Winamp , the acclaimed media player is finally condemned to extinction. Its developers decided that the software will stop existing and that it will also be impossible to download, giving up with their most important application after 15 years. Almost every PC user in the 90s has laid eyes on this iconic application, which was able to play almost every audio format with ease. Users state that “this is the end of an era”. Although we are all in mourning, I’m going to show you some of the best alternatives to this irreplaceable player to fill the void in your heart.
VLC Media Player: Your ace in the hole
This open source application is almost the panacea for your playing needs. VLC plays both video and audio, and it gets rid of the tedious task of downloading codec packs to reproduce that annoying video file with a strange format. It is also cross platform: you can execute this media player on Windows, Linux, MAC OS, etc. The only minor flaw I found in this program is its archaic interface, but since that doesn’t affect its performance, I’m not even sure to call it a flaw. In fact, this player has become more popular these years, as you can see in the Google Trends graphic.
- The Best: capable of playing video and audio without downloading codec packs.
- The Worst: as I said, its simple interface, but... that is not even a disadvantage.
AIMP: Feather-light player
This is a media player designed for Windows which is very popular among users for its minimal resource consumption during execution. I find this player an excellent alternative to Winamp, since it gives you similar features and it supports a vast array of formats. Besides, if you are an unconditional fan of customization as I am, you will be happy to know that you can turn your default AIMP skin into an ancient papyrus or a block of ice, since the official website offers loads of free addons for the player.
- The Best: low, almost non-existing resource consumption. It supports skins.
- The Worst: some translations are incomplete.
Foobar2000: Simplicity at its finest
At first sight, Foobar2000 may seem an outdated, too simple application. Nothing further from the truth. Foobar2000 is an excellent application when it comes to play and organize music. It supports most popular formats, although you will need additional components if you need to reproduce a specific uncommon format. It can also rip audio from CDs and transcode all supported audio formats. All in all, if you value functionality over appearance, this is the player you were looking for.
- The Best: high audio quality, modular interface allows you to organize your playlists.
- The Worst: It requires some extra codec packs if you need to play uncommon formats.
Amarok: Fully versatile player
Amarok is much more than just a media player. It is pretty similar to iTunes, since you will be able to take full control of your music. You can check an audio database which enables you to create smart playlists and manage the covers. It also gives you the chance to download from the internet some information about the song, such as the artist, the album or the lyrics.
- The Best: you can control and organize your songs the way you like.
- The Worst: its high resource consumption makes it less suitable for some computers.
Although Winamp’s vanishing has been a severe blow to us, some publications are now showing some interesting news about Microsoft. The Windows giant might be interested in buying Winamp along with Shoutcast, a media streaming service also developed by Nullsoft.
What is your favorite alternative for the media player? Do you think that Microsoft could take Winamp back to life?