The Rise and Fall of Winamp

#Music

Tue, Jun 26th, 2012 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

The first MP3 player any self-respecting computer user of yesteryear played their music on was Winamp, famous for its "it really whips the llama's ass" slogan when you launched it the first time. I remember it fondly yet I haven't used the program in years. What happened? Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar looks back at the rise of this incredible little program until it's eventual downfall, all while interviewing the original members of the Nullsoft team.

Winamp's 15-year anniversary is now upon us, with little fanfare. It's almost as if the Internet has forgotten about the upstart with the odd slogan that looked at one time like it would be the company to revolutionize digital music. It certainly had the opportunity.

"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," Rob Lord, the first general manager of Winamp, and its first-ever hire, told Ars.

Justin Frankel, Winamp's primary developer, seems to concur in an interview he gave to BetaNews. (He declined to be interviewed for this article.) "I'm always hoping that they will come around and realize that they're killing [Winamp] and find a better way, but AOL always seems too bogged down with all of their internal politics to get anything done," he said.

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