Winamp’s Woes: How the Greatest MP3 Player Undid Itself →

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Cyrus Farivar, writing for Ars Technica:

Today, Winamp continues to be updated; AOL released its first Android version in 2010 and a Mac version in 2011. Amazingly, given all the time elapsed, AOL still makes a decent amount of money on the site and on the program—while the company has declined to release official figures, former employees who worked on Winamp estimate its current revenue at around $6 million annually. And Winamp still has an estimated user base of millions worldwide, a small fraction of which live in the United States.

When I first got my hands on Winamp, I learned that ID3 tags existed. That was when I started properly naming all my MP3 files, in both the file names and tags. I got my first iPod in 2006 and switched to iTunes, which I still use today. What’s more, I still have those 128 Kbps MP3 files — some I replaced with better rips, others I just left as they were. My iTunes library was automatically perfectly organized, thanks to Winamp. This was a time when the iTunes Music Store wasn’t yet available in Poland, so I solely relied on ripping my CDs. I did get an US account later and a few gift cards, which made things easier, but this was after Apple dropped DRM, if I recall correctly. I still have fond memories of Winamp, despite the fact that I’m probably one of the few people who like using iTunes, and was quite surprised recently, when I learned that one of my friends still uses it. I didn’t know there was a Mac version either…

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