WinAmp, one of the first MP3 players, shuts down after 15 years

winamp stefano paganiniAfter 15 years, the final curtain falls over WinAmp, one of the very first MP3 Players.

I still remember quite well the first version I used on my back-then brand new notebook (a Pentium 120 MHz-based, Windows 95 behemoth): WinAmp 1.04 (or something like that) did consist of a 400-Kbytes single file.

On January 1998 my friend and computer geek Silvia handed me a single 3.5″ floppy (1.44 MB) containing both WinAmp AND one (very low-quality) song.

I’ve been using WinAmp quite a lot since then on all of my Windows PCs but, as most users, I switched to iTunes or Firebird and VLC: WinAmp has become a very niche player and that’s maybe why NullSoft has decided to axe it after all those years.
WinAmp small footprint was one of its best feature and provided hops-free music playing even on very old hardware; plug-ins and visual effects were quite common although unstable and mostly boggling your PC.

WinAmp path has a lot in common with Gnutella, the early Peer2Peer network client, that used to be the main source for providing MP3 music (along with some legal problems about DRM…): developer team is the same!

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