For a time, Winamp was perhaps the most famous and widely used media player in the world. But despite its immense popularity, the app was sold, development trailed off, and things went rather quiet. Things have been so quiet, in fact, that there has not been a stable update to the software for several years.
But now, with the release of Winamp 5.9 (or Winamp 5.9 Final Build 9999 to give it its full title), this changes. This update represents four years of work and brings Windows 11 support, adds support for additional codecs, and including new streaming options.
While the launch of the first stable update to the software in years is undeniably huge news, the development team warns that users may not actually notice a massive difference. But this is a reference to what is visible on the surface; under the hood, the changes are colossal.
In a forum post about the release, the Winamp developers say:
This is the culmination of 4 years’ work since the 5.8 release.
Two dev teams, and a pandemic-induced hiatus period inbetween.#
To the end-user, it might not seem like there’s a whole heap of changes,
but the largest and hardest part was actually migrating the entire project from VS2008 to VS2019
and getting it all to build successfully.
The groundwork has now been laid, and now we can concentrate more on features.
Whether fixing/replacing old ones or adding new.
The build # has stayed as 9999 for this release (Beta, RC and Final builds)
(builds can be identified by filename + timestamp).
We’ll reset the build number for v5.9.1
Now that the groundwork has been done, the future of Winamp is looking very exciting. There are already significant updates planned for inclusion in version 5.9.1, and there will be much more beyond.
You can download Winamp 5.9 here and read the changelog in the Winamp forums.