Winamp is relaunching as a completely remastered app, developer Radionomy announced Wednesday as it opened up registration for beta testers of the incoming software.
Those who’ve dabbled with PCs for a long while will recall Winamp as the third-party media player of choice back in the day, and a few years ago, out of nowhere we got an updated version 5.8 of the application and promises of a further new version (we’ll come back to that).
Now the Winamp website is again talking about “Winamp for the next-generation”, which is a totally overhauled app that promises a contemporary experience. More than a mere player, Winamp will be an opportunity for fans and artists to connect, and users to listen to their favorite net radio stations or podcasts and the like.
The site sports a fresh logo for Winamp, and also the ability to register to be a beta tester of the new version – do so here (you just have to leave some contact details).
Analysis: Amping up the hype (again)
It’s not surprising to hear that Winamp is planning a completely new version, as a simple media player would obviously be an anachronism in the contemporary age of streaming music.
As the website makes clear, the intention seems to be built around providing a platform to allow fans and bands to connect on some level – or multiple levels – and the devs note: “For artists and audio creators we’re all about giving you control over your content. We’ll help you to connect closely with your fans and earn a fairer income from doing what you love.”
These are big promises, of course, but there’s an understandable level of cynicism about promises having been made before, and not fulfilled. Remember that back in 2018, Radionomy (which picked up Winamp in 2014) announced that a new version of the app would be out in 2019, carrying the legacy of Winamp, while at the same time being a “complete listening experience”; but that never emerged.
There have been previous noises made about relaunches and redesigns, to boot, which dampens the excitement around this fresh announcement for some folks.
If the revamped Winamp does happen, quite how the whole thing will tie up with streaming services, and indeed artists, obviously remains to be seen, but if beta testing is really about to start, we could know a good deal more very soon. In short, remain skeptical, but watch this space.