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.
The tl;dr is it’s unhelpful & isn’t something that WACUP can make use of due to it having been leaked (even if it’s an older revision from the AOL era) & isn’t something I’m going to download & use as I’ll explain later.
The key part of the Winamp source code that I’ve always wanted to see officially released since starting WACUP was the modern skin engine (gen_ff.dll - which is Winamp3 in the form of a plug-in) & that seems to be in there. However due to the messiness of code ownership & my prior history with Winamp & the current owners (less about them the better), making a derivative from what’s leaked would open up myself to potential legal issues.
Now for the rambling thoughts & commentary about this happening…
Thanks to the support I’ve gotten for doing WACUP, I finally entered the world of high-dpi monitors with a 27” 4K monitor (specifically the LG 27UL650). After feeling like I’d nearly blinded myself when I first turned it on this week (damn these things are bright & I don’t want to know what a higher spec HDR monitor is like) I loaded up WACUP to see how well it worked and …
If you’ve only been following the blog updates then it looks like I’ve not done much since the last update in April 2019 but that’s not the case with 14 beta builds (some of which where quite substantial!) & half of those also being released as preview builds between late August & mid-October.
Things have slowed down a bit on builds since mid-October due to some of the work that’s been going on to replace more of Winamp for WACUP provided features which has been somewhat of a rabbit hole (e.g. file association & some video related aspects).
However the delay should be worth it plus it’s given me time to make more sense of the automatically uploaded crash reports that now get provided (which has been enabled since preview build 184.108.40.20612 & has slowed down development in monitoring & resolving them but it’s worth it for longer term stability improvements).
It finally happened and WACUP saw the release of its first public preview build to help start off 2019 to a hopefully brighter tone than 2018 had at times. The availability of the preview build comes almost 3 years since WACUP began and which has seen its ups and downs over that time (which I’ll probably document when the anniversary happens) along with some naysayers that it’d never actually appear but it did.
Ever since a Winamp v5.8 beta build from October 2016 leaked in mid September 2018 (yes those dates are correct) I’ve kept meaning to do this post to put down my thoughts about it all. Since then, whether it was by an annoyed beta tester (fairly likely), a hacked account (side-effect of the official winamp twitter account being hacked) or as now seems more likely it was intentionally done by people still directly involved with Winamp to test the waters & build some hype (how sad if that was the case), we’ve gotten an announcement about the magical future the Winamp brand is going to have in 2019 along with a slightly newer version of what I kindly called “the leaky build” which is as taken from the “new” winamp,com site, “not an ongoing project” (that’s one way to keep showing contempt to the community).
In the meanwhile I’ve kept chugging along working on WACUP which despite what’s going on with Winamp ‘officially’, I’m not going to be stopping working on it. Some may not think that’s the right decision as we’ve got a bright new future of Winamp coming in 2019 & new ‘official’ beta builds but none of what’s been talked about (as I’ll cover below) is of interest to me nor is it what I want from my Winamp experience. Now I know WACUP is massively behind where I’ve planned for it to be (especially with intended release dates of non-beta builds) but as one person & having IRL stuff to deal with & changing plans based on actual user feedback, development has been taking a lot longer than I’d planned or liked but I’m still putting out beta builds to the registered beta testers & you can view the build changelogs if you’re not one but interested to see what’s been going on (especially after it took almost 10 months between one of the builds but the feedback was it was worth the wait & was progress).
So lets get onto what I want to cover in this blog post. For the tl;dr, as I’m likely going to ramble or you just want the highlights, WACUP development is going to continue whether you like it or not, Winamp v6 in 2019 is going to be a mess with their focus on mobile only (aka highly likely death of the ‘official’ desktop) & the v5.8 beta is not a lot to show for almost 5 years of fooling the community.