Nostalgia is a powerful drug. And for music aficionados, nothing may be more nostalgic than Winamp, the venerable music (and video) player that dominated the scene prior to the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Now, after seeing a glimmer of hope with its 2013 acquisition by Radionomy, and subsequently languishing without an update for the following five years, Winamp is ready to make a return. Sort of.
After an in-development version of Winamp’s first update in years recently leaked, the Winamp team today decided to release it themselves as version 5.8 (via MSPU). From Winamp:
A leaked version of Winamp 5.8 recently spread over the Internet. Consequently, we have decided to make this new version available to you, revised by us.
We therefore recommend that you download this version rather than any other as we guarantee it is safe for you to use.
This version is not an ongoing project but be sure that we are currently working hard on a future new Winamp.
While it’s still very much in beta, the update does add compatibility with Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. However, don’t let those nostalgia glasses fool you; this is still a very rough release. On high-resolution displays, the scaling is off upon installing Winamp 5.8, so you’ll be squinting to see your player controls. And if you’re used to interacting with more modern apps like Spotify, the interface will be jarring to say the least. Sluggish performance doesn’t help things either.
Still, people love to love old stuff. If you want to take a quick trip down memory lane, the Winamp 5.8 beta is available for download now, complete with its signature “it really whips the llama’s a**” sound effect upon its first run. For more on the update, you can view its full release notes at the Winamp forums.