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The 90s Favorite Media Player 'Winamp' is Opening its Source!

The nostalgia hits, with good news.

Oh, I remember, back in the day, whenever I would visit my uncle's place, I would load up a Linkin Park CD and fire up Winamp to listen to songs from Meteora on Windows.

Nowadays, I just open Spotify and listen to it. I know, I know, online streaming cannot stand up to physical media, but times change, you know?

Over the years, I had gotten unfamiliar with the state of Winamp and had moved to VLC for playing my local audio files. But a recent announcement caught my eye.

Winamp to open its source code: What Can We Expect?

a screenshot of the windows version of the winamp application
A screenshot of Winamp (Windows)

In a surprising move, the Winamp team has announced that they intend to open-source their Windows app on September 24, 2024.

For correction: Winamp is going the source-available route. Not open-source.

And, this will happen under a different, FreeLlama name. The other applications, for Android and iOS, will continue to be proprietary.

During the announcement, the CEO of Winamp, Alexandre Saboundjian, stated that:

This is a decision that will delight millions of users around the world. Our focus will be on new mobile players and other platforms. We will be releasing a new mobile player at the beginning of July.
Still, we don't want to forget the tens of millions of users who use the software on Windows and will benefit from thousands of developers' experience and creativity.

Alexandre also added that Winamp will continue to be the owner of the software and will have the final say on any innovations made in the official version.

Winamp was first developed by Nullsoft, which was acquired by AOL in 1999, and then again sold off to another group called Radionomy, which is now known as the Llama Group.

If you ask me, in the course of changing ownerships, Winamp lost the charm that it had back in the early 2000s when it had a cult-like following.

I do miss the music-playing experience it offered, but, thankfully, there are plenty of solid alternatives that one could opt for on Linux.

In any case, we'll see what happens in September. If you are interested in learning more about this move, you can refer to the announcement blog, which weirdly has December 16 as its publishing date; Maybe this was supposed to be announced earlier? 🤔

They have also put up a form for developers who are interested in this undertaking.

💬 Were you surprised by this? Let me know in the comments below!

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