25 Years Of Winamp

Had been aiming for something to be publicly released for WACUP in time to acknowledge Winamp’s 25th anniversary & my transition away from being a Winamp user but coding often doesn’t go to plan nor am I really feeling it considering what the new “winamp” now is representing.

The Winamp legacy is definitely a mixed bag from all of the creative people who ended up in jobs that otherwise wouldn’t have happened from their early steps in making skins (& yes they often were awful / awkwardly done) whilst becoming a nostalgic thing or even a joke for many.

There’s also all of the other media players that were influenced by what Winamp & the general mixing of ideas about software at the time including the countless XMMS based forks on linux as well as the actions that led to foobar2000 being created & similarly WACUP being created.

In a world that is now heavily based on streaming & ease of consumption of media its fair to say the Winamp way doesn’t make sense for the majority.
It had it’s time & for those still using it (or its clones) there’s a reason why they still do & that comes down to having choice.

Sadly the legacy of what Winamp now represents has been badly tarnished & the biggest issue from that imho is it destroys all the work & effort that so many of it’s community of users put in to making skins, plug-ins & other related content to make it more than it’s base program.

Whatever may happen & however you may now view Winamp, the old versions will keep going for however long to come, some of the community of Winamp users are still making & updating things & there’s numerous clones (yes including WACUP) to keep that classic Winamp experience alive.

Winamp has brought me a number of highs & lows over my ~23 years of using it, making plug-ins for it & when having gotten to work on it. I however count myself now as one of the many an ex-Winamp user as my needs change & #WACUP now fits those needs which new “winamp” will never.

So with that I’m now off back to my coding hole & acknowledge what one small(ish) piece of software came to represent for so many from both the good & the bad as well as what it ended up spawning in so many numerous ways that will always be much greater than the sum of its parts.



  1.   Kilroy Was Here  |  Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 17:46:35

    “In a world that is now heavily based on streaming & ease of consumption of media its fair to say the Winamp way doesn’t make sense for the majority.
    It had it’s time & for those still using it (or its clones) there’s a reason why they still do & that comes down to having choice.”

    I would also add my own personal reasons: reliability and security.

    I can listen to music that meets or exceeds the quality of well-kept, well-played vinyl, tape, or CD, anytime. I don’t have to worry about an internet outage taking the music away or a poor connection reducing the quality. I get the best quality, any time, all the time. Extremely reliable.

    I feel a sense of security in having all my music on my own drives, where licencing and copyright squabbles can’t have them taken away. I never have to lament that an artist was on my drive bank one day, gone the next, and hope that some fat cats pen an agreement to put said artist back. And I don’t have to keep another monthly bill on my mind.

  2. Been an avid user of Winamp since the 2.x days, glad to see it’s spirit still alive in WACUP. Just prefer owning my music rather than streaming, and having access to it regardless of internet connectivity. Used to enjoy browsing the skins back in the early days and see what funky stuff people came up with (particularly with the modern skin engine), these days I’m content just rocking the default Bento (or Big Bento) skin, since it’s more about accessing my music library and less about flashy looks.

  3.   Arvis Pinkletter  |  Friday, April 22, 2022 - 18:39:31

    I still use the darn thing, because I still like:
    - the off-line experience… no latency, no need for an internet connection all the time
    - hoarding all my own music in my own space
    - the reliability of knowing that the stuff I want won’t disappear tomorrow because of some licensing issue or other reason, being able to listen to music that will never be available on a streaming platform
    - winamp is still the best-organized media player there is, in terms of collection curation and being able to filter by nearly any old thing I want, including “never listened to it yet”
    - no need for a subscription to have the privilege of skipping ads or just playing the actual songs I want instead of some “station” curated by another person or an AI.

    The new ways of doing things aren’t all bad, but there are significant gaps there which winamp fills for me.

  4. Late to the party– I know.

    My brother and I started using Winamp back when version 2 was still in its early days (2.03, I believe). Back then, midis were still popular, as most people were still on dial-up, and my family was still only rocking an M415 Packard Bell with a 33.6kbps dial-up modem to connect to the internet. How we got much of our music was through either ripping CDs, friends, warez sites or IRC. Ahhh, what a time to be alive back then! I used to get LOADS of video game and anime-themed skins when Winamp was at the peak of its popularity, and even into my teenage years, my buddy and I used it with a variety of plugins– especially SNESAmp and Highly Experimental for SPC and PSF playback.

    Much of my childhood was spent on Windows 95 and 98– playing games like Age of Empires, Outwars, Darkstone, Dungeon Siege, etc. And Winamp played a huge part in my life, as it was the only music player I would ever use. I still used Classic Winamp until I discovered WACUP, and even then, I will sport the classic 2.0 skin from time to time and play some classic DBZ/DBGT midis just for the memories.

    It’s only a tragedy that Winamp Official was dragged through the dirt, then left to collect dust and is now just plain having the shit kicked out of it. On the plus side though, there are still communities that pay proper homage to it– and even have projects that I consider to be the true successors of a music player that doesn’t need words of grandeur to define how amazing it was. Winamp was gold– simple and pure– and that’s all it ever needed to be.

  5. I think winamp and wacup still have a place in the world that modern streaming sites cannot provide. Customization, but also merely that it works well offline, can’t do that with spotify.

  6. Happy Birthday Winamp!

  7. Belated Happy Birthday Winamp!
    And thanks for WACUP!
    I still remember the wild days of skins and visualizations dancing on the screen while music blasting from crappy tiny speakers.