Tue. May 21st, 2024

Winamp used to be a popular music player for desktop computers in the late 1990s and early 200s, and over the past few years, development has picked back up under new ownership. The new Winamp is now just a few months away.

The company that currently owns Winamp, Llama Group, has been working to create a completely new service with the Winamp name for a few years now. The new Winamp entered public testing last year, combining a music streaming service with the ability to directly support individual artists. There were also a few new releases for the classic Winamp player, including the 5.9 update in 2022, but development has reportedly stopped again.

Llama Group just released its 2023 annual results, which includes some details about future updates to Winamp. The new Winamp music platform is now scheduled to launch on July 1st, 2024, with the company hoping to sign on 50,000 artists this year and one million artists by the end of 2028. It’s still primarily intended as a place for people to directly support artists through music purchases, early access, merchandise, and more. It sounds like Patreon, but wrapped in something that more closely resembles a music player.

There’s also an updated desktop Winamp Player to go with the new platform, which is also scheduled to arrive on July 1st. It will supposedly support local MP3 playback, internet radio, and audio books, as well as all content available through the Winamp platform. The current web app has access to podcasts, so presumably that will be in the desktop app as well. The company says it will also connect to other music services, though we don’t know which services.

Llama Group is pitching its new platform and player as a way to connect people with their favorite artists, and help artists make more money from their work. Modern music streaming services don’t pay artists well, so the new Winamp doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. However, it’s also a far cry from the original Winamp, which was just a simple desktop audio player.

It’s also worth noting that Llama Group has had some financial trouble. It sold its Targetspot division (previously known as AudioValley) to the Dutch company Azerion, primarily in exchange for Azerion stock shares, but Azerion’s stock price plummeted soon after that. Llama Group said that had a significant impact on development of the new Winamp platform.

Source: Llama Group

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By John P.

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