After a buddy of mine pestered me enough about Winamp I finally decided to take the 10th Anniversary Edition for a test run. Previous versions of Winamp never impressed me much. I hate having to configure tons of worthless features in a player. Also, I have never liked inviting intrusive advertisements on my computer. Today I have put my preconceived biases aside and have started to really dig into what all the hype is about.
During installation I made sure not to install the toolbar and dumb eMusic reminder advertisement icon … that is all it is too … you can go to eMusic anytime and start a new subscription and get free downloads, it has nothing to do with installing Winamp.
There is a folder where you can check out Winamp’s selection of music and videos, however to watch one you are subjected to a full 30 second commercial … not cool. You have Shoutcast Radio and TV which from my tests streamed pretty good. Games, takes you to the AOL games Website. This is one of the default skins, however, those of you who are already familiar with Winamp know there are a plethora of downloadable skins.
There are tons of EQ settings and you can sync Winamp with your iPod. There is also a handy Podcast Directory.
One neat feature is the ability to get AOL’s XM satellite radio. If you scroll down you still see irrelevant ads … also there are not as many stations if you were an actual subscriber to the service.
Between tracks there is a pop up in the lower left hand corner of your screen which indicates what is playing. You can disable this in options Preferences. Being a guitarist and Metal/Rock lover … I dig the All Metallica station!
Overall I would have to say Winamp 10th Anniversary Edition is a pretty fun toy to have around. I have had a fun time checking out all of the additional plug-ins for the player as well. I guess I wouldn’t use it as my main music or video player, but there are definitely some cool features of this player. If you can put up with advertisements it is worth downloading the free version. You can get a pro version also for faster CD ripping and burning. I didn’t see any information on it removing the ads if you go pro. So if anyone knows of a hack or plugin that will get rid of the advertisements in the player please let us know!