Image: Winamp

Winamp is back from the dead.

After being out of action since 2018 (when Winamp 5.8 was leaked online), the classic music player made a surprise return last week in the form of a new release candidate: Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999. The new release of Winamp does not include too many changes, as its main goal was to introduce an updated code base from Visual Studio 2008 to Visual Studio 2019, but the development bodes well for the future of the iconic software.

A changelog shared by the Winamp development team outlines all of the fixes and improvements (e.g., Windows 11 compatibility) that users will find in Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999, including comments that can confirm the release has been in the making for some time.

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.

Winamp initially ceased development after version 5.666 was released in 2013, but Alexandre Saboundjian, Radionomy’s CEO, announced in 2018 that a new version of Winamp, Winamp 6, would be released in 2019. That version is yet to appear, but it’s anticipated to feature support for cloud streaming and other modern features.

The Winamp team launched the Winamp NFT initiative in March to raise funds for charity projects supporting music and musicians. The collection comprises an “original and iconic Winamp skin” as a “1/1 NFT edition” and 20 NFT artworks made by 20 digital artists “derived from the original Winamp skin,” according to a section on, which received a redesign in November.

Source: Winamp (via Bleeping Computer)

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  1. I loved WinAmp back in the day but those were mp3 days. I've been using Foobar2000 since for all my hi-res audio stuff but if this reincarnation does a good job I'll be happy to go back.
  2. I still use Winamp 5 (v5.66) as my main music-listening program cuz I got an OpenAL output plugin for it (so audio actually gets processed on my X-Fi, cuz f*ck the sh1tty-@ss Realtek audio on the mobo), and cuz I listen to a lot of video game music tracks in their native ripped-from-the-cartridges formats, so I have plugins for Winamp 5 that emulate the various sound chips from different game consoles. For years I used Winamp 5 to rip audio CDs to FLAC before I discovered Exact Audio Copy.

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