Winamp, the best MP3 player of the 1990s, receives major update

Winamp, the leading music player of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which was acquired by Radionomy from AOL in 2014, has received a major new update for the first time in four years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report via Ars Technica: The release notes for Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 1999 say the update represents four years of work across two separate development teams, delayed in between by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the work in this build focuses on behind-the-scenes work that modernizes the codebase, meaning it still looks and functions like a Windows app from the turn of the millennium. The entire project has been migrated from Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, a large number of audio codecs have been updated to more modern versions, and support for Windows 11 and https streams have both been improved.

The final release will be version 5.9, with some features targeted for release in version 5.9.1 “and beyond” (version 6.0 remains unmentioned). It requires Windows 7 SP1 or later, which drops support for Windows XP. That said, in our limited testing, the “new” Winamp is still in many ways an ancient app, one not made for the age of high-resolution, high-density displays. This can cause usability issues depending on what you’re trying to run it on. But hey, for all of you out there still trying to keep hope alive, it’s nice to see something on that isn’t some weird NFT project and a promise of updates yet to come.

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