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Winamp is Shutting Down

Winamp Screen Shot
Winamp

The cliche’ thing to say when stories like this come up is “the end of an era.” In this case, that would probably be a pretty generous statement. The Winamp era probably ended quite some time ago. Quite honestly, it’s a program I’ve not used in years, and probably would probably never even think about, unless it was brought up in conversation, or, in today’s case, the news. Even so, I sort of feel bad that this program I never use, and haven’t used in years, is going away.

It has been announced that Winamp, the music player that was pretty much the standard for PC users in the early days of digital music, is going to shut down in December. The following statement appeared at Winamp.com:

Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years.”

In 2001 I was involved in the launch of a college radio station, which we built from scratch. For weeks during the initial launch, before we had any staff or student DJs, the entire station was music played through Winamp, set on shuffle. It was unbelievably unsophisticated, and also unbelievably reliable.

Occasionally I’ll come across an old computer that still uses Winamp as its default media player, and I always smile when I see the familiar program come on the screen. Even though I really don’t need it, I think I’ll download the latest version when I get home tonight, before it’s gone forever.

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