can tell MiniTube that a video is wrong and have it re-search, and it can be set to disappear when there's nothing to grab. Check out a video demonstration of MiniTube in action below.
If you've got a home server running, or just a computer that controls music and video playback, the Simple Help blog has a guide that might make your digital life a little more convenient. Using the free WWWinamp tool, the author details how to set up and control Winamp from any browser, iPod touch/iPhones included. Convenient for controlling movies streamed to your television, music playing during a party, or any other away-from-computer control.
Windows only: The recently released Winamp 5.5 brings a new interface, album art, remote music sharing, and more to the classic media player—meaning it's come a long way since the heyday of Napster. New Winamp features you may be unaware of and impressed by include:Winamp Remote: Stream your music over the internet through your browser and to game consoles, including the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Syncing with iPods and other portable media devices: Winamp can (and has been able to for a while) sync your music to iPods and almost any portable media device you can throw at it, and the new version syncs album art, as well.Winamp Toolbar: Control your music playback from the comfort of your browser, similar to previously mentioned FoxyTunes.Auto-Tag files: Winamps Auto-Tagger automatically updates your music metadata.
It's no surprise that Winamp had such a presence in today's Media Player Show and Tell. Since, admittedly, I've been out of the Winamp game for a while, I'd love to hear what features keep the die-hard Winamp fans coming back for more, so let's hear your Winamp raves in the comments.
For some people, desktop media player applications are a very personal thing. Rather than living life in the vanilla world of iTunes and Windows Media Player, these music lovers prefer media players they can tweak, customise, and personalise to their heart's content. Today we're taking a look a look at user-submitted pictures of their always impressive and often enviable desktop media players. Hit the jump to take a look, and if you see one you like, find out how they did it.
Before there was iTunes, there was Winamp. A lot of people still prefer to use this freeware music player (and a lot of people still have opinions on when Winamp jumped the shark into bloatville, but don't let's get started on that). Wired's just written up a detailed review of Winamp's 10th anniversary edition, AOL Winamp 5.5, which boasts a revamped interface, iPod syncing, remote music access and other advanced features:
"Best of all, Winamp makes it far easier than iTunes or Windows Media Player to discover new music online and incorporate it into your library without having to download MP3s through a browser and import them into your media player manually."
After I stop feeling really, really old, I think I'll download it and give it another whirl.