Nearly two decades ago, Winamp was one of the most popular media players. Especially effective in running MP3 content, Winamp was among the top throughout the 90s. But then AOL acquired it and pretty much wrecked it in the subsequent years. Now, the company has announced that it will be shutting down Winamp by December 20, 2013.
The success of Winamp in its hayday can be estimated from the fact that in 1999, AOL acquired it for a whopping $80 million. Although modern-day tech acquisitions rake far more than that, such a huge sum was a big deal back then.
But like many other acquisitions made by AOL, Winamp started on a downward spiral since the deal. It had the distinct advantage of being among the pioneers but then the likes of iTunes dominated the arena and AOL did nothing to innovate and improve Winamp.
Consequently, it has come down to this that Winamp barely exists any more in the media player industry. It is scarcely used any more which is precisely why, the demise of this once-popular tool was expected since some time now. According to AOL, “Winamp.com and associated Web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, the Winamp media player 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.”
So if you are still into Winamp, after all these years, the best thing to do would be to download the latest build, as suggested by AOL. In memory of the dear media player, I will be downloading it one last time and playing my music on it for a while, as the final farewell.