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Winamp Media Player Goes Open Source

Winamp, a popular media player created in 1997, is set to go open source in September 2024, following Llama Group’s reorganization due to financial difficulties.

Llama Group has announced that it will be open-sourcing the popular media player, Winamp, and transitioning to a collaborative development model. This move is set to take place on September 24, 2024, and is a result of the company’s reorganization due to financial difficulties.

Winamp, created by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev in 1997, has been a staple for many Windows users, boasting approximately 83 million users to date. Known for its originality, flexibility, and customizable interface design through skins, Winamp has inspired several open-source clones for Linux platforms, such as XMMS, XMMS2, Beep Media Player, Audacious, and Qmmp.

The decision to open source Winamp comes after Llama Group sold the Shoutcast project and had to let go of the core team responsible for maintaining the classic Windows application. The company is now focusing on developing a streaming web service and mobile applications.

Opening the source code for Winamp will allow developers worldwide to contribute to its growth and continued development. This move ensures Winamp’s survival and paves the way for new features, improvements, and bug fixes from a diverse pool of talented programmers.

In other words, it might be too late, considering desktop media player is too irrelevant today. Even if with community contribution via open source, it might not bring any value for the low volume of the end users. Then there is XMMP, which has been kind of Winamp-fork for decades.

That said, it is good to see a popular application becomes open source. However, the licence terms, repository information is not yet revealed. Interested contributors may submit an enquiry using this form.

Via announcement

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