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AOL’s kiss of death touches another – Winamp to shut down after 15 years

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Winamp music player

Started in 1997 by two college students, Winamp gained popularity as the MP3 player of choice for many geeks.  Today, thanks to online competition and AOL’s inherent ability to ruin anything it touches, Winamp will be closing down on December 20, 2013. At that time, Winamp web services and website (including Winamp downloads) will cease to exist.  No longer will we hear the Winamp battle cry, “Winamp, it really whips the llama’s ass”.

In an interview with Ars Technica last year, Rob Lord, the first hire at Nullsoft and the first general manager of Winamp said that he believed that “there’s no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition.”

After AOL purchased Winamp (Nullsoft) in 1999, they seemed to show an interest in the product but never seemed to nail down a sense of direction for it.  They released an Android version in 2010 and a version for the mac in 2011.  Then they stopped providing updates altogether (even their website stopped showing updates in 2012).

We extend (1) our hardiest thanks to Winamp for the 15 wonderful years of music playing they provided us and (2) our sincerest hopes that AOL will, please, please, please, cease to exist.

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