Sunday, 1 December 2013

Winamp fans want AOL to release source code

The news of Winamp’s impending demise came as a bit of a bolt from the blue for long-time users and fans of the media player. Even as rumours about a possible Microsoft takeover seems to be doing the rounds, fans of Winamp have kicked off a website and a petition, imploring AOL to release source codes for the software. 

Back last week, an announcement was posted rather gruffly onto Winamp’s website, announcing that it would be shut down next month. “Winamp.com and associated Web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013,” the notice read. “Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date."
Llama asks you to release source codes
Llama asks you to release source codes

Of course, this sudden jolt by AOL led to an outpour of nostalgia all around the Internet, with fans reminiscing about Winamp. Some went ahead and created a website called savewinamp.com as well as started a petition on Change.org, asking AOL to reveal the media player’s source codes. 

“Winamp is the best media player ever built. If there were other alternatives then that would be fine, but there is nothing that can do what Winamp can do. It is the most versatile media player on earth,” reads the petition. “It can't be left to die. It must live on.” The petition was started by Peter Zawacki from Melbourne, who believes that if AOL cannot manage to sell Winamp, it must be kept alive by releasing its source code to the public for support and development.

Indeed, there are rumours that Microsoft may be looking at purchasing both Winamp and Shoucast media players from AOL. Fans and former employees have blamed AOL for its inability to put Winamp to good use. While the Windows version of the software did tremendously well under Nullsoft – which was then acquired by AOL – the Mac and Android versions of the media player didn’t do too well. “Maybe it just needs a new marketing strategy,” reads the petition. AOL could well be spoilt for choice right now.


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