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Winamp is a free, skinnable, multi-format music/media player made by Nullsoft, that currently can be used on either the Windows or Mac OS operating systems. It gained popularity in the late 1990s, particularly with the proliferation of the MP3 audio format. Winamp is developed by Justin Frankel, with some of its code based on the AMP decoding engine by Tomislav Uzelac, et. al.


Winamp 1 and Winamp 2

Although Winamp 1 (first version released in June 1997) became used among early adopters of the MP1, MP2, and MP3 formats, it wasn't until Winamp 2 was released that it became widely used, and among the most downloaded software for the PC.


The Winamp tree later sprouted another branch, Winamp3 (spelled condensed in this way to include mp3 in the name, i.e., Winamp3). This was a complete rewrite of version 2, and was based on the Wasabi application framework, which offered additional functionality and flexibility. Winamp3 was developed in parallell to Winamp 2. However, many users found this version too resource-hungry or unstable (or even lacked some cherished functionality, such as the ability to numerically and chronologically find the sum of all of the tracks in their playlists). As a result, many of these users reverted back to Winamp 2. Nullsoft listened to its user base and returned focus to the previous, more stable code base.

Winamp 5.0

The Winamp 2 and Winamp3 branches were later fusioned into Winamp 5.0—version 5.0 was chosen, since 2 + 3 = 5—taking the best parts of both "worlds:" some of Winamp3's features were kept while preserving Winamp 2's maturity. Winamp 5.0 was released in December 2003. Most of the Wasabi framework built for Winamp3 has since been released become open source, and is being used to develop a complete program called wasabi.player, essentially an open source version of Winamp3.

Winamp 5.0 comes in two versions: Standard and Pro. The Standard version is free, while the Pro offers a slightly richer feature set, particularly with regard to music ripping and CD burning. Pro currently sells for USD $14.95.

A list of updates to Winamp 5.0


The following are features of Winamp 5.0.

A number of similar programs exist that are based loosely on the same user interface design and program capabilities, but made by independent parties, often designed for other operating systems. Two such programs are MacAMP and XMMS.


External links