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Winamp confirms it will go open source later this year

Winamp going open source

Winamp, the popular media player for Windows, will go open source later this year. Its makers announced that the source code for Winamp's Windows app will be available to developers worldwide on September 24.

Winamp started its journey two decades ago under Nullsoft's roof when it was co-developed by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev. It was famous for its lightweight design, extensive customization, and a host of plugins to expand the player's functionality.

Nullsoft was later sold to AOL in 1999 and acquired by Radionomy (now LLama Group) in 2014. At the time, there were rumors that Microsoft was also in talks with AOL about buying Winamp and Shoutcast.

While the media player was originally available for Windows and Macintosh (as MacAmp), it now has dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS as well. In 2013, Nullsoft made another attempt by releasing a new Winamp app for Mac OS.

Turning Winamp into an open-source app is not a new thought. A group of developers started the "Save Winamp" campaign in 2013 after AOL announced that Winamp v5.66 would be the last for the media player. Their petition posted on Change.org was signed by over 12,000 people.

Winamp explained in its blog post that it's opening up the code to invite collaboration from developers living in different parts of the world who can contribute their passion, expertise, and ideas to "help this iconic software evolve."

Commenting on the latest announcement, Winamp's CEO Alexandre Saboundjian said:

This is a decision that will delight millions of users around the world. Our focus will be on new mobile players and other platforms. We will be releasing a new mobile player at the beginning of July.

Still, we don't want to forget the tens of millions of users who use the software on Windows and will benefit from thousands of developers' experience and creativity. Winamp will remain the owner of the software and will decide on the innovations made in the official version.

The media player allows users to contribute directly to improve the product, and interested developers can sign up for the initiative on Winamp's website. Note the announcement doesn't apply to Winamp's apps on other platforms, such as Android and iOS.

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