Winamp was a popular music player for Windows in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it still has some loyal fans to this day. Following four years of development, and several leaked beta patches,a new testing release is available for Winamp.
Winamp 5.9 RC1 Build 9999 was released on July 26 for Windows, with many small improvements and bug fixes — Windows 11 is officially supported, you can play audio streams over HTTPS, and the VP8 codec is now properly recognized. The new version also no longer works on Windows XP or Vista. Most of the work in this release has been modernizing the code, so future updates don’t take another four years.
The development team said, “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.”
The effort to maintain the classic version of Winamp is happening alongside the company’s other music-related ambitions, which includes an updated cross-platform version, a ‘Winamp Foundation’ that funds musicians, and NFT sales. The Winamp team said in March that Winamp 6 will be a “cross-platform app for Android, iOS, web, etc,” and Winamp 5 for Windows is “not dead.”
There are a few lingering bugs in the Release Candidate, especially when used with older plugins, but fixes are on the way.