Winamp was a popular music player program in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and recently it’s back under active development. A completely new version of Winamp is now available, but it’s pretty different than the original version.
The parent company for Winamp has been split between two projects for the past few years: updates for the classic Windows player, and a completely new service with the same name. The initial version of the service is now live at player.winamp.com, which works on both desktop and mobile browsers. Full mobile apps for iPhone and Android are expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2023, “based on the legacy desktop version,” according to a press release.
You can’t actually play your own music files with the new web app yet, nor can you connect it to third-party streaming services. Winamp says that functionality is “coming soon,” and it’s not clear which streaming services would allow playback through the service. For now, the only source of music is “Fanzone” — a service where you can support individual artists with direct subscriptions (most seem to be $1 per month) for access to their music in the player. That feature seems to be competing with platforms like Patreon.
The press release explains that the new Winamp “features the Fanzone, which creators can access to become better merchants and to sell their products, creating tiered subscription plans. Winamp fuels the love dedicated fans have for their favourite artists through exclusive content, experiences and memberships, while empowering artists to bypass industry gatekeepers and create on their own terms.”
The concept of a music player that aggregates your own music library, streaming services, and direct access to a given artist’s library could be useful, but right now only the latter component is functional. The existing classic player is also still available and under active development.
Source: Business Wire
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