Winamp 5.9 Final Released after years of development
Two months ago, the developers of the Winamp audio player released a first release candidate of Winamp 5.9. The player, who many thought was dead and buried, has come back to life and users have started noticing him again.
This week, Winamp 5.9 Final was released. If you’ve taken the release candidate review written by Ashwin, you already know all the things that are new and changed. If you are new, the following summary may be useful to you.
First, you can download the final stable version of Winamp 5.9 from the official forum. There you will also find the changelog, list of known issues, and other release information. You can also download Winamp from third-party sites, such as our parent company Softonic (still needs to be updated to the new version).
Winamp 5.9 final
The last official version of Winamp before 5.9 dates back to 2018. Windows 11 was not released then, and many Windows users thought that Microsoft claimed that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows.
Last year saw the release of Windows 11, and one of the major changes in Winamp 5.9 is improved compatibility with Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system. If you’re having trouble running older versions of Winamp on Windows 11 or can’t get some features to work properly, you’re probably fine with running the latest version of the media player.
You may also notice that Winamp 5.9 requires a new Visual Studio runtime, which can be installed during installation if it is missing. The change is bad news for pre-Windows 7 devices, as Winamp 5.9 is no longer compatible with devices running Windows Vista or XP.
Another major feature is support for HTTPS streams. More and more sites and services migrated to HTTPS, and the lack of support meant that Winamp users could no longer connect to these streams because there was no support for it. Now that is a thing of the past.
Other improvements include updated libraries and support for new formats that have grown in popularity over the past couple of years.
The list of known fixes is long, but most will be addressed in Winamp 5.9.1 according to the release notes. It is not known when the intermediate version will be available. The main issues include problems playing some high resolution FLAC files and using an older version of OpenSSL due to development issues.
As for features that are still in development, there are a few. The development team plans to add native support for multiple formats, replace “old Gracenote features (CDDB, Autotag, etc.) with e.g. MusicBrainz or MusicStory”, add more default services and other improvements.
The new version of Winamp works well. Although the developers have a hard time convincing new users to try and ditch their favorite audio player, they may have better luck convincing old Winamp users to try it again.
Now you: what is your favorite audio player?