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WinAmp making comeback
© Michelangelo Oprandi |

WinAmp revamp takes on Patreon

WinAmp is making waves for the first time in a long time, mainly because we all forgot it was still in the water. The iconic media player has been used by a dedicated few million fans all this time, but now it’s making a big comeback in a new way. It’s going after Patreon.

What’s in a name?

WinAmp is a generation-defining application that will be all too familiar to one specific age group of internet users and utterly alien to everyone else. It’s a music player that faced off against Windows Media Player and iTunes in its heyday but has a much smaller fanbase today.

Although it’s been sold and resold several times over the years, WinAmp’s development has continued, and it’s still a very serviceable music player application in 2023.

But it’s the new web presence that’s such a surprise.

Still branded as Winamp (but with a lowercase “a”), the new site has some revamped MySpace vibes. It’s now pushing curated music discovery alongside digital radio and podcasts. The idea is that you’ll have all of your music from different services and platforms connected in one central location.

But as well as offering a potential alternative to the likes of Spotify, the new Winamp seems to be trying to copy Patreon, focusing on musicians.

Pay for the privilege

Available under a new “Fanzone” section of the site, users can pay to interact with musicians and music makers who sign up. You could gain early access to songs or exclusive digital content, like NFTs (no sign of monkeys yet). Winamp also offers to manage the copyright, licensing, and distribution of songs for artists.

Streaming isn’t a viable career path for most musicians, but going all in on Winamp seems like a big ask. The new Winamp is part of a corporate entity that runs royalty-free music licensor Jamendo and the copyright management company Bridger.

Maybe it does know what it’s doing after all?

It’s web-only for now, but look out for new Winamp desktop and mobile applications later this year. Don’t forget to check out the WinAmp Skin Museum for a real trip down memory lane.

You may also like: How to get Windows Media Player

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