At the start of the MP3 era, WinAMP was one of many music players that really got attention. Reason for this was the way you could Skin, Add and Modify your player. There was also hundreds of different plugins made for the player and in the end WinAMP also started to support Video!
Well made Design on Every architecture
In 1997, WinAMP was released by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev. The name was chosen by them, because it was running on Windows with AMP features. AMP stands for Advanced Multimedia Products and is linked with all the features that the program has regarding its audio capabilities.
In May 1997, the very first WinAMP version that we all know today came out. The design was still in a Windows window, but the design looked almost the same.
7th of June 1997
From this day, the WinAMP sort of set the standard for itself as a standalone audio player. Gone is the Windows window layout. From then on, everything moved over to Skin based windows and people behind WinAMP actually made this to a standard for many years. From Version 2, which was released on 8th of September 1998, the program made the Skin as feature on PC and later also on the Amiga. Yes, AmigaAMP got this feature also! Now it seems like Apple tries to wash such features away, but a unique player design is really nice and personal.
Right after Version 2 release, WinAMP grew and grew. It became quickly one of worlds most popular audio player, because of its design and Easy to use interface. And this was times before iTunes and iPods and iPhones era. Over 3 000 000 Downloads showed how much loved this audio player was. And by 2000 WinAMP reached over 25 000 000 Downloads! Amazing.
Sold to America Online in June 1999
WinAMP was developed by Nullsoft, before it was sold to AOL. Now after many months and years, the program is still used by many. Especially on the Amiga and Android devices that its for. AmigaAMP came out some years after WinAMP.
Now in 2016, its unclear who owns Nullsoft now, but a Android version came out in October 2010, while the very first Mac version came out on October 2011 for the very first time in history.
The website says that something big is going to happen, but how many days its been saying that is unclear to us. Wikipedia writes about Acquistion by Radionomy on 20th of November 2013. But who owns it now is unclear, but hopefully some great news will come soon.
Amiga owners got AmigaAMP
AmigaAMP is heavily based on WinAMP and is developed by Tomislav Uzelac. The audio program features realtime decoding on 50MHz processors and up! Also worth mentioning, is that AmigaAMP have been updated since 2002 (earliest news on the AmigaAMP website) and is still in development today. The program is for the moment developed for AmigaOS 4.x, but the authors write on its website that they are moving more of the development further and also create an improved Classic AmigaOS version. There are also older versions of AmigaAMP, that supports PowerUP or even WarpUP PowerPC OS extensions for AmigaOS also! This one supports Skins like WinAMP. And yes, you can use WinAMP skins on it even… Pretty cool! Check out www.amigaamp.de for more info.
Unique WinAMP addons and Features
Also with WinAMP and AmigaAMP, there are many addons. Everything from colourful graphic showcases to plugins giving the program possibilities to play Amiga MODs (WinAMP) etc.
One of the strengths of the program was its playlist. It was easy to understand, and if you wanted to listen to Shoutcast radio stations, it was very handy. Also as one of the very few sticky programs that was available for Windows , this program had easy functionalities for windows to move around on the desktop.
WinAMP brought audio listening to a new level on Windows. It is still used a lot, but iTunes and Apples other products like iPhone and their iOS operating system keeps on eating its market share. Now, its uncertain where the company wants to go. Their website clearly says that something is going on.
So, lets hope there is a future for the pioneer! WinAMP changed the way many looked at Windows and I am certain that after their Version 2 release of the product, WinAMP with its Skin feature boosted Windows usage a lot. The music player that came with Windows 98 etc was horrible, so Nullsoft did something very correct. Also worth mentioning is that AmigaAMP might never have seen like it does today without WinAMPs popularity.
It is now interesting to see how the World will move on. Spotify, iTunes and WIMP etc streams your music. WinAMP however plays your downloaded MP3 files, WAV audio files from CD or is capable of connecting itself to Shoutcast radios worldwide. I personaly buy stuff on iTunes and then convert the files to either MP3 or OGG and play them on MorphOS. Having the musicfiles personaly is for me much more real and if the Net dies or goes down. Then I will always have something to listen to. Streaming services are nice for lazy people, but for music the best thing is to own what you have bought. Subscribing to streaming services is just waste of money. But thats my opinion, and hope some out there agrees with me.
winamp.com (for Windows, MacOSX and Android)
amigaamp.de (for AmigaOS 3.x, AmigaOS 4.x, WarpUP and PowerUP)