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Winamp source code leak (archive.org)
476 points by svlasov 55 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 325 comments

Interestingly enough, there has been a community project dedicated to keeping the last Winamp version alive (last version from the original creators), and it really great to use.


It includes a skin that allows it to work on modern display resolutions. It's really interesting to see just how low-res screens were when it was in it's hey-day, given that they are nearly unusable on a 4k monitor.

Edit: I was too young to remember the releases, but replies are indicating that version 5 was in fact, not the most popular :P

My memory is fuzzy on this but didn’t most consider Winamp 2.x the best. Winamp 3.x was considered bloated. So to help rectify the problems of 3.x, Winamp release version 5.x (the best of 2 + 3). Though I recall many still used version 2.x even after the 5.x release.

Question: so when you say folks are trying to keep the "last version" alive, which version are you referring too since later versions weren’t loved.

Winamp 2 was generally preferred. If I recall correctly, it skipped version 4 not because v2 + v3 = v5 but because nobody would want to download a Winamp 4 skin. Not kidding.

You're both right!


> What happened to Winamp 4? You're not imagining things. Yes, we skipped a version number for the following reasons: a) Winamp 5 combines the best aspects of Winamp 2 and Winamp 3 into one player. Hence Winamp 2 + Winamp 3 = Winamp 5! b) Who the hell wants to see a Winamp 4 Skin :P c) We think that a Fibonacci sequence for versioning might be pretty damn cool. d)We improved so much in Winamp 5 that we figured it warranted skipping a version. ;)

I still don't understand. What's wrong with Winamp 4 skins?

Edit: Maybe I have to sound it out. Is it because 4 skin sounds like foreskin?

You got it :)

They thought a Winamp 4 skin would leave a bad taste in people's mouths, so they scratched it.

Well that definitely blew up in their face.

Downvoting this comment is like kicking someones dog.

Snipped it.

> not because v2 + v3 = v5 but because nobody would want to download a Winamp 4 skin

I wish the people who named Gimp image editor were this thoughtful! Searching for image masking info has caught me out multiple times :/

on multiple occasions when i've needed to know command line syntax I've googled 'man find'

While learning jQuery and figuring out how to retrieve elements of the DOM, I googled "how to get head".

Get the TLD for python.org wrong and it's less than work appropriate.

Or school appropriate. I made this mistake circa 2008 lol

"how to get head" expertsexchange

Not to mention the hard coded file names a certain Linux screen capture utility leaves behind…

NB four and fore are sound the same in some accents

Thank you for so delicately pointing out the problem/joke here -- I hadn't noticed it, not even back then.

My question is: in what English accents do "four" and "fore" *not* sound alike?

This is the Horse-Hoarse merger. [1]

> Accents that have resisted the merger include most Scottish, Caribbean, and older Southern American accents as well as some African American, modern Southern American, Indian, Irish, and older Maine accents.

If my understanding is correct, in some accents that don't pronounce their "R"s at the end of words, the vowel shape changes slightly while pronouncing "four," but "fore" is pronounced with a simple vowel.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-language_vowel_changes...

Wiktionary sometimes comes handy in such musings, because it has IPA spellings and recordings of pronunciations, and marks the dialects—not always but frequently for more popular words.



The IPA suggests that pronunciations of the two words are identical both with and without the merger, but I'm no specialist.

Just dug a little deeper, and I've arrived at this conclusion:

In accents with the merger, "four," "for," and "fore" are all always homophones.

In accents without the merger, "four" and "for" are never homophones.

And in some subset of these non-merged accents, "fore" may be pronounced identically to "four" (as listed in the IPA guide in your first link). In another subset, it may be pronounced identically to "for" (as implied by the "Homophones" section in that same link).

Fascinating. Thank you.

It is extremely hard for me to even _imagine_ this, as apparently my native accents both contain this merger. This is a rare experience for me, but a previous occurrence was discussing the rhotic-R phenomenon.

Thank you. This is what it took for me to realize why version 4 might be an issue. If I just saw "4 skin" I certainly would have gotten it. Somehow adding Winamp in front made it hard for me to interpret it the alternative way.

And now I have a totally different view on the smooth jazz band named fourplay

Definitely true for American accents.

If memory serves, the latest unbloated version of WinAmp was called Winamp Classic, and its versions were in the 2.9x range.

5.x is just the 2.x base continued with newer plug-ins & newer apis for those plug-ins. Unchecking things during installation (e.g. choosing the lite install) or just removing the unwanted plug-ins was always an option to make a 5.x into a comparable 2.x install.


IIRC, Winamp 3 introduced the new skin engine which supported transparency and was slow as molasses on contemporary machines. Moreover, 2.x switched to the new MP3 decoder at some point, and many people didn't like it, either ripping the old decoder from the old versions or stopping upgrading past a certain 2.x version.

(None of this is important today, I guess)

Winamp 3 was a complete rewrite from the ground up, built around the new skinning engine and the "Wasabi" scripting language. But as you say, it wasn't very performant, and it was also super buggy.

I believe there was some drama which resulted in the lead dev for 3 getting fired, and then the skinning engine (which was the most popular part of 3) was grafted onto the 2.x base for version "5".

I've been using my minimal Winamp install and the noerror skin for like 15+ years now. Still the best mp3 player on Windows IMO.


If memory serves, the update from 2.x to 3.x was the one were suddenly skins no longer worked and they decided to base the program around a db instead of the file system. Which is not that bad (though still strictly inferior to file based) in modern cell phones, but at a time when computers were a lot slower and everybody had organized their music library around files instead of metadata it was a bloody disaster.

I dunno... Libraries were a revolution for me. If I remember correctly, that was around the time I briefly switched to iTunes for its library features. The ability to start typing and instantly see a list of song matches was great. The problem with the WinAMP library was that it wasn't that good. If course iTunes turned into a bloated mess too, and I ended up on foobar2000 for years.

Foobar2000 is even available on iOS -- although it doesn't really fit all that well in the new stramiong-focused ecosystem I guess.

That reminds me of this classic JWZ : https://www.jwz.org/doc/mailsum.html

(Note: you want to copypaste that link, not click it)

I clicked it and it is NSFW. :-/ Why does JWZ hate HN?

Well, I did warn you...

JWZ's hate of HN is long-running and due to a combination of factors, but I reckon his real annoyance is the amount of traffic this site can send to his little servers.

I currently use 2.95 and see no reason to update. But I listen rarely mp3's in the last years.

Foodbar 2000 FTW. https://www.foobar2000.org/

Tiny, fast, simple, does the job.

There's an Android version too, which is my go-to audio player, because of its simplicity.

Both FOSS.

Fairly certain that fb2k has never been FOSS or can you point to where that's not the case as that'd be far more interesting than the point of this thread.


Oh! My bad. I mistook the SDK and projectM source download links for the app itself.

I apologise for the misleading comment.

Is all good.


Haven't tried Foodbar :)

I use Foobar on my PC daily but didn't even know it was available on Android, so thanks! Musicolet is also a great Android player without all the BS (ex: can run mp3 files copied to the device with no internet connnection)

Blast. Didn't even notice. Sorry!

Yeah, but does it really whip the llama's ass?

In case you don't know, WinAmp borrowed that meme from the late, schizophrenic musician Wesley Willis.


"McDonalds is a place to rock, It is a restaurant where they buy food to eat, It is a good place to listen to the music, People flock here to get down to the rock music." - Rock 'N Roll McDonalds

"Batman beat the hell out of me and knocked me to the floor, I got back up and knocked him to the floor, He was being such a jack off" - I Whupped Batman's Ass

"This beast killed as many as 100,000 people / It's wings can flap like a bird / It can break a glass / It can also stab you in the ass" - The Chicken Cow

I didn't realize until today that Wesley Willis was also a visual artist[0], and surprisingly good.

[0]: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=wesley+willis+art&t=brave&iax=imag...

Same here, using Winamp 2.95 on a HiDPI screen as my main audio player.

The best feature that it seems no other player has reproduced yet is being able to hit the J key to do an instant search for a song, with 0 latency: the search narrows down the songs as fast as you hit the keys.

But I've noticed that there are now a few files that sound scratch when played, perhaps they're 48 kHz or something...

Same thing in Clementine, except you don't even have to press J. Just type your search when the window is focused and the filter bar will catch the keys.

This can be disabled too.

>> see no reason to update

You will when you get a 4k monitor.

Winamp has a built-in function to double the pixels, so it's actually quite usable on 4K as-is.

It only works for the main window. The library window doesn't work with it.

It does with WACUP


I just installed 2.95 last night after uninstalling 5.x. 5.x doesn't have [Q] to enqueue within a playlist. I have no idea why anyone would remove such a basic feature... maybe the advent of the "media library" management (at the time a new concept) made them decide to remove it.

I had to install milkdrop separately to WinAmp, but honestly, after reinstalling Windows 98 every 72 hours back in the bad old days, it kinda felt natural. Nostalgic.

Winamp is highly modular. Most functionality is in plugins, and you could only install the plugins you want. For example you could exclude the media library, modern skins, and video playback. So, 5.x doesn't have to be bloated.

I have been running Winamp 2.95 for coming up on 20 years now. So you would be correct on that count.

Despite how powerful modern computers are, I still notice how much lighter 2.x is than 3.x.

I'm actually not too familiar with it, I was too young to use the original Winamp back when it was released, and can only remember playing around with the skins, along with RealPlayer on Win98

I'm guessing they went with version 5, since it looks like versions after that might have been a full rewrite?

If you want a fun read that wastes a few hours, poke around the interwebs for the story of Justin Frankel and WinAmp. There's been some recent posts on HN about how "the Internet is played out". Not sure if I agree, but this guy definitely belongs in the mythos of web 1.0



Yes I loved Winamp 2.x - the transition from tapes to mp3 was great for me. My car had a tape player and not a CD player and it was more fun to make tapes that’s cds imo

I have long felt that, given the problems of the Python 2→3 migration, the Python devs should have done the same. :-)

Oh, nice. :-D

WinAmp 2 was the last "real" version, before the AOL buyout of Nullsoft took its toll.

For context, here's the new revamped(!) Winamp coming up soon: https://www.winamp.com/

It's just... the complete opposite of what Winamp was all about, and it's horrible and leaves a bad taste in your mouth (-100 points for the atrocious "modern" website which loads MBs of Javascript, screams BIG TEXT at you, hijacks your scroll wheel, and still tells you nothing about the actual software other than it will probably suck. Oh and another -100 points for that cookie popup.)

The browser on my pixel 6 crashed, haven't seen a site lag a phone for like 2 years

Yeah, the site also freezes my Firefox for 5 seconds, and this is from a gaming PC. Absolutely horrendous...

How hard you would actually have to try to make a website as horrible as this, this thing is just a meme.

For all that lag, I was expecting a lot more than some simple animations. And that scrolljacking is by far the worst I've ever experienced. I have to scroll three times to switch to the next section. Can't even manually drag the little scrollspy thing. Atrocious.

Here’s the developer https://www.laniche.com . Their other websites don’t seem to be as laggy but there is a theme of animating *every* element and embedding videos.

Holy shit, you weren't kidding! What the heck is this thing doing, mining bitcoins? How did this ever get approved?

Came to write this as well

Wow, that's a first. Clicking the URL hung Brave, completely unresponsive for 2-3 mins, now it's loaded but shows nothing but a dark blue background. Same for every refresh, too!

This is my pet peeve. Browsers should not allow any websites to hijack all computing cycles. This was already clear a few years ago during the Monero hype. The fact that most adblockers will detect such attempts today doesn't change the fact that any website can almost prevent you from doing other work just because you opened it. The current strategy of dealing with this problem ("this tab has become unresponsive") is inadequate because it is reactive, not proactive. I'd like to be able to blacklist everything and whitelist only chosen websites I trust. Loading for too long because of tracking code? Too bad, choose another loading strategy or I just close the tab. Making my fans spin faster? Begone.

There is another thread going on about bringing back web 1, but here is something I have been advocating for a while, make 2 different new web profiles, along the lines of:

1.) A subset of modern HTML / CSS, custom Javascript. Remove anything that isn't needed and especially anything that affects rendering negatively for no good reason.

1.1.) Possibly: Provide versioned, vendor neutral versions of js to allow for autocomplete.

2.) Same as 1, but with custom JS. All js must complete in a specified number of cycles. User interaction gives extra cycles.

The point of 1 is to:

- for companies: massively lower the barriers for new browsers (remove lots of backwards compatibility and the huge problem of JS)

- for security conscious users: provide a safer way to browse the web

- for users generally: provide a way to browse the web faster and more comfortably

- the point of 2.) is to provide an approximation of what we have today but in a way that automatically limits developers from abusing JS.

Sounds good, but I'd move for the total removal and banning of all JS and other scripting.

Otherwise, what's the point?

I've actually taken to using a Javascript toggle extension that defaults to off. Makes the web a far better experience when it comes to venturing into unfamiliar territory (going to a site you haven't been to in a while, if it all, or following some shortened url that leads who knows where, or just clicking through something on a news aggregator for example). And if it breaks the website? 9 times out of 10 that's your "It's not worth it" signal to just close the tab and move on. If they can't even deprecate gracefully, they almost never use javascript competently and unobtrusively.

What about actual apps or games where you want to push the limits?

For that we already have html5 and Firefox :-) (and Chrome and what not)

NoScript does this.

My point is, I'd like to give some basic cycles to unknown websites. The NoScript solution is good but radical. If you visit new websites often, you spend some time clicking "temp trusted." In my scenario, websites do have some power, but not much. They should never be allowed to make my fan turn faster - unless I allow it. I don't believe this can be done at the plugin/extension level.

Winamp (winamp)

It really whips your browser's ass.

My brain automatically read that in that guy's voice from DEMO.MP3, complete with the bleating.

LOL same. It's absolutely wild how that's an automatic response.

As it should!

> We’re building Winamp for the next-generation.

The incorrect hyphen is just irritating as well.

Funnily enough, despite that brand new absolute mess of a website, the ancient original Winamp Forums are still running: http://forums.winamp.com/

At the bottom of their site, they have about 30 open full time positions, including Sales, Legal, and Finance. Seems strange for a 25 year old media player. Did they just close a big funding round or something?

I don't recall the full tumultuous journey, but highlights I recall were Nullsoft (original Winamp creators) towards the end were bought by AOL who did them dirty and then AOL forgot about Winamp as a property entirely for something like two decades through the Time Warner merger then divorce then the Yahoo! merger into "Oath" under Verizon. At some point in spinning Oath back out of Verizon and putting Oath's IP on the chopping block someone found Winamp in an old closet somewhere and sold the "brand" to whoever this new company is that so far as any can tell has zero relationship to the original Nullsoft in any capacity.

The pure Nullsoft Winamp was from 1997 to mid-1999 with AOL having Winamp under it's ownership until 2013 (technically until mid-January 2014) when it was sold to Radionomy (who then were bought by Vivendi but then bought themselves back under the guise of Audiovalley).

So that time with AOL covers v2.5 when it became free after starting out as shareware through to v5.666 along with the maligned WinAmp3 period. So that's whole a lot of not doing much but still producing releases for almost 15yrs. Winamp (& SHOUTcast) were sold before Verizon did it's thing with AOL.


Interestingly in contrast to the others it loads up fine on both my laptop and my S9 with Firefox, even after disabling my adblocker and unblocking all scripts in NoScript.

Another one who it worked completely fine for. Zero issue here. Firefox on X11.

Add me the the list of people who thought you were exaggerating about how bad the website was and then immediately noticed how it made my browser stutter.

The page is a performance nightmare on my mobile phone (pixel 4a), unusable.

Not only froze my entire browser (ALL firefox tabs, including youtube playing in another window), but it locked up my entire system for a few seconds, I couldn't alt-tab or anything.

That's... almost impressive in how bad that is. I didn't know a website COULD lock up an entire system in this day and age.

That site's unusable; I see [Decline][Accept] buttons, with no explnation of what I'm being invited to decline or accept. No choice but to close the tab.

Wow, it made my Firefox stuck for a few seconds, opening it in a new tab. (So it wasn't viewable while loading).

In the Spotify/Apple Music, etc; era - wtf is the selling point on this?

Looks like they copped the design styles from Sonos. Which is already meh

Winamp 2.xx was generally the favorite. And there's no reason to talk about it in the past tense -- you can still just use it even now.

I do. 2.95 works fine right up to Windows 10 and probably 11, and still plays any MP3 and pretty much any other format with a plug-in. It even has a double-size display option built right in which makes it perfectly usable on modern 4k resolution.

> I's really interesting to see just how low-res screens were when it was in it's hey-day, given that they are nearly unusable on a 4k monitor.

This reminds me of the realization that modern MacOS apps can have icon sizes larger than the original Mac's screen- 512x512 icons vs. 512x384 monochrome screen.

The max size for file an app icons on macOS was bumped to 1024x1024 some years ago actually, I think around the time the first retina MBPs appeared. So your point is even more true.

Somewhat worrying that I can't seem to find the source code for WACUP listed anywhere, checked their website, discord, and github. I'd feel a lot better about using it if I could see the source code. Currently using Audacious with a Winamp Classic skin.

Then don't use it if you only want to use 100% OSS.

I'm making something that I want to use (essentially a compatible implementation for my plug-ins to run under) & if it's of use to others then that's a bonus.

At no point has WACUP claimed to be 100% OSS nor should I be expected to do that when I'm the only one working on my Winamp reimplementation. Aspects that need to be done that way are done so accordingly.


Yikes, okay.

I trust Justin Frankel, I don't know you, previous team or not.. The world can go on using Winamp 2.x forever and be just fine, its GRAS. If you're bringing something that isn't that, previous dev history or not, you're going to have to differentiate yourself from the folks who are also putting out winamp-alikes.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, that's just the reality.

Knowing what the code I'm running is doing is helpful in swaying me to your direction, even if that's not what you claim to be aiming for.

> should I be expected to do that when I'm the only one working on my Winamp reimplementation

Let us know when you want to change that. We're talented, and generally nice. Maybe some day you'll want some help.

I'm also not trying to be a jerk either but when I'm constantly being told by random people that I have to be OSS when it comes to WACUP that's also not particularly helpful other than introducing more potential work for me to do when there's absolutely no guarantee of a return to that effort. So maybe I'm more terse than I should be about such things but that's also just how I am.

It might make more sense for other projects especially those starting out fresh but that's not ever been my mindset with how I've been doing Winamp plug-in related development since 2003 along with the 5yrs I worked on Winamp & if that means people will avoid WACUP then so be it as they're more likely to be sticking with the AOL provided 2.x releases anyway.

Also it goes both ways on the trust aspects & maybe when the likes of fb2k, aimp & musicbee go OSS I might eventually reconsider my dinosaur like approach to development but there has to be a tangible benefit for me to do it.

I've already asked for help over the 5yrs or so I've been trying to make WACUP but the things that need help with doing are also the things that no one really wants to do (e.g. a new good midi input plug-in).

-dro (assuming this reply ever gets posted as I've been trying for over an hour)

> Also it goes both ways on the trust aspects & maybe when the likes of fb2k, aimp & musicbee go OSS I might eventually reconsider my dinosaur like approach to development but there has to be a tangible benefit for me to do it.

Forgive me for asking, but if the reason for you releasing WACUP to the public at all isn't purely personal benefit (if it was only about that might as well keep it to yourself right?) but to help people and share something that you deem useful and let others benefit from it, why would the source code be any different? Put another way: why is releasing the binaries publicly acceptable even if it doesn't benefit you directly, but doing the same thing for the source itself isn't?

Releasing a project as open source is associated with a lot of work and responsibility. People get quite entitled over open source projects and get quite upset when developers don't do what they want. I can see why he's unwilling to undergo all that stress and pressure if he feels it doesn't benefit him.

He can do what I do with my own personal projects: if you install something I wrote, you get the source code whether you want it or not. Setup.exe basically dumps a copy of my development directory into the specified installation folder.

That way, if I get hit by a bus, it's fine, The Source Is Out There. If someone wants to send a bug fix or improvement, great, thanks, I'll be glad to take a look. Otherwise, don't bug me.

The idea that "open source" is necessarily a full-time maintenance job with formal processes and expectations is something somebody made up.

> if you install something I wrote, you get the source code whether you want it or not. Setup.exe basically dumps a copy of my development directory into the specified installation folder.

This is really cool, can you share a bit about how you do this? Are you using a makefile and putting a gzip as an embed into the setup? Is this a function of the installer you're using? Thanks for any insight.

Not a whole lot to it. I just add the makefile, .cpp and .h files, Windows resource script, and other sources to the .iss file that Inno Setup uses to generate the setup program. They all get dumped in the same directory at installation time, for better or worse.

In the case of one commercial application, there are also binary blobs in the form of DLLs that support custom hardware.

It's not one of those practices that scales particularly well, but it works for me...

Seems to me like the fact it doesn't scale is why you do it. It's a decent way to avoid the responsibilities of having to lead an open source project while still giving others the benefits of having the source code available and modifiable. I wish more devs would do this.

Or he could just do it FamiTracker style: make no mention of source code on the website/communications, include a zip named "SOURCE" on the normal download which contains the source code, license, and a simple text file with build instructions.

> you're going to have to differentiate yourself from the folks who are also putting out winamp-alikes.

No one giving away software has to do anything. Maybe they'd get more donations as OSS or something, but it's no guarantee.

Yes, but nobody has to use their work.

I'd assume that people who make general-purpose open-source software with the intent of it being used by someone other than themselves.

So read the "have to" as "if you want to have people use and appreciate your work, this is a necessary step".

Which is definitely just that, an assumption. Some people write things just because they want to or can, and don't care whether anyone else finds it useful for their own purposes. It might just be something for a portfolio, to inspire others, etc, or again, just because. Lots of things are created "just because".

The decision is left to the end user, use it, or don't.

Same with "you have to" advice. The decision is left to the developer: use it, or don't.

Really don't see a problem here :)

The Windows ecosystem has a long history of closed source freeware. It doesn't seem strange at all to me.

fwiw dro’s been around a long time and i would be inclined to trust them :)

Yes, Exactly, Yes!

:) Thanks

Oh hey! Appreciate the work you've done, thanks for keeping the project alive!

The WACUP author also discussed the source code leak here a while ago: https://getwacup.com/blog/index.php/2021/04/17/what-does-the...

Reading that blog and not being familiar with winamp's history after winamp2 (which was the best), it felt like there is a good story there about "dro" and the current owners. Can someone point me to it?

The fact that he points out what is and is not in the leak, might come back to bite him if the owners get very litigious. He should not have looked at it.

XMMS was a really nice Winamp clone for Linux way back when. Might be a good starting point.


I've been using QMMP myself: https://qmmp.ylsoftware.com/. It's another WinAmp clone.

The thing that I liked about Winamp that stopped being cool were visualizations. net Audio player nowaday are so bland and featureless (including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and others I've tried).

I liked XMMS, it was very clean. I spent far too long building it for my Sun workstation in about 2004...

TIL - Audacious was a fork of XMMS!


The Fatboy Slim album art on the screenshots page... I definitely got taken back :')

> It includes a skin that allows it to work on modern display resolutions. It's really interesting to see just how low-res screens were when it was in it's hey-day, given that they are nearly unusable on a 4k monitor.

Monitor size/resolution has gotten larger which is some of the factor but I think people downplay the shift in common effective DPI which leads to a much bigger perceived change in UI sizing design than there really has been. In the late 90s to early 2000s an effective DPI of 75-85 for a typical home user was not uncommon. Nowadays an effective DPI of 125-135 is pretty standard, many tech folk using an effective DPI of 150 because it gives the effect of having more workspace.

So what may have looked like a half physical inch wide UI element on a standard user's display in the late 90s might look like a quarter inch wide UI element on many HN reader's screens today because nobody likes to set their DPI properly :p.

> It's really interesting to see just how low-res screens were when it was in it's hey-day, given that they are nearly unusable on a 4k monitor.

When WinAmp was big, typical resolution was 1024x768 (XGA). Wikipedia has a nice comparison image to give you a sense of how tiny that was compared to 4K:


But does it whip the llama's ass?

hm, forgotten about that one. I get why it exists/independent/opensource whatever..... but why does it exist? Far as I can tell the 'official' v5.8 version that's been around for download on the main site and still is for a long time works great. Maybe I've just been using it for so long I don't notice any oddities (or don't need them, it's a music player for godssake), and I guess they've improved interface etc on wacup but....

Well, reading the release notes may answer that question. Some highlights:

- running WACUP on Windows 10 for ARM on a Raspberry Pi 4 is now a known to work configuration

- Changed the shared metadata handling to do a better job in skipping trying to process requests for metadata requests that are always going to fail before triggering relatively time consuming calls

- Changed how the CD playback plug-in initialises itself to minimise the delays on loading that it can cause

- Fixed a crash when retrieving the raw lyrics data from a file's metadata tag on opening the Alt + 3 / View File Info dialog

macOS desperately needs a version of this. Vox is the closest thing I could find, but still isn't the same. Can't stand native Apple apps.

There's also re:amp which is a decent implementation of the Winamp classic skin support.


you can also install reaper and this plug-in and get something highly winampish with its own special authenticity:


I miss apps like this. The UX is just so efficient and perfect. That settings screen is chef’s kiss


also the classic modern skin is great

I just can’t understand the point of the DMCA takedown here. This software is very dead and abandoned at this point, and the only thing bearing its name is vaporware that appears to be so distant from the original as to effectively not even compete with it.

Of course, the copyright holders have every legal right to do so. But doesn’t it seem pointless? This codebase probably has more historical interest than commercial by now. Am I missing something?

It's very likely about the brand and trademarks. The WinAmp software is dead, but the brand is alive and there is a company trying to build something under it.

Brand loyalty/trust is gone and companies wonder why... (Slight tangent; I believe Mozilla are tarnishing the Firefox name this way as well with firefox branded this and that.)

How do we know the DMCA takedown even came from the rightsholder? It's trivial to pretend to own something, and companies aren't really obligated to verify the authenticity of takedown requests.

Well, it’s impossible to be 100% certain, but the claim itself was posted publicly.


Seems pretty pointless to me, too.

I'll make the assumption that the founders have zero financial interest in Winamp. What's the point of exerting IP rights if you have nothing to gain financially... is it pride? A latent desire to stagnate innovation? Making other peoples' lives harder because yours was too? Who knows?

I believe that this is a new version of Winamp, there have been some talks about a relaunch https://www.extremetech.com/computing/329258-winamp-prepares...

Considering there are some references to cloud https://web.archive.org/web/20210418220750/https://github.co... I'm going to go ahead and guess that it's new.

Not a lawyer but I guess it relates to a possibility of a loss of a trademark by failure to police.

DMCA is a copyright claim, not trademark. Also, the idea that a single instance of failing to enforce a mark would constitute trademark abandonment is disputed[1]. It certainly seems far-fetched given the general bias laws have towards the rights of corporations, not to mention extremely convenient for legal teams.

[1]: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not...

Honest question, as someone who actually used Winamp back in ~2004: why would you want to use it now?

I have some nostalgia for it, sure, but what exactly does it actually offer you that something like VLC doesn't? It seems like it plays my music and videos competently enough, and I don't know anyone who actually uses Shoutcast anymore.

This isn't a passive aggressive dig or anything, I would actually like to know.

Not quite an answer, but I used to have my whole library loaded up in one list and could search any part of it, including the path, using the "j" key to instantly play basically any song in it from the keyboard.

It was so good that I literally put an old desktop computer in the trunk of my car in 2000 (with eggshell foam bungee-corded around the hard drives for shock absorption) and ran a long keyboard wire to the drivers seat and I could queue up any song at all while driving with one hand without taking eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. When the computer booted, it loaded winamp with the full playlist and so the only user interaction was pressing the power button (mounted in my dash) and pressing 'j' to search and play.

I've never found this capability in e.g. VLC or anything else (maybe for the best ;). Am I missing it?

clementine (formerly amarok) is better than winamp and has all those nice playlist features.

please tell me it had some way of playing the "llama's ass" mp3 when you booted the computer/car, or at least a hotkey on the keyboard

Haha that would have been cool. I had the Jurassic park theme song for a while during boot, but switched back to just a normal CHIMES.WAV eventually

damn what a DIY project!

It's basically a perfect music player. Lightweight, fast, runs on every version of Windows 95+, great playlist manager, skins, and has extensive plugins which support any music file format.

Why continue the search for perfection once it's been found?

Winamp has a plugin for Orchestra 80/85/90 files, which to the best of my knowledge, VLC does not. Wouldn't be surprised if this were the case for many 8-bit era music formats. The time period in which Winamp came to prominence was when there were still lots of people with a foot in the 90s (and 80s) without it necessarily being retro nostalgia.

I use it because I never stopped using it. I love the classic gray on black modular UI (it looks like high end stereo equipment). Winamp has all the features I want, and nothing has come along that compelled me to stop using Winamp altogether. Since it's the same old Winamp, it's incredibly light and fast.

I'll use Foobar2000 and VLC from time to time (Foobar's conversion and bulk tagging are great). I've tried using them full-time instead of Winamp, but they just don't feel right.

EDIT: I love how there's an 'active playlist' of what's playing now, and additional saved playlists in the library, and can move/copy entries between them. It's probably accidental design of adding a library later, but I haven't found another player that shows multiple playlists side-by-side without customizing it into something else.

I still use it daily due to one killer feature it has: the Nullsoft Signal Processing Studio DSP plugin that it comes with. I have my own preset in there that I use on all of my music. The preset combines:

1. Playback rate control, affecting both speed and pitch (like in a record player) 2. A bs2b transform 3. My own custom overdrive effect

I could skip the 3rd one, but the first two already greatly narrows down what I can use.

For me, Winamp still offers two things that most other players don't:

1) Global hotkeys to navigate through my playlists, enqueue songs, control playback etc. Also the global pop-up window (Ctrl+Alt+J) with my current playlist has a really fast search function as I type. Only 'Everything' has faster search. Otherwise modern apps have very slow searches.

2) Milkdrop 2. I have a very large curated collection of visualization presets for Milkdrop 2. This is not something I use when I'm behind the computer, but it's awesome to have running on some screens during a party as the visualizations are in sync with the music.

I like to be able to pause my music, watch a video file, and resume the music, so a unified player is not ideal.

foobar2000's library features kind of suck IMO.

Clementine/Strawberry have issues with large libraries or just skip tracks

Spotify is cloud, automatically eliminated there

VLC Player gets used for porn and videos

Winamp quietly Just Works(tm), it scans all my songs, plays them, and is great for tag grooming and setting ReplayGain levels

What else is there?

Why does VLC Player getting used for porn and videos eliminate it? You mean you want to watch porn and listen to music at the same time and dont want to launch multiple instances?

Perhaps they are worried about mixing the content up? Like if they have some friends over and want to play some music...

Mainly that. Plus you can configure VLC to always start with the volume down, kind of annoying for listening to music

Really though, what else is there? Besides what is left of WinAmp.. Foobar is too basic for me (not good for managing larger libraries). iTunes used to work well for me, but I don't use Apple.

Is there any other alternative I can try?

musicbee is pretty good

> I don't know anyone who actually uses Shoutcast anymore.

I don't know you, but I use a shoutcast based premium streaming service. Free tier has to use the official apps or the web. Winamp is still perfect for this; it loads quickly, my playlist has the couple of stations I want to listen to, etc. Foobar2000 works pretty well too, but llamas. VLC could work, but I don't think it starts as fast, and there are so many updates to install.

Fair enough! I haven't used it since I was a teenager to watch bootleg episodes of Love Hina and Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and other things that might appeal to a 15 year old boy), but I didn't mean to imply it was "dead" or anything.

As it was written for an era of much slower hardware (I remember using it on a 100MHz machine) - it might be a good fit for something where that matters.

I actively use both. VLC is "for videos" for me. More: for random one-off things. WinAmp (2.x) keeps a playlist loaded, across launches, and is music only. (Opening a one-off video in VLC would destroy the playlist/state.)

VLC doesn't have gapless audio playback.

I was simple and focused on playing mp3's and managing playlists and nothing else.

Every music player now has some shitty cloud integration that I have to ignore.

The playlist manager was top notch. 10 times better than itunes.

Maybe it's just familiarity but I always come back for the active playlist features and IMO very good browse/search workflow.

Literally never needs updated, until this leak at least...

To add to all of the beep boop I am a computer person here is a feature table responses, Winamp was just damn fun. The silly llama intro, the skins, that miniature UI with fun EQ. Sure, you _can_ use VLC, or Foobar, but those are just tools that do a job.

I can force mono with Winamp. That's the sole player I know that has that option.

In foobar2000 it's kinda easy, Preferences -> Playback -> DSP Manager -> Downmix channels to mono [+]. (picture: https://i.imgur.com/FDhxh3j.png)

Thank you for the intel. I'm testing it right now. It looks like it has everything I need, global hotkeys, sane way of sorting playlist and mono.

And... Wait a minute... There is a mobile version... Is the end of the nightmare right here?

edit: You made my day. Thank you very much.

For Linux there are various command-line players, e.g. mpg123, with this option and with any other imaginable options.

I want a full working application with the equivalent of global hotkeys. I use deadbeef on GNU/Linux, but I still haven't find a way to force mono.

Out of curiosity, why do you want mono? Just a preference?

Yes. And especially when listening with headphone, some artists find it fun to have a moving song from one side to the other, in that case I turn my head thinking that there is something near me, absolutely annoying. With mono the sound is always located in the middle of my brain.

Ah, so you essentially take the existing stereo mix -> force it to mono -> play the new mono feed in both ears? That's an interesting idea...

I feel like this should be relatively easy to replicate with VAC (https://vb-audio.com/Cable/) and Audacity, if the player doesn't support it natively.

Why would I need to do that? Winamp does it perfectly.

Beatles is the reason.

I would use Winamp, but at some point in the last decade I switched to Foobar2000 because its simple and has great FLAC support. At the time getting Winamp to do FLAC involved some weird add on.

Winamp has a media library feature, it can keep track of what you're listening to and builds playlists of your most listened and top rated tracks. Quite handy.

It also had grace note integration that used to fill the id3 info and rename files.. very useful back in the days of cd ripping.

It's small, does the job I need, it can be made to look good, and extended via plugins. What else do I need? VLC seems like overkill for music.

It works great.

It looks great.

What else do you need? :)

I nearly got a job with them back around 2001. At the time they were revamping their development group.

I had written some plug-ins for Winamp so I familiar with the plug-in structure. It looks like the new lead developer wanted to rewrite everything. Using all kinds of object-oriented methodologies. The older code was all C based and very simple. I wasn’t fan of the new direction.

> The older code was all C based and very simple. I wasn’t fan of the new direction.

Pretty sure the original author hung out in #winprog (EFnet IRC), I wasn't a great Windows programmer but I remember him showing off how he created the skinnable interface and everything. I also remember spending a half hour downloading a Rob Zombie MP3, using Winamp to play it, and wondering what the big deal was :)

As a kid with plenty of time but without access to either a car or a credit card, and with plenty of experience with MIDI and a little with WAV, being about to download an mp3 was absolutely mind-blowing.

There's something special about how limited media availability was back then. Made every track you could manage to get your hands on really special!

I guess we are replicating this today with vinyl.

Some people are. Probably not folks who actually came up in the age of vinyl. The only plans I ever have for using my turntable again is to digitize some obscure stuff that I'll probably never find on more modern media.

There is some sense of mindfulness in the physicality of listening to a vinyl record.

Def. It's interesting because now we have to willingly limit ourselves to get the same effect.

I actually wish we tried this a bit more with news, social media, etc.

> the new lead developer wanted to rewrite everything. Using all kinds of object-oriented methodologies. The older code was all C based and very simple.

A tale as old as time.

Is it bad that I start hearing the Aladdin (1992) soundtrack whenever I read that line?

Yes, it is bad. You got the wrong movie. ;)

A whole new world,

a new fantastic paradigm!

No more structs,

Or bad raw pointer luck,

I will use the whole damn STL.

A whooole neeeeww woooooorld!

A whole operator new world?


Not Beauty and the Beast?

Written in C

Written in C

Darling it’s better, down near the metal

Take it from me!

> It looks like the new lead developer wanted to rewrite everything. Using all kinds of object-oriented methodologies.

I had that experience with Aegisub; there's always a lot of real work to do on video and subtitles, but whenever I looked at the IRC channel the developer was thinking of new C++y ways to abstract the factory visitors.

I listened to my first MP3 ever (Creed's "Higher") in 1999 on Winamp. It really whipped the South American camelid's posterior. Dang. I'm old.

The first scene releases of mp3's were in 1996[0]. It was 1997 when things got rolling, just as Winamp was released.

I recall then that even new PC's couldn't decode at full CD quality and you had to downscale. We also picked which songs to download locally based on their size

Spiderbait's song "Calypso" was probably the most popular mp3 download in '97 since it was only 2.5MB and a lot of people just wanted to try this new mp3 thing everybody was talking about.

The decoder Winamp used was actually amp - developed by Tomislav Uzelac[1]. I can't remember how he dodged patent issues, but he had his name and an ask for donations in the about box of v1 iirc.

Winamp owe a lot to amp - the first version was essentially a skin + port of his library to Windows. I'm pretty certain Winamp v2 also used amp, just as it was blowing up to become the most downloaded program online.

Nullsoft and Justin were absolute legends. He wrote an AOL ad removal / blocking tool and WASTE while at AOL. I can't think of any similar startup or subsidiary today that has even close to the attitude / courage they had.

[0] https://www.mp3scene.info/releases/year/1996/

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomislav_Uzelac

Oh wow, WASTE, that brings back some memories. I hadn't heard of it until college, where everyone on campus used it to share music / videos / etc. I never knew that the history of it was linked to Nullsoft and Winamp.

My favorite "wild west" item from this time period is nineinchnails.net. I don't know who was running the site at the time, but they were ripping and hosting mp2/mp3 files of NIN's entire discography just out in the open and free.

A combination of limited hard drive space + sad dialup speeds prevented me from actually downloading the entire discog before the eventual shutdown in 98 or 99-ish.

Nineinchnails.net was Matt Miller, not to be confused with Matt Brink (9inchnails.com) or Matt Dunphy (The NIN Hotline) of course.

> I recall then that even new PC's couldn't decode at full CD quality and you had to downscale.

I remember pentium 90's struggling to play mp3's on Win95/98 while at uni. They would play but you couldn't do much else otherwise they would stutter. Even minimizing and maximizing the mp3 player would cause stuttering.

I think only the first versions of winamp used amp, it was replaced later. Interestingly, the old amp code can still be compiled and ran on modern systems with little modifications. I've did it a few months ago.

After years of listening to Adlib MIDI soundtracks on the computer, I was absolutely blown away to be hearing “Yesterday” by the Beatles coming out of the speakers. I played that tiny little file (not a whole CD!) countless times on repeat. Just unbelievable that such a thing could be coming from a tiny (relatively) little file.

Yes, I remember feeling that awe as well. For giggles, I just went to YouTube and listened to "Higher" again, and man... that really took me back. Haven't listened to it in years. Still one of my favorite heavy metal songs of all time.

I also remember being so thrilled to be able to store several MP3's on my 64mb Sharp Zaurus SL-5600.

Wait, creed is metal? I always thought of it more like Christian rock. A good tune, all the same.

A 64mb CF card in an RCA Lyra for me. Drop the bitrate to ~64kbps and you can jam most of an album on there :D

I really don't think Creed qualifies as metal in 2021, but the metal influence is very clear imho. I vaguely recall that they walked a line with American Christendom, being a sort of "Christian crossover" band. I think it's kinda interesting how they made an aesthetic of "consistently singing out of tune" which I think helped them cement their status as more "metal" than "Christian" allowing them to attract from a wider variety of fan-base. Really it's kinda interesting the line they walked, in retrospect.


Interestingly, I've started dropping bitrate a lot recently, because I like to keep my podcast content pre-loaded. Definitely feels like a throwback: "Gah, my audio content is up to 4gb, I need to either get my listen on, drop bitrate, or reduce my intake!" I wonder when I'll stop caring about how much space I have on my phone.

I remember being jealous of my friend's Pentium (66? 90?) when mp3 playback slaughtered my 486.

I had an AMD DX4-120 that was overclocked to 160 Mhz. Yup, a 160 Mhz 486.

Was on par with a 90 Mhz Pentium for integer processing, IIRC, so MP3 playback didn't drag the system to a halt, though it was still a noticeable impact on performance.

What really dragged the performance down was when I'd try to run 3D Studio MAX at the same time. I had 24 MB of RAM, and the installer warned that they did not recommend running with less than 48 MB, which was an absurd number for a home user at the time.

The original Fraunhofer MP3 player, Winplay3, had settings to reduce decoding quality - which helped a lot on my 486.


When “Pentium” was the name of the very most precious metal one could obtain

That has to be one of the best advertising campaigns in history. I've heard non-technical people in the last few years still say things like "I think our new computer has a Pentium or something". The word Pentium was synonymous with quality and speed.

They might be right, though I wouldn't say the name is synonymous with speed anymore. Intel is still using this name for entry level cpus [0].

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium

They should have left Celeron as the low-end SKU. Then they could use Pentium again nowadays. Core was a sensible branding to emphasize the fact that they were multicore when it was a new feature, but now that's old hat.

Now is actually a decent time for a naming scheme change, right? Apparently Golden Cove is supposed to be a bit of a jump.

It truly was all about the Pentiums.


You may enjoy this for a nostalgia hit: https://webamp.org/

> I listened to my first MP3 ever (Creed's "Higher")

My condolences.

I'm afraid that, at one point in time, a DMCA takedown might backfire at the archive. I mean, it has been taken down on Github, but it's of course available at archive.org - it would hurt the internet as a whole if the archive needs to close it's doors.

Hopefully that will never happen.

I'm not 100% sure of all the details, but archive.org has some exceptions[1] to the DMCA & thanks to California, it's officially considered a library - which again, I believe gives it some more leeway on the DMCA.

[1]: https://archive.org/about/dmca.php

In the event a DMCA notice must be actioned, the content is no longer made available ("darked") but it remains archived for the future.

I never get how Archive.org can get away with... everything? Like every single console game is there. Nintendo is very famous to take down ROM sites yet their full library is on Archive.org. And that's Nintendo only, all the PS1, PS2, PS3 games and the whole Xbox/360 catalog is there as well. It's crazy

In some aspect Archive.org is better than some private torrent trackers

I've been worrying about this as well. I recently found a Beetles discography on Archive.org even after TPB turned up almost nothing. It's great being able to find things, but It'd be a shame to loose all of the legitimate content because of getting associated with blatant piracy.

Meatspace libraries often have a big collection of CDs too. This is part of our cultural heritage, and I think making it accesible in this form is a no-brainer.

(By the way, maybe it was a typo, but the spelling is "Beatles". They were better at songwriting than puns.)

Because they're a library with a DMCA exception (which may be expiring soon), they are allowed to host that content. That doesn't mean you are allowed to download it though. Normal copyright and DMCA law still applies to you as a consumer of this content. Also Jason Scott has stated that they prefer to take a stance of "just upload whatever it is first, then if someone complains we will take it down".

I'm so happy they somehow keep going. I've found so much otherwise dead software there, esp. obscure windows 3.1 games I played growing up :)

There's plenty of precedent for archives. National libraries get a copy of everything published, and anybody is allowed to borrow and read from it for free. I think there is a recognition that preserving history is important.

archive.org regularly removes things when they are alerted :(

Sounds like we need an archive.org archive

It depends on whether Github or Winamp can be arsed; given that it's been posted on HN now, they are probably on the trail now.

Archive.org can't just ignore a DMCA takedown, that would threaten their safe haven status.

Winamp at this point in time is just a trademark that ended up at a Belgian company. And I think they want to use it to launch a music streaming service. The rest of Nullsoft went down with AOL. I wonder which party would even have the legal rights to move against such a source code leak.

They are claiming they have rights to the code too: "I am acting on behalf of AudioValley SA who currently owns the copyright to the Winamp code after a purchase from AOL."

I wonder what happened to NSIS, the NullSoft InstallSystem?

Used it myself as a teen to have a professional looking installer for my software releases.

I still occasionally see software with NSIS installers and Nullsoft copyright. So I wonder what entity is behind it now days.

NSIS has nothing to do with the lot that own Winamp & it was a clearly defined "not part of the sale" as it has been OSS from early on around it's v1.0 iirc which was a long long time before Winamp was eventually sold.

I still think they should be using their own forum with an archive of the NSIS sub-forum to ensure that there's a clear distinction between them & the lot that now own Winamp (as there's no benefit for them to be keeping that forum running other than a trickle of ad revenue) but that's down to those that lead NSIS to decide upon.


NSIS is open source, seems to be maintained by the community.

We should have infrastructure for sharing things like this without putting a centralized entity like archive.org in the crosshairs. Bittorrent comes to mind, but it could only be part of the solution.

IPFS is perfect for this.

Almost, but since it publicly associates the files you share with your IP address, I don't see most interested people willing to use it in this context.

Pinning services exist, VPN's exist, also every other technology including torrents exposes your IP.

True, but torrents et al make you a peer, so you're also distributing, not just saving a copy locally. At least that's how I've always understood it in terms of legal risk.

But yeah, VPN has (so far) been enough for me to avoid being low hanging fruit when torrenting something I don't have a license to "distribute" while seeding.

To be fair, most Bittorrent users have not had any legal issues (while downloading copyrighted stuff).

Disclaimer: I'm not into shitcoins, and I am not shilling this coin at all.

However, the goals of Filecoin seem to be right up this alley. Distribute file storage among billions of users where the more you host and help the swarm, the more coins you earn.


Last I checked (about a month ago) there was still no way to "help the swarm" without having a ridiculous set up but I imagine someone with more experience will correct me.

All archive.org items have a torrent file, so even if IA goes down you can still download the item from seeders.

This isn't an archive.org item strictly speaking, just a page on the wayback machine. I'm not sure you can download it.

Sure you can. Add 'oe_' to the end of the datetime, and you'll get the original HTML file.


Saving the front page of a Github project isn't the same thing as clicking the download source button.

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