On Nov. 20, 2013 AOL, Inc. announced that they were ceasing development of Winamp and that it would no longer be available after December 20. 2013.  If you were expecting this to be about some kind of PETA-inspired movement to prevent the abuse of the odd fuzzy animals, I apologize in advance for disappointing you.

This is a piece of software that I used since version 2 after I was introduced to it by one of my cousins who was visiting.  I still remember the songs I first heard played through it.  Ever since, it has been my go-to media player and one of the only ways I ever listened to ShoutCast streams.  It always opened much faster that Windows Media Player, and I loved having an EQ right there when I wanted to customize my sounds.  And the Milkdrop visualizations were always cool to watch.

I don’t want to see it disappear.  I still rely on it at least every other day to play local tracks on my hard drive.  I’ll make sure to keep copies of the installer of the current version around, but I’d love to see its development advance.

Most recently, there were rumors that Microsoft was going to make an offer for it.  They declined to comment.  So nobody knows if there is any potential for advancement.  Honestly, I don’t think I want to see Microsoft take it, because I think we all know what is going to happen – Winamp will get wiped away and all the features will get slapped into Windows Media Player, which will just become more bloated.  I think it would be a better idea for a media company to get involved.

There is a petition on Change.org to try to convince the developers to either release the source code as open source (which I’m also not so sure will work too well).  I’ve signed it, and I hope you will too (especially if you use the software).