AOL announces Dec. 20 shutdown for Winamp

Users who download the once-beloved media player before then can still use it, however.

By InvestorPlace Nov 21, 2013 1:45PM

Winamp Media Player
© 1999 NullsoftBy William White

AOL (AOL) has announced that it will be shutting down once-beloved media player Winamp (pictured) on Dec. 20.

A short message on the Winamp page says the shutdown will be all-encompassing, including as well as any other web services associated with the media player. Also, the application will no longer be available for download as of Dec. 20.

However, according to The Week, Winamp still can be used after the shutdown, but users must have it installed before the Dec. 20 deadline.

Winamp was developed by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev in 1997, then picked up in popularity into the late 1990s and early 2000s. AOL acquired the media player in 1999 as part of its deal for Nullsoft, which was founded by Frankel and also included a streaming media server and an open-source installer system.

Winamp eventually was overshadowed by other media players, such as Apple's (AAPL) iTunes.

The surprising part of the shutdown is that the media player still has a user base of millions of people worldwide that generates roughly $6 million in revenue for AOL annually.

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Tags: AOL
Nov 21, 2013 3:34PM
"Winamp, it really whips the llama's a$$!"
Nov 21, 2013 2:51PM
A few years ago I was on the phone with an AOL supervisor because I was charged a fee for a service I never received.  I never received my refund and had explained to him that I would never use AOL again.  His reply; "We have millions of customers (which back then they did), and you not using AOL will never make a difference to us".  If I could only call that same supervisor now.  Most of young adults have never heard of AOL.
Nov 22, 2013 12:15AM
I knew, when AOL bought Winamp, that this was their plan all along.

The article is a bit misleading.  Winamp will ALWAYS be the best media player.  If a better player were going to come along, it would have by now.  Killing it (presumably to boost the popularity of other players) will not work.

Furthermore, iTunes never beat out Winamp in popularity. iTunes sucks.  It's bloatware, spyware, nagware, and all kinds of malware. Those numbers are fraudulent.

Nov 21, 2013 8:49PM

This sucks... I have been using Winamp for years and I paid for the service. I wouldn't install I-Tunes for nothing. I guess it is time for me to find a media player that compares. But I know better than to pay for any thing again.

Nov 22, 2013 9:32AM
Ah.. badly informed, pay attention when you write please, this is not true: "(...)users must have it installed before the Dec. 20 deadline".

You can install Winamp whenever you want, a year from now or months later, what you will not have after Dec. 20 is OFFICIAL support and updates.
But don´t worry, I´m sure the community will do its best to repair both things as much as they can (in fact, some developers will still work on it plus some other returning to complement the player by one of the possible ways; plugins. Check all these in Winamp´s forum while it last:
Nov 28, 2013 11:41AM
That is completely unacceptable, you don't want to handle it, just put the source out, there would be thousands of developer who maintain and advance the project. What's the matter with AOL!
Nov 22, 2013 11:34AM
I'm going to cry. There is not another media play that come close to WinAmp. Long live Milkdrop.
Nov 21, 2013 5:26PM
I use the free edition anyway no great loss.
Nov 21, 2013 3:57PM
VLC for video, Clementine for Audio. winamp was a good alternative 10 years ago, but the tech world has advanced considerably since then. No sense in riding a dead Llama.
Nov 22, 2013 9:22AM
Never even heard of it lol........ it must have been very popular haha
Nov 21, 2013 2:54PM
VLC Media Player is the most versatile app for playing audio or video.  And it's free!
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