Petition to turn Winamp into open source software has over 12,000 signatures

Last week, AOL announced that version 5.66 of its Winamp media player would be its last and that all support and downloads for the 15-year old free application would end on December 20th. Now a movement to convince AOL to turn over the Winamp code to the open source community has started a petition that has already generated over 12,000 online signatures.

The petition, as posted on the Change.org site, was begun by a group of software developers who have joined together to launch the Save Winamp campaign. Their very basic idea is that Winamp should continue to be supported and developed as an open source project, rather than just have its software die off. We have emailed AOL to see if there is a possibility of the company turning Winamp over to the open source community.

The petition has begun to pick up steam even as online rumors claim that Microsoft could be in talks to acquire Winamp from AOL, along with its Shoutcast streaming media service. Even if that happens, there's no guarantee that Microsoft will continue to release new versions of Winamp beyond the current 5.66 client.

Thanks to Ciprian Rusen for the tip!

Source: Save Winamp | Image via Save Winamp

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Actually, 5.666 became the last one, not 5.66. 5.666 fixes some bugs in 5.66 and has a new installer that doesn't default-install the crapware. But this could be seen as nitpicking, sure.

I love winamp!!! I still use it! I wonder if some of those skins still exist from back in 2001 (I made one for Nintendo's (Compile) The Guardian Legend... I wonder if I can get to it through the archive.org

I see so many posts suggesting that Winamp has been dead for years. While that may be true, I still use it on every machine including my new Win 8.1 laptop. The reason? Winamp + the SQR Soft Crossfader. I use it for music playback at home; and have used it for parties and more. I have never found another music player that can crossfade even close to as well as SQR Soft.

Has anyone found an alternative to the above that works as well?

Can anyone name any software that was made better after being turned into open source? Seems to me that once something is abandoned and then made open-source, if it doesn't die off completely, then it turns into something unrecognizable because everybody wants his own take on it...

oh old winamp.... used you forever in the 90's when you were nullsoft... when aol bought you, it felt like it went down hill fast

Yeah it supports winamp2 skins. Actually I don't use xmms2 personally. Audacious is even better/easier, and it supports winamp skins as well (oss and on windows too), just drop the zip in the skins folder. But really I just use a portable mp3 player 99% of the time and VLC the other 1%. I don't care about apps with weird custom UIs that don't match the OS.

Because WMP is much heavier of a client.
For me it starts a second or 2 slower (Winamp is virtually instant).
Winamp uses <0.5% CPU usage at all times. Winamp is the ONLY program that usually keeps outputting music/sound when Windows itself is freezing up.

And it has everything you wish for in a player. It even has the ability to share your music so you can access it from anywhere in the world on pretty much every device that supports music + internet.

Oh and for me personally besides these points is the global hotkeys, i know foobar and some others have it too, but doesnt work as flawless as was my experience.

This would be really nice, but given the choice between selling it to Microsoft for a lot of money or releasing it as open source for free, the latter seems pretty unlikely.

To be honest, there are times when you just have to let go of some things, and I think this is one of them. The application just didn't stand the test of time, and it has been forgotten until recently.

...well, that is my opinion on this.

excalpius said,
Actually, I think Google's a better fit. But it seems a perfect candidate for open source.

So they can mine people in one more way? 10/10 full support.

Shadowzz said,
Google is less Open Source then Microsoft.

Google also doesn't develop as much software as Microsoft...

Shadowzz said,
Google is less Open Source then Microsoft.

True. Started android screaming "open open open" and now turning android in to "open as long as you obey us."

Tried the last version after about 8 years yesterday and was extremely disappointed, it was very slow just like the aol website, it would be better off open source or in microsofts hands

Try the classic theme.

Somehow Modern feels a bit sluggish to me too... Classic flies and is the least resource using music player I know off. (don't even try videos with it, it sucks at it, always has)

I signed it too, but it'll become better only when good developers start working on it. Just the simple fact of the source being available doesn't guarantee improvement.

Another point that comes to mind is, can AOL even open source it fully? Doesn't the app use code licensed from other companies, such as the MP3 decoder and such?

I didn't think at the time but it would make sense to release it as open source. It is a good idea. Winamp is one of those apps from my youth. Would hate to see it gone completely.

Jason Stillion said,
If Microsoft takes control, are they still going to give away the shoutcast server software?

No, they'd never give it away, They'd charge for it.

thealexweb said,
Didn't they kill WMP? And now we have the crappy metro video app?

WMP is still in Windows, they haven't added anything new to it though, it's the same version you have on Windows 7. But I don't know what more it would need actually.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
They killed it in windows rt and made Xbox video and music the defaults in windows 8. Windows wmp is a exceptional multimedia player!

You can change the defaults, I haven't checked but I think all the built in apps that come with Windows when you install it should run even on Windows RT. If anyone has an RT device they can check to see if WMP runs though.

George P said,

If anyone has an RT device they can check to see if WMP runs though.

It's well-known that RT doesn't include WMP, and obviously it can't be installed even if an ARM version were available unless Microsoft relaxes its restrictions on desktop apps or makes an exception for it.

To be honest Xbox music no where compares to windows media player, and it really stinks that Microsoft didn't include it in windows RT like the other desktop programs such as paint, etc.

George P said,

You can change the defaults, I haven't checked but I think all the built in apps that come with Windows when you install it should run even on Windows RT. If anyone has an RT device they can check to see if WMP runs though.

WMP isn't in Windows RT. It's gone completely.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
To be honest Xbox music no where compares to windows media player, and it really stinks that Microsoft didn't include it in windows RT like the other desktop programs such as paint, etc.

To be honest I'd be besides myself with joy if someone managed to create MKV and FLAC codecs for the OS (are OS-level and not app-level codecs even possible in RT?) At this point I've given up expecting a working RT app in lieu of my VLC donation, and all the currently available players in the store SUCK.

Dot Matrix said,
Microsoft should buy it, and use it to either revamp WMP, or further develop it into a metro app.

MS would destroy it and would monitor what users do just like they do with skype.

Its AOL`s involvement that made me stop using Winamp!!

Take it back to the days it was just a basic media player. All this tie-in bs with streaming services etc was the start of the end. AOL just sealed the deal!

Colicab said,
Its AOL`s involvement that made me stop using Winamp!!

Take it back to the days it was just a basic media player. All this tie-in bs with streaming services etc was the start of the end. AOL just sealed the deal!


You know all that stuff is optional during install, right? People call it bloated, I call it feature packed.

D. FiB3R said,

You know all that stuff is optional during install, right? People call it bloated, I call it feature packed.

Problem is, lots do not uncheck those options when installing. Makes for a cluttered machine.

D. FiB3R said,

You know all that stuff is optional during install, right? People call it bloated, I call it feature packed.

Yip but isnt that mainly adware thats bundled in by AOL, i.e toolbars and such?

Im talking about the plethora of 3rd party music/media "services" I never really ever use.

For me Winamp was a nice skinnable media player I could use to archive my media. Didnt need or want it to act as an all powerful overlord to all my media needs.

Something I think several software`s and company`s need to really look at these days.

What software nowadays don't come with bundled junk anyways you didnt ask for?

Its a rarity that i find free software where i can click through the setup without unchecking stuff or hitting 'not interested'.

And for anything that Winamp sucked for after AOL took over, the old Winamp 2.x is still there. Select the theme, don't open media library... and tadá... Winamp 2.x

One of the reasons I switched to Linux, no bloatware/adware/malware, all installers are the same and don't prompt you for anything, updates don't come with surprise bundles or missing features that get put behind paywalls, etc. Each app doesn't have its own updater or check for updates on startup, it's all handled by the software updater.

Not only is it more convenient, it's a miracle for the family, I don't have to constantly unclutter their desktops or remove a virus or click on some software updates popup because they're afraid they'll break something.

Do you know how many windows apps come with their own custom UI and don't use the windows APIs to draw their interface? It's annoying, especially for people going blind and need to set a certain interface size but those things won't scale up, or need to use text to speech but it won't read the custom UI that some designer thought was clever. None of that garbage please. /rant (I don't usually talk about this on a windows site)

Edited by Geezy, Nov 25 2013, 8:47pm :

No, that's OK, keep it to yourselves Actually software packages in Linux aren't able to be bundled with other software packages. You can have a meta-package that is just a list of other packages to install, that's about as close as you can get to "bundling", but I'm sure adware/crapware would not be accepted into the software repositories.

Gotta say though there's plenty of commercial interest in Linux! Just not in the crapware market