Back in the early 2000s people were just shifting over from cassettes and CDs to digital music (likely most of it pirated in the Wild West that was the Internet those days).
And if there was one music player that epitomized the feeling of first diving into Internet music, it was Winamp.
First released as freeware in 1997, Winamp was incredibly popular with technology lovers. Not only was it one of only two options to play mp3 files at the time, it was also visually appealing. Users were allowed to create and share custom skins for the media player's interface, and it also had a visualizer plugin for greater effect.
Winamp was eventually sold to AOL in 1999, and then to Radionomy in 2013, who promptly shut down the service. Of course, by that point we'd already gotten used to a horde of other media player options, not to mention we'd had YouTube for eight years. It truly was the end of a magnificent era
Now, the 21-year-old media player is ready to make a grand comeback. Radionomy, which still owns the brand, has announced Winamp is coming back to "really whip the llama's ass".
The media player will reportedly return as a smartphone app to house all your music options, from downloads to podcasts, and even streaming services. "There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience," Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian told TechCrunch. "You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built.
The app will be available for both Android and iOS. Though Winamp is already available on Android, the new version will supposedly be a whole new experience. The company is also reportedly going to release a new desktop version, Winamp 6, sometime next year.
Frankly, i can't wait to try out a new Winamp, over a decade after I last used the original software. It feels like an old friend coming home to visit once more.