Winamp will be updated in 2016, but there won’t be any new features
About ten days ago, a report emerged online suggesting that Winamp could be revived, from its slumber.
The app has literally been dead, since Radionomy acquired the rights for Winamp, from AOL, in 2013.
The music player, along with ShoutCAST, was recently sold to Vivendi. And it is believed that the new owners, are likely to publish an update for the app, perhaps to profit from it.
Winamp’s website however mentions literally nothing about the acquisition, and the design has been “coming soon” for the past two years. And though the download links have been removed from the official portal, the app continues to exist in unofficial mirrors hosted by die-hard fans. Not only that, but the app has been modified with unofficial patches to fix a few bugs, by developers who hang around at the old forums.
But this isn’t enough to keep users happy, who kept returning to the community website to ask for news about any updates. One such request has in fact meet with a positive reply. And we say positive, as in the app is indeed going to be updated, but not in the way you probably want it to.
This is what Ben Allison, a former Winamp developer posted at the app’s forums:
There will be a small release some time in early 2016. There will not be any new features; this release will be just be a small update to replace or remove software libraries that were not transferred during the sale (such as Gracenote).
His statement also added a word about the development team, which was apparently non-existant. And he also said that Radionomy did not have the resources to update Winamp, despite having some goals and ambitions.
So our guess was indeed right, they couldn’t afford to update the app. But Vivendi will, as it is financially very strong, and even owns shares in major game developer companies. The very least it could do, is to hire the modders from the
forums, who could patch things up well.
It is a bit sad to see Gracenote support in Winamp die, although it has actually not been working for the past year or so. For those who aren’t aware of the service, Gracenote is a media file tagging service, which was very popular in Winamp. Remember the auto-tag feature you used to add album/genre/track info to songs? That’s the one.
Still, there are plenty of free alternatives for the same, so it shouldn’t pose much of an annoyance to music junkies.