Winamp is back - discussing whether he has a chance in the era of streaming services

    Radionomy plans to release a new version of Winamp after a five-year hiatus. The player should become an aggregator of streaming services, podcasts and audiobooks.

    We discuss what prospects are waiting for him.

    Photo by Jarle Refsnes / CC

    Winamp return

    The last update (if not to consider version 5.8 ) was released in 2013. But recently, Radionomy, in 2014, bought Winamp from AOL, announced Winamp 6.

    It should become a universal platform for listening to music. In addition to the tracks on the computer, users can listen to Internet radio, streaming services, podcasts or audiobooks. At the same time, Winamp 6 will be available on both Android and iOS devices.

    Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian says that Winamp is the ideal basis for forming a single audio service. The program still has a lot of fans: 100 million people use the player every month.

    Does Winamp have a chance?

    The popularity of the product can play into the hands of the "restart". With high probability, many of those who have ever used a player will at least try a new version.

    In the case of mobile platforms, there is another factor that will help Winamp 6 to “shoot”. The market for audio applications for iOS and Android is fragmented. It does not yet have an aggregator that allows you to listen to music (and not only) from a large number of different sources. Sabundzhan believes that Winamp can solve this problem.

    The users themselves judging by the comments on social networks and on thematic sites were delighted to hear about the release of the new version of the application. However, some people still have doubts about the expediency of restarting the product, albeit in a different format.

    Part of the skepticism is associated with the idea to combine several streaming services on the same site. According to TechCrunch, the same Apple Music and Spotify may refuse to cooperate with Winamp, because they do not want to share the audience with competitors.

    If, however, an agreement with large streaming services still happens, then the developers will face another problem. The main trump cards Winamp considered a sense of nostalgia and skins. And the application can change a lot when developers start adapting it to modern market requirements.

    Too many competitors

    Another reason why the success of Winamp 6 looks unlikely is the large number of competitors. We are talking about the same streaming platforms - Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal (about which we made a separate post ) and others. More recently, the number of Spotify subscribers has reached 83 million. At Apple Music, this figure exceeds 50 million .

    It is believed that people will not trade their usual services for an aggregator acting as an intermediary. And to occupy a niche full-fledged streaming platform from Winamp is unlikely to succeed. The market division has already been completed, and it can be difficult for a newcomer to drive in (albeit with a large user base). Even a giant like Google is having problems with its YouTube Music service .

    A photoWikimeedia / CC

    But even if we forget about the existence of streaming platforms and switch attention to classical music players, then everything is ambiguous. While Winamp was “absent,” other applications developed, lured away the audience. Here are just some of them:

    • Foobar2000: Its creator is Polish freelance programmer Peter Pavlovsky. Peter, by the way, had previously worked with NullSoft, the company that created the first Winamp. Foobar is praised for its minimalistic interface and extensive feature set for high-quality audio playback. It remains one of the most popular players for Windows (along with AIMP). And last year, the foobar2000 version was released for Linux. Download it here .
    • AIMP: The development was started by Russian programmer Artyom Izmailov. The player works on its own sound engine . The application supports several interesting features, in particular, “smart” playlists , which are automatically compiled based on the specified selection rules (genre, year, album, etc.). At the same time, AIMP has a version for Android - at the beginning of the year it acquired an equalizer with 29 bands .
    • QMMP: Multiplatform Player for Linux and Windows. Perhaps one of its main advantages is a customizable UI. In particular, QMMP supports skins from the original Winamp2. You can download the player from the repositories on the official website .
    • Audacious: An open source player. The latest version was released in August of this year. It supports plugins, due to which you can extend its functionality. There are modules that convert the output sound or provide an opportunity to broadcast information directly to Also supports skins from Winamp2.
    • Windows Media Player: Microsoft's Player also found its audience. The player is praised for the convenience of the media catalog and integration with the conductor. Plus, this is a standard Windows player, so you can not install additional applications to play music.

    Instead of conclusion

    Details about the upcoming release of Winamp is not so much. It is not even known whether the old slogan “ It really whips the llama's ass ” will remain . Therefore, it is difficult to understand what to expect from Winamp 6.

    Engadget writes if Radionomy can negotiate with streaming platforms and make a truly universal service - users will get a convenient application, which has no analogues yet. Otherwise, it will be just a new version of the player, which will delight fans of Winamp.

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