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Winamp shutting down on December 20th, 2013 (winamp.com)
957 points by bulibuta on Nov 20, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 500 comments

Was using Winamp 5 for the past year but recently switched back to v2.95, which is allegedly the best version out there.

Although it's 10 years old (!!), it's still the best music player available: lightweight, fast, responsive, and kept simple.

I had hopes for the Windows 7 Media Player. But it turned out to be a dreadful experience.

  Me: Can't I pause that song by hitting space?  
  WMP: No, there are no keyboard shortcuts!
  Me: I wanna play all the songs of this folder!
  WMP: Ok, but I'll mess up the order! By the way, are you interested in purchasing
  more songs from this artist? Cause I got a VirginMega link just right here!
  Me: No thanks...
  WMP: Why not? I mean, iTunes gets away with it, why can't I?
  Me: I just want to play some music.
  WMP: Really?? JUST that??
  Me: I wish.

Did you ever try Foobar 2k - its arguably a better replacement for Winamp on windows

I agree, I've used foobar2000 [1] for over ten years when Winamp (my previous goto music player) started to get all crashy and hangy for no good reason. It's pretty solid, can handle massive playlists and has nice clean and simple UI with no cruft. My only wish is that they did foobar2000 for Android.

[1]: http://www.foobar2000.org/

I think foobar2000 was created by a (the?) developer who worked on Winamp many years ago, before it was bought.

Yes, Peter Pawlowski. According to Wikipedia, he is "a former freelance contractor for Nullsoft."

EDIT: He's also been working on an audio player called Boom: http://perkele.cc/software/boom

Peter was notable for maintaining a lot of the audio output backends for Winamp. People who had problems with their Creative Labs sound cards (read: basically anyone who owned one) causing playback glitches in Winamp would post about it on the Winamp forums and peter would get really cranky and eventually figure out how to fix it. (:

TheSOB88, you're hellbanned so barely anyone can see your comments.

What's this about? Parent's unsername is not TheSOB88.

You have to enable a setting to see [dead] posts, and you can't reply to them. That's why people post as siblings, hoping that the banned person will come back to the thread and see their name.

It's to let him know that he triggered hell banning somehow. it's super annoying, because you don't know if you are hell banned.

That's the point of it.

HN has an amusingly childish policy of hellbanning individuals it deems inappropriate or otherwise objectionable--hellbanning hides the banned account's comments to everyone unless you set "showdead" to true in your account preferences.

Some users have started kindly informing the hellbanned posters that, for whatever reasons, don't seem to notice that no one ever responds or upvotes their comments.

If I may get on my soapbox (if I wasn't already), I find the whole thing symptomatic of Silicon Valley's culture of networking hell and reputation management. It's a policy of elitism; a policy that disenfranchises in the name of some fictional notion of quality; a policy that demonstrates just how rotten the tech industry is at heart.

Why do I go that far? Because community culture is indicative of so many things. This is the community and atmosphere that pg set up, that pg creates, moderates, and maintains.

pg may not be formally 'responsible,' but he's certainly at the head.

Because I'm an asshole, but not enough of one to get hellbanned (at least on this account), I am in some state of suspension: an artificial delay imposed on every request.

(That's what I don't get about HN's moderation: what, did you think I wouldn't notice that you're essentially trying to herd me like chattel? I stubbornly keep this account kicking out of simple contrariness.)

That's all well and good, but let's take a look at what the trigger was https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5615120 . If you ran a community -- and realistically there's nothing stopping you from doing so -- would you tolerate that kind of nonsense? I know I wouldn't want to hang around there if you did.

You're right (to continue going slightly meta), it's a policy of elitism, but in the same vein as Wikipedia. They too are still around as a result.

Side note: Quality is quantifiable to a degree and is by no means a fictional notion.

If the mountains of downvotes don't do the trick you can ban accounts directly. Hellbanning is cowardly and ineffective.

This isn't Wikipedia, it's a discussion forum--and the discussion pages on Wikipedia are moderated fairly and openly.

I didn't mean that quality as a whole was fictional, I meant that the notion of quality this policy is attempting to enact was fictional/unattainable.

Flame wars still happen. People still complain about the nastiness of HN comments. It's a discussion forum: angry conversation is what it's for.

Hellbanning does absolutely nothing to improve 'quality of discourse,' it just makes this place nastier.

Discussion forums are for discussion. Angry conversation is an emergent property of some discussions, on the net or off, but not the sole response to anything you may disagree with.

My own opinion on hell-banning or any other forms of account "punishment" is that it is, as you say, cowardly and ineffective, as long as the user has no idea that it has occurred. Either inform the user, or completely ban the account. Otherwise you're leaving people screaming into the wind when you could just tell them no-one is listening.

The whole point is that it's not about punishment, it's about preserving the tone.

Telling somebody "you've been banned" will make them upset. Some people get severely offended and they want to fight. So they go and create new accounts and start over, or they seek revenge in other ways. It can be very time consuming to deal with. Granted, this will still happen because some people will realize that they've been hellbanned, but the ones that simply get the impression that people aren't responding to their trolling will get bored with it and go away. Which is a win.

TheSOB88, you've been hell banned for almost half a year by now.

Agree about Foobar. It's about the only app from Windows that I miss when using OS X.

Anyone have a Mac player they use with similar philosophy/featureset to Foobar?

cog http://cogx.org ; less features IIRC

Heh, I'm listening to the album in their first screenshot. Gotta be a good sign.

Does it fade out songs when you pause them?

If so, where can I download it and where can I donate to whoever wrote it?

also nice: http://www.aimp.ru

WMP is why I bought an iPod. As a Microsft employee at the time, I struggled longer than any mortal should to get WMP to sync music to my 2003-era Windows Phone. I eventually realized that any kind of synchronization and general usefulness in using WMP with a Windows Phone was nothing but marketing lies. So one day I said, "get in the car, honey, we're going to buy iPods."

iPods led to iPhones, which led to iOS development and Macs, to the point that there are no more Windows machines in the house and I haven't done Windows development in about five years.

All kicked off by the fact that MSFT couldn't make a software music player that didn't suck.

Ctrl+P was the shortcut for Pause, if I remember correctly. WMP wasn't that bad, but Foobar fits my needs much better.

For a ten-year old Winamp I'd have my doubts about Unicode support at the very least.

You should check out aimp[1]. It looks and performs like winamp and has similar functionality.

[1] http://www.aimp.ru/

Unfortunately, recently they started messing with the design and the result is much worse than transition from Winamp 5.3x to better versions.

Multiple playlist tabs, though, are great. Fortunately Audacious has them too.

I used Winamp heavily until the version where they added video support. That version was extremely buggy for me and I used the previous version for several years until I found Foobar2000.

It looks like 2.90 was when they added video support:

"added integrated full featured video support (NSV and DirectShow (AVI,ASf,MPEG,etc))" -- http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=130748

Give AIMP a shot. Same as winamp2 but with built in flac and cue support.

I use Windows 7 WMP every day because the media keys on my laptop only work with that and I have never ever encountered any of those problems you are talking about.

- I can pause/unpause with space.

- The song order remains after I drag in the folder.

- Right after the very first start (i.e. on clean win7), it asks you if you want to see ads of songs of similar artists you listen to.

I have also an old version of winamp because a melomane of my friends told me the transitions between songs was better in old winamp than in recent one.

There's Winamp Lite for you. I don't miss anything from the pre-3 times.

I always preferred 2.89, but that's mostly just me being picky.

You just weren't meant for each other!

The nice thing about old, simple software is that the attack vectors are often known publicly and are easy to work around. In the instance of Winamp, older versions of 2.x have a buffer overflow exploit in the playlist parsing. So.. don't load playlists from untrusted sources, something most people never do anyway.

I just switched back to Winamp after getting fed up with the latest release of iTunes.

At least it's a real application that I can download and own for myself, and doesn't stop working just because it's no longer being supported.

This is a great example of why I don't move all my data to the cloud, or use browser-based apps for things that matter to me.

Hopefully they'll release the codebase to the world.

> This is a great example of why I don't move all my data to the cloud

Music is a great use-case for keeping data in the cloud. You can have a consistent music library and can use any player client-side. Personally I prefer the spotify "all-you-can-listen" model, but I have a bunch of MP3s that aren't on spotify that I seamlessly stream from dropbox (either to winamp or the spotify client, which allows you to sync local files).

There is so much lost when moving to the cloud.

Off the top of my head: You tie your data to one provider instead of simply physical media, you lose discoverability (will your kids browse your album choices 30 years from now?), exporting/importing quality is at the mercy of the provider (for example Amazon dropped several dozen mp3s when I migrated a few gigs to Google), and of course you place your data at the mercy of a business, (is any tech company eternal and/or always interested in providing cloud services?)

The cloud is way overdone, after giving a variety of services a go over the last few years, I'm actually pulling back.

That's why you run your own "cloud" music service. Personally I use Subsonic, and it is amazing.


I used to run Subsonic, now I'm loving http://plexapp.com and the (paid) iOS app.

I'm also an Rdio and Netflix subscriber, but running Plex on my server allows me to 'roll my own Netflix' and stream movies and music to my iPad or other computers, or even from my server to any computer in the web browser. I'm happy.

Man, I can't get Plex to run. It looks so excellent but whenever I try and play anything I get "Media player error! Resetting" and then nothing happens.

Edit: Rebooted phone and it works now. Holy shit this is cool, and I can even share my media library with friends!

so, all that gets you is a interface and some search?

i just have an apache serving all my videos and a bookmark on any device browser. click and play. for android i use mx player.

Plex is the only solution that I have found that seamlessly plays video on my flatscreen through my mobile with the content being served from my laptop.

Before you ask - yes I used to be running xbmc, minidlna, etc. previously. No, they are nowhere as good (actually, to rephrase, the client-server model is not xbmc's focus, which is completely wrong IMHO).

So you can set up apache to host movies on a home network, then stream them with VLC? That sounds like a fantastic solution. Is there a solution for playing music this way on something resembling a stereo that supports playlists?

Also there's Ampache.




Within the last year the project ditched their website in favor of just using github. However, strangely they didn't migrate any the content from their website to it.

I also use subsonic and love it. It's unfortunate that the author moved to a monthly/yearly subscription model. Luckily, I am grandfathered into a lifetime premium membership with a free dynamic DNS address, which is really nice.

Or you can use Supersonic or Madsonic, which are forks without the "forced donation for open source software" problem.

MPD ftw

Sounded really good until I got to the part about needing to pay a subscription fee.

It's ONE DOLLAR per month. ONE DOLLAR! And it's only if you want the extra features. Would you rather have ads be inserted between your songs or something? The development of the app needs to be paid for one way or the other.

One dollar is too much for something that was a solved problem (media sync).

How is that a solved problem?

How is it not?

Plug shit into PC, two way sync. WinPhone and iOS do this fine.

Ah yes, the old "sync 600GB of MP3s onto a 32GB device" trick.

Yes because you really need 600GB of mp3s which on the back of an envelope calculation is over 1000 days of listening for 8 hours a day at a reasonable bitrate with no repeats...

I'm sure, at amazon prices which is a fair approximation including CDs, you didn't spend $100,000 on them either.

This is really not a problem. Well it is but only greed created it.

You miss the point. The idea is not to be able to listen to all music, but any music from one's collection.

Putting this down to greed? What an incredibly short sighted, ignorant thing to say. Perhaps we should have stopped at black & white feature phones because only greed could mean we wanted to access the whole internet on the move?

It isn't a "solved problem" because there are still issues with the solution.

You don't understand: All music must be in FLAC because MP3/AAC/WMP just "doesn't sound right".

I just copy it all over the internet. I can't countenance making multiple trips with a usb key, or even worse lugging around an external hard drive.

Which has to be reason #2 or #3 why I hate iTunes with passion.

You don't need to. Since subsonic is Open Source, there's naturally multiple forks with the licensing code removed. The best fork, which also adds features, is madsonic[0]. I recommend it. In addition, if you already have subsonic, the license code is simply a check if your password = the md5 of your email. So using "example@example.com" and "23463b99b62a72f26ed677cc556c44e8" will make it think you're a valid subscriber and give you all features.

[0]: http://www.madsonic.org/

> the license code is simply a check if your password = the md5 of your email

That used to be the case, but the newer versions actually phone home and verify the license.

Thanks for the information. It was true the last time I used subsonic, but that isn't all that recently. Still, I have no doubt it wouldn't be hard to remove it from the code.

echo " subsonic.org" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts

Sorry but the front of that page made me throw up a bit in my mouth and just close it back down again...

I like how they used a massive picture and then scaled it down in the IMG tag instead of just resizing the picture and putting it on the page. Very entertaining...!

You don't need to. It's a freemium model - paying a subscription gets you some extra features, like apps for mobile.

We all need to eat.

But it seems those music listeners in this thread are the type that prefer a single up-front cost over a recurring subscription.

From the site: Based on Java technology

Ugh.. lost me. I don't run Java anything anymore.

I hear a lot of people claim that, but the reality is that many people run applications they don't realize are Java, and a lot of the infrastructure you rely on runs Java behind it.

As a JavaEE architect/developer, I whole-heartedly agree that you shouldn't run Applets in your browser anymore. In fact, unsigned applets will no longer run after January of 2014, which will break a lot of the banking infrastructure and a couple important client applications at my day job.

This isn't even a java applet. It's java server side code. There is absolutely no reason for the former poster to boycott this aside from ignorant pig-headedness (and this is coming from someone who isn't exactly a fan of java himself)

what is that?

Well then, I guess you're going to miss out on some great technology for a pretty dumb reason.

Java may not be amazing, but it's hardly "so bad I literally won't ever use it."

not really... there are better alternatives that don't use java.

Thanks for the worthless comment!

I think he has a tiny point actually: I saw a number of people around me removing Java (or not installing it on new computers) after the numerous vulnerabilities reported recently. Just a data point but well - I wonder if this could affect sales of java-based product etc.

This is why. The never ending stream of security issues. The installer hijacking my browser search bar. The never ending nags about new versions, which hijack my browser all over again. It's just not worth it. I have removed Java from all my computers and will never install it again.

I fully realize many web sites and services are implemented in Java, that's not what I was talking about. I will not install or run anything that needs Java. Period.

You can run Java applications and secure them from the web. Just disable Java applets from your browser (most have an option in the browser itself; those that don't will have extensions to do the same - like you would to block Flash plugins)

Just don't install a java plugin for the browser. Simple.

I've never ever had this problem, but I also run OpenJDK, so...

right, you don't run Java. Java is everywhere so unless you live in the jungle I'm quite sure you use it everyday.

One can very easily not run any desktop Java apps, and not run any applets. That's what he meant, and that's what matters.

Who cares if he still uses some website that is build on servlets server side, or if his tv/car/fridge has a Java running CPU? That's totally besides the point.

Java is not "everywhere". In fact it's getting nowhere fast (including it's use on microcontrollers and devices). The only exception is server side, where it's also not what it used to be these days...

Java may be going nowhere fast as a language, but the JVM isn't going away anytime soon.

If you combine Scala, Clojure and Groovy, you still don't have enough momentum on the scape of what Java had or even Python.

Scala is more popular now than Python was at the same age, and it is used for much more serious stuff than currently Python is.

What does "serious" mean in this context? Is it another way of saying high load? Enterprise? Is scientific computing serious? How can you say that one platform is used for "much more serious stuff" when you almost certainly have no idea what 99.9% of all python (or Scala) installations are being used for.

Do you happen to have a source for this (genuinely interested) :)

You're really missing out. Subsonic is amazing. You should at least look at it a little bit.

Serious question: why?

Well, I wouldn't let Java stop me from using something, but to play devil's advocate :

"Because I have a resource limited platform in which I cannot handle many dependencies."

Subsonic on a Cubieboard is a dreary task.

That sounds reasonable enough, but doesn't really explain the statement "I don't run Java anything anymore."

Limited resource platforms can run java just fine - but large software with many dependencies, sure, that's a valid concern.

All my iTunes Match content came from my computer, can be copied to my computer, and can be backed up independently.

There's no reason that The Cloud and Owning Your Files has to be a binary choice. The Cloud can be a great compliment to your local file storage, rather than a replacement for it.

Another example: store your music in Dropbox, which clones it to all your devices (where applicable), and then use Tunebox (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tunebox-dropbox-music-player...) as your frontend. Now you have a 'cloud' music service where you control the content, someone else handles the distribution, and everything is cloned locally on all your machines (for your other players to use). Then you can trivially back up your music files from Dropbox to a local backup (or a third-party backup service if all you want is some form of company-independent redundancy.

Or you could use the new free webapp I just launched (shameless plug) http://Streamboxr.com - responsive webapp that can play your dropbox music on any device.... no install needed, free.

Cool idea!

I use ownCloud[1] . A bit of a hassle to install, and not as streamlined as e.g. Dropbox to use, but well worth it if you wish to have your own, free and open source cloud solution.

[1]: http://owncloud.org

Try Mopidy [1], it's a version of mpd that plays all your music - local files, Spotify, Soundcloud, Rdio, etc. It's awesome.

[1]: http://www.mopidy.com/

Agree. I'm doing the same with everything related to "the cloud". The current international political climate doesn't support this model.

Also with music, I point blank refuse to let music turn into a subscription based service. I still buy CDs when something agrees with my ears and listen to them.

I also quite happily transcribe things to sheet music and play it breaking many a royalty and public performance law. Fuck 'em.

Hurray for the CD purchasers! I thought I was the only one left doing this! I too cannot abide a cloud based service for listening to music. I understand the merits of Google's music service but given the fleeting nature of cloud based services, I would rather have a physical copy of something that I can rerip if necessary (and look at the sleeve notes). Having to download music over my limited mobile connection whilst out and about doesn't sound like fun, particularly when the cost of an iPod Classic (with sufficient storage for all of my music, unlike the Touch) is negligible, and the dodgy nature of coverage in hilly areas in the UK. I am chuffed that CD buyers still exist!

I live in London and coverage here is pretty bad at times. My phone barely manages GPRS at times.

There are plenty of us CD buyers left :). We're just not as noisy.

Isn't this true of data in general. Not just specific to music. It's unfortunate that Amazon dropped some mp3s but that is more of an exception than the norm right ? If we are talking about data integrity, there are several ways in which this can be mitigated. I think it's worthwhile to have all your music stored in a location that is accessible from anywhere and from any player

you're only making the case for improvements to cloud data providers, not making the case that physical media is still worth using.

physical media has enormous problems for anything besides long term archival use.

I glad my music collection was on physical media when tornadoes knocked power out to just about the entire county. I had something to cure the boredom besides drinking and rioting! (Well, once the weather stopped trying to kill us all.)

I'm also glad my music is on physical media every time I don't have to pay insane rates for a couple hours of wifi on a flight just to listen to my music, or when I'm killing time somewhere where cell service is spotty at best.

I don't yet live in the future where access to the cloud is a given, and I prefer my devices don't become completely useless without a data connection.

Edit: My primary physical media isn't a pile of CDs—I have plenty of those too, but stopped carrying them the moment I got an MP3 player. Now I carry almost my entire collection on my phone and a whole lot more than that on my laptop. I see nothing wrong with having copies of things in the cloud (remote backup FTW), but I'm not about to take a shotgun to my local disks.

"physical media has enormous problems for anything besides long term archival use"

for those of us that consider music as art that is precisely the point, especially re: children browsing their parents collections

All my iTunes Match content came/comes from CDs. I still buy physical media from Amazon when it makes sense (most of the time).

i agree. however i wouldn't worry about your kids wanting to browse your music choices

That's such a tired cliché. Plenty of us share some music tastes with our parents.

Put your data in more than one cloud and keep a local backup.

You can check out our personal cloud software Tonido (http://www.tonido.com). It organizes all your music, video collection and makes it available from anywhere. We have very good mobile apps for iOS, Android and even for Windows 8. You don't need to take our word. Just check the app ratings and reviews in app stores.

Tonido sucks. Nothing but issues and problems with it and support is non-existent. Stay away!

I wanted a free TonidoPlug but no one read my mind and sent it to me for free, so they're just awful.

you don't even need tonidoplug for it. If you have an old PC or Linux box and you can mount your NAS containing your music, you can just install the free version of Tonido Desktop and stream all of it.

you just created an account to say this :). Looks like we are getting popular. Please check our forum, our community and make an informed decision.

@team tonido: just tried the newer v4.* version and it totally rocks, like 10x better than previous one, good jobs !

I think they complement each other rather than directly compete with each other. I have all my files stored locally, but I also have them all uploaded to Google Music so I can listen to them on my phone. Even if Google Music shuts down, I have local copies.

This is the smart strategy. If you're that concerned about the hands you're putting your music in, then all or nothing isn't a good plan.

Instead, diversify and maintain. I use iTunes Match, Google Music and keep everything locally as well as a backup on my server. It all happens automatically when music is added to the local library. Nothing is lost, and redundant access is gained.

>Music is a great use-case for keeping data in the cloud.

Yes, but ideally, when it's your cloud. Just because all these major cloud players can just stop their service on their whim.

Server. Cloud. If it's your personal music it's not going to matter whether you have a cluster of servers or your single VPS with a service running on it. This cloud buzz is like ajax of 5 years ago. Can we use the terms 'online' and 'hosted' rather than this vague cloud buzzwordry? It's a plague upon tech sites and tech marketing.

Thanks for reminding me to set up OwnCloud [1]. :)

[1] http://owncloud.org

I prefer Seafile, owncloud didn't work properly. As in, failed at syncing files.

Noted, I'll try that too. Thank you!

>all these major cloud player can just stop their service on their whim

If you are concerned with minimizing monetary loss rather than preserving working copies of your media [1] you can treat that as an argument for choosing a media provider that allows you to pay a monthly fee. If (when) their service gets discontinued you switch to another one; the only problem you would face is migrating your favorites, bookmark, playlists and the like [2].

[1] Which makes sense when the specific things you want to access (watch, listen to, read, play, etc.) are not rare and can be found elsewhere.

[2] Incidentally, this is something you could offer as SaaS. Edit: See http://resp.in/, http://www.getunify.com/, the FOSS project https://github.com/mauimauer/portify, etc.

If (when) their service gets discontinued you switch to another one; the only problem you would face is migrating your favorites, bookmark, playlists and the like [2].

I don't think this is a good strategy, you are putting yourself at the mercy of content license negotiations that are done by a bunch of idiots with their heads up their asses that you have absolutely no control over. There is no guarantee that the music you "rent" from one service will be available for you to "rent" on another service.

> Music is a great use-case for keeping data in the cloud

Since when? For start it drains battery much faster. Oh and you know, it does not work offline!

Plenty of cloud/online music services allow you to cache music offline to avoid those problems.

So to copy album into phone I have to upload to web, than download it to phone? I could also use USB 1.0 or serial port with similar speed.

Until network will be more reliable and faster than my hdd, there is not much to discus.

What's the USB speed when you're three miles from home?

20 MB/s, my phone has USB Host :-)

For those who are shaking their heads at the idea of their collection fitting on dropbox, or listening to single tracks of whatever is on Spotify, I recommend Subsonic. I stream my whole collection from my home connection to my phone.


No thanks to the cloud regarding my music. Even though I use the crap out of Google Music, it sucks at keeping track of diffs between locally and the cloud. I change album art and other metadata all the time. Real pain in the pass. And then there's always the case of where one won't have Internet access, especially when driving.

Can we just say online instead of 'the cloud'? That's what you mean, does it matter if it's only a single server or a virtualized XEN cluster? No.

I strongly agree with this comment. I still wish there is an easy solution for hosting all my music in different original format without a high cost, but also playable through a cloud player. Music is something that I need it constantly but don't really mind if it is lost in a few years. I used to run Subsonic on beagleboard but it barely keeps up with converting flac to mp3 at stream time. I am looking at http://meetlima.com/ but I don't think that is what I want. iTune integration will become a huge issue unless it pops up as a Shared music.

I'm somewhere in between. I stream my music from a server that I own and control. Virtually unlimited storage + full control of the data = :)

Why winamp? my understanding is that it's long been surpassed by other apps, i.e. foobar, even VLC

I have used it for all these years because it "just works". I have 2 needs in a music player - play whatever I have locally, and stream me something different when I want to. Winamp did both of those, and I never had an issue with it.

It is hard to "surpass" something that meets my needs perfectly and has given me no issues for over 10 years.

Because it really whips the llama's ass.

Ah, Wesley Willis...

Rock over London! Rock on Chicago!

Winamp was better than Burger King.

Why is this not the top comment?

The main reason I use Winamp is because it has global keyboard shortcuts for controlling playback. I'm not sure if any other media players have that, if anyone knows of one that does I would love to know.

foobar2000, Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Add/select appropriate entry and check "Global hotkey".

I have Ctrl-Pause bound to Play/Pause, Ctrl-PgUp to Previous and Ctrl-PgDn to Next.

NB if you have a media keyboard with the play/pause buttons etc then this is no necessary.

TheSOB88, you are dead, my friend. Another casualty of a poor policy.

AHK (http://www.autohotkey.com/) -- Global keybindings for any app you want.

Out of curiosity: I use AHK to do basic testing automation for a windows application that I have literally zero ability to control programatically (to achieve actually good automated testing). Anyone have a better option for this kind of use case?

I've used AHK for the same things - it's about the best free/open source thing I've found, besides just adding a scripting language to your program.

AutoIt is a popular choice:


AHK is based on AutoIt v2.

Wow I'd forgotten about AHK. Thanks for reminding me!

I wrote some software (http://www.mute.fm/) that controls playback for you automatically when you watch a video (it will pause/mute it and resume it afterward.) It also lets you set up global hotkeys.

try foobar

Foobar is OK but because it tries to give so many power user options it can become a pain to do simple things like play list management.

My strategy is to install Columns UI (http://yuo.be/columns.php) and ignore the power options to the best of my ability. So far it's working.

I tried this, but it was never quite great. I'm very happy with Clementine which is cross-platform for Windows, Mac and Linux.

In my experience VLC eats a lot more CPU for just playing the same songs. While I like VLC for movie-files, Winamp is nicer when it comes to music.

Yeah, I used to use VLC for playing video files, but man it takes a lot of memory and when it decides to "cache fonts" (or something like that) it takes literally hours to start.

Now I prefer smplayer for videos and foobar for music. Although I've been a heavy Rdio user for some time.

Try running obscure file formats, like chiptune. Winamp reliably supports all of these with a very low barrier to entry.

Try running less obscure (standard) file formats, like ogg/opus. Now you need to look for a plugin...

foobar is a bit... bare bones imho... and neither it or VLC have the shoutcast stream listing services... which will be an issue without winamp. :-(

foobar is very lightweight and barebones, but it's also easily extensible

and heavily extensible. You can basically clone Winamp 2, 3 and 5 with it. The community is really strong, as well.

Its the mutt of media players (mutt as in the email client)

I think it's just for good-old-day's memory. Just like Super Mario.

VLC can do many neat things but you can you easily rate an MP3 file nowadays?

VLC can do many neat things, but I never, ever saw it as a replacement for Winamp. It's more like a toolkit, or at least the multi-tool you fall back on to do a variety of things.

Who rates MP3 files?

I don't have any demographic information to share. But I personally attempt to rate my files. It gives a nice way to categorize by quality. That way I can have abjectly terrible music in my collection, but filter it out for the purposes of not ever wanting to listen to it.

foobar still can't do sound level balancing (ReplayGain) properly. Does winamp?

What do you mean? FB2K has had excellent ReplayGain support for as long as I can remember.

Because Winamp.


At least with winamp, there weren't really any major changes since Justin Frankel left, and what made it amazing back then is still in the program now.

Foobar2000 is also pretty stable and awesome -- just need to drop in the Facets component & it's a dream. Winamp is a nice memory from back in the Napster days tho. :)

Thank you - I always looked down to Foobar2000 (it looked to basic for). But now I've downloaded it and it looks great !

Thank you for the tip. The facet plugin is great - exactly what I wanted.

I've heard some good things about it. I'll give it a try. Winamp is timeless because it's so simple and powerful. I loved the play next queue. If I felt like a few songs I could throw them on the temporary queue without interrupting what was going on. Great for playing music for others too.

foobar has similar features its just confusing at first cuz it puts playlists in tabs. super powerful but takes some getting used to. facets is the necessary add-on because it basically gives you a really powerful search whereas by default there is... none.

the other component i use is the ipod manager i forget what its called but you can find it easily. it lets you add/delete songs pretty easily & if you use flac/wav/whatever it can even convert to mp3 on the fly if you set up the encoder right. that way you can keep lossless on comp but have mp3 on ipod without making an mp3 directory

No reason to use a proprietary music player.

Every music player is proprietary somewhere be it codec, physical IC, transistor technology, speakers, headphones.

Software is a teeny little bit of the whole thing.

And because some piece of the stack is proprietary means I shouldn't try use non-proprietary software where I can and it makes sense?

Software, while a "teeny little bit", is often the bit I find lacking and needing change.

One would be to play music.

I also recently switched back to Winamp. It just works and it's easy to control.

There's also a plugin called Chipamp which ensures you have all the latest plugins required to play video game music files (nsf, rsn, usf, psf, etc.). This is the best PC tool for listening to video game music.

you should check out subsonic


I like the isub app for iphone, but there are android apps too: http://www.subsonic.org/pages/apps.jsp

I find subsonic works best with a friend or two participating. A miniature music club if you will.

If you already have a large library, you can use beets to organize it in a separate database (this is our current project) http://beets.radbox.org/

Apparently VLC does the shoutcast stuff now if you download a pls file from shoutcast.com and feed it to VLC.

If you're a linux user then 'audacious' is a good/similar replacement to winamp IMHO.

I switched to using quodlibet some time ago. Can't remember why (simplicity, the right views, stuff) but now everything else seems sucky.

deadbeef is a very nice lesser-known linux music player that's heavily influenced by foobar2000. quodlibet is probably my second favourite, but it's written in python, so it can be a bit slow/heavy on resources at times. banshee is great for large libraries and as an iTunes replacement.

I switched to quodlibet for the fast indexing and searching of large libraries. I'm sure other media library managers do that too, but it seems to be very nice in quod.

As Linux user forced to use OSX at work I've settled on VOX [http://coppertino.com/vox/] as suitable player for OSX.

Vox is nice but completely useless to me until it gets gapless playback.

Never noticed that. Bit of an omission on their part.

No kidding. I used to use it all the time, and I just re-downloaded about a week ago as my player of choice, especially since it's capable of playing FLACs (looking at you, WMP).

This is part of why I prefer cloud services like Dropbox that also maintain local copies and simply use the cloud for syncing and backups. Best of both worlds, that way.

AIMP is Winamp's successor.


You can install Tonido (http://www.tonido.com) in your desktop and listen to your music from anywhere (iOS, Android, Windows 8). Your data, music and app is all local to system but still can access from anywhere as cloud.

Wow, the end of an era.

Maybe it's just that it's what I learned to use first, but for a scattered library of downloaded music across multiple languages, etc., I still haven't found a clearly better solution. It was trivial and fast to find the songs I was looking for, either by filename or by ID3 data, and get them playing.

I suppose that it turns out the world has changed and this isn't how most people consume music anymore, and the writing's been on the wall for a while. But it's incredibly sad to see that model of media consumption finally dying with a whimper. I'm not sure if there are even any modern alternatives for Windows that still optimize for a large library of local music with poor ID3 data quality.

Nothing will ever beat the joys of finding new "skins" for the Winamp player -- I had so many amazing ones lined up, and loved nothing more than switching them all out.

Sad to see it go...


I still do that fairly often. Audacious can load Winamp skins. Sometimes its interface borks on my collection (35,000+ songs), but it's responsive enough.

My desktop still looks very much like it did in the 1990s...

Cool! I've used the Sumea skin for about 15 years and I'd like to keep it, so I'm glad that I can use it with other music players.

I had even created a few skins back then. The CDs that came with computer magazines were a great source of new skins.

Those were the days!

End of an era. Sad day.

> I'm not sure if there are even any modern alternatives for Windows that still optimize for a large library of local music with poor ID3 data quality.

Foobar 2k works very, very well.

Seconded, f2k works very well for super large complicated music collections. Prob not as easy to setup as winamp but you can more with f2k. Way more.

I like the ability to play archives of music files (zip,...) which are then uncompressed on-the-fly .

Searching and filtering works like a charm as well.

MediaMonkey [1] is awesome to find something. It's mainly a music organizer that just happens to be able to play music but it works great even with scattered single mp3 files. Autoplaylists [2], scriptable and extensive search options. Been using it for over 6 years now and never looked back :)

[1] http://www.mediamonkey.com

[2] Autoplaylists are only available for the Gold version.

Media Monkey was quite useful in adding mp3 tags the way I wanted and organizing the entire library.

I definitely recommend MediaMonkey Gold. It will keep your library organized, but however you want it, with no hassle at all. And if you're insane like me and keep a flac library, you can keep an mp3 mirror for your mp3 player/phone.

And you can switch between space used and time/processing power needed. Instead of keeping mirrors you could tell it to convert the files (depending on what you connected) on the fly into whatever format you want.

+1 for MediaMonkey, been using it for 5+ years.

As others have said, foobar2000 for the minimalist, free approach with lots of configuration options, or MediaMonkey for a really good bit of paid software. The paid version of MM syncs perfectly well with iDevices and pretty much anything else too. Highly recommended. Also it doesn't force you into any particular directory structure in your music library so it'll take what you give it.

> I'm not sure if there are even any modern alternatives for Windows that still optimize for a large library of local music with poor ID3 data quality.

I've been off windows for a few years now but I used to use Media Monkey (http://www.mediamonkey.com/) for managing a very large collection of poorly tagged music I'd collected over the years, lots of live recordings and whatnot. It's definitely not as clean a player as winamp was but it did manage the library / tagging bits quite well. It seems to still be active so may be worth a look.

For a multiplatform solution, I used a MusicBrainz Picard client for batch autoidentification and ID3 correction. However currently I feel that I wasted too many hours of my life hoarding and caring for a local mp3/soulseek library and nowadays only listen to online music.

As others have said, we still has AIMP [aimp.ru]. They're clearly losing on not having a good English website.

I recently fixed the id3 tags of all the mp3 music I own using MusicBrainz picard. Very useful software that uses a global database of music signatures.

There are ultimately two types of people in the comments right now: those that will miss Winamp and those laughing it was still around.

Winamp worked. It played all your MP3s without any of the other fluff. It played your music in a very lightweight program. What was also nice was this was before every program auto-updated; so you'd manually have to go update it; except, the newer versions were adding features, not fixing bugs. If you thought Winamp was fine, there was never a need to upgrade. I remember never upgrading Winamp until way into my college years.

People have mentioned it, but I didn't change to foobar because I always used Winamp. Even when they made the modern UI, you could (and can) still go Classic. Computer space and performance weren't issues because the extra bells and whistles are easy to never use.

Only a few weeks ago did I make the move from Winamp to foobar; and it was only to see the difference. Initial thoughts are I don't like how it displays my music; but I do like the shuffle since its playing songs I never hear.

It worked for playing MP3s, but once you had a collection of a certain size it didn't do a very good job of managing that collection, at least at the time I stopped using it. You'd double-click an MP3 or a playlist and it would completely forget about everything that was in there before. I got so sick of that.

You can change that with a setting in the preferences.

Ain't that always the way.

I won't lie, this was probably the only annoyance I had with Winamp; however, years ago, I just decided Winamp was the 'everything' playlist on shuffle and if I ever had a hankering for a specific song, I'd use VLC. If I ever accidentally did it in Winamp, it was just a simple 'Add Folder' click away. I still feel that issue wasn't a complete deal breaker though. Everything else ran swimmingly.

It's been almost 10 years since I've used a new version of Winamp, but I really have to disagree with you about performance. When they started adding features it immediately started to suck performance wise. Had to go back to v2.whatever because of it. At the time I was on a top of the line or near top of the line Northwood system. v5 was a little better than v3, but it was full of ads at every corner if I remember correctly.

I used both, but in the end I just stick with Winamp because all I really care about is listening to music. It's really no big deal for me to find a playlist with Everything (or even just navigate there with Windows Explorer) and double click it. I suppose Winamp just fits in better with my workflow.

I recently updated Winamp to 6.65, and it removed the ‘play tracks similar to …’ feature. That is the only difference I noticed.

It was really long ago when Winamp was still lightweight :)

The Lite version is still lightweight.

Thank you Justin Frankel for this wonderfully whimsical piece of software and all the code you have shared over the years. I wouldn't have been a programmer if it weren't for you being providing such a stellar role model.

And I bet many people don't even know that after Winamp Justin Frenkel started making his hands dirty with digital audio workstation coding and made a fantastic one! http://www.reaper.fm/ with a unbelievable set of features for 4 Mb (yessir!) and super competitive licensing options (but you can still try the full software free with no limitations whatsoever!). If you make music with your Pc or Mac this will shock you on many levels, starting from filesize! This guy knows what he's doing! Thanks Justin! If winamp code will be made public there will be a lot to learn!

love this bit from http://www.reaper.fm/purchase.php:

Honest Business Model We offer a good product at a fair price.

We don't spend money and effort on marketing, complicated piracy protection, or other things that do not directly improve REAPER and the user experience.

We think the good will generated by playing fair and being responsive to users is more valuable to our business than short-term profits.

I used Winamp for years, and have used Reaper for years and didn't realize they were connected. Makes perfect sense now that I think about it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Wow, i learned Reaper as part of a coursera course on Earsketch of Georgia Tech. I would never have guessed reaper was connected to winamp this way. Reaper is indeed a non-bs daw, among so many great ones....

Reaper is a fantastic piece of software!

Some insights from him: http://bigthink.com/users/justinfrankel

Amen! Winamp was not only whimsical, but also one of the first widely adopted catalysts to the rise of the digital economy.

Dmitry Boldyrev's take on this https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6773648

People laugh at me for still using winamp but I love it. It's fast, low memory, never crashes and the ui hasn't significantly changed for well over a decade.

More than that, it's one of the few pieces of software I still use every day that can provide an anchor all the way back to my mid-teens when I was first getting seriously involved with computers.

Its death sort of marks an end of an era for me :'(

> few pieces of software I still use every day that can provide an anchor all the way back to my mid-teens

Same here :(. I pirated it for so many years and it was the first license that I purchased after being able to afford it (after getting a job).

I would really like to know why :(. Winamp is one of the very few companies that I feel deserves many more pennies than they asked for.

Same here.

Well this really sucks the llama's ....

Thanks for all the skins and memories!

llama's aass! :) had to be said the right way!

I remember as a teen talking to the developers on IRC, in one of the Windows development channels. I remember thinking they were crazy because they didn't want to use the standard Windows components to do the UI. I also remember wondering why anyone bother spending a half hour downloading 1 song over a 56k modem when you could just set your Sony Discman on top of your computer!

Then they started branching out and worked with skinnable UIs, then went totally crazy and built things like ShoutCast, streaming music over the internet was a crazy idea at the time. Amazing group of guys that built that and were willing to learn anything and put incredible amounts of time and effort into a project.

Do you have any similar experiences like this with other teams or products?

I always used Winamp on Windows, so when I switched to Linux I tried basically every single open-source alternative that worked with my workflow: Per-song ratings, a nested Genre/Artist/Album/Song library browser, global hotkeys, able to handle a collection of >100 GB and a useful playlist/queue system.

For anyone else looking for the same thing: the one that I ended up choosing was http://gmusicbrowser.org/. See http://gmusicbrowser.org/screenshots/ListsLibraryContext.png.

I'll throw in my two cents for Audacious, see: http://audacious-dvb.sourceforge.net/screenshot.png

It probably lacks some of the advanced stuff you would want, but I use it as I still do with Winamp: setup keyboard hotkeys to execute audacious -[rft] (skip around in songs from any app), load a folder (or folders) of songs and play them. Throw on ProjectM and you have a poor man's substitute for Milkdrop. And there's Shoutcast support as well.

The UI runs in skinned mode (pictured above) or in a more traditional mode that doesn't look out of place on your desktop.

I did the same thing, ended up with cmus: http://cmus.sourceforge.net/

MPD is pretty popular too http://www.musicpd.org/ It has a client/server model and you can create your own music streaming service by controlling it remotely and streaming back over http. ncmpc/ncmpcpp is a client for mpd that resembles cmus quite a lot.

mpd with ncmpc has brought my music very close to me - just a couple of keystrokes away.

Regarding Winamp, I've always loved it's tagline "Winamp kicks the llama's ass" (or was it butt?).

I use cmus too. For those who don't know it is a command line music player with a VIM-like command line interface ("/" to search, ":set x=x" to set various options).

Thanks for that suggestion. Looking at its documentation, it seems that it does not support rating songs. Is that correct?

This seems like a good time to plug my latest open source project: libgroove [1]

It's a cross-platform music player backend C library. It's meant to be generic enough to be the backend of any music player.

I use it as the backend for Groove Basin [2] which just might hit milestone 1.0.0 around December 20.

[1]: https://github.com/superjoe30/libgroove [2]: https://github.com/superjoe30/groovebasin

Groove Basin looks amazing!

Nice interface, but what does groovebasin offer that mpd doesn't?

I'll just name one: perfect replaygain. Meaning it uses the same code to decode and play audio as it does to scan and detect loudness. MPD does no replaygain scanning and only understands APEv2 tags. You have to manage replaygain scanning yourself, and if you have audio that does not support APEv2 tags you're shit out of luck. Groove Basin on the other hand does lazy multi-core replaygain scanning and everything it can play (which is everything that libav can decode (in other words anything that VLC can play)) it can scan. So you never run into that situation where you are listening to a quiet song, turn the volume up, and then a loud song blasts your ears off.

There are a bunch of other flaws in MPD's design which I've carefully fixed in the design of libgroove/groovebasin. I know because Groove Basin used to be an MPD client until I got stuck by all of the issues and then finally ripped out MPD and wrote my own backend to use instead.

I have a WIP blog article that goes into more detail about this stuff. This Winamp article might just be the kick in the pants I need to get it finished :)

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