This may come as a shock to the system, but effective December 20, 2013, Winamp will become a ghost of the Internet's past. AOL, which bought Winamp in 1999 for $80 million, has decided to shut down the popular media player service just five days before Christmas, officially ending a better than 15-year run as one of the most well regarded media players among power users.
Winamp and all associated web services will cease to exist past December 20th. Additionally, AOL will no longer host downloads, though with the wealth of third-party download sites in cyberspace, we're sure it won't be all that difficult to find. If you want to play it on the safe side, however, you'll want to download the latest -- and last -- version before that date, AOL stated on Winamp's website.
Arstechnicaconfirmed the announcement with Geno Yoham, Winamp's general director, though he declined to go into detail at this time, as did AOL.
"Such a bummer. AOL had been trying to sell it for months. I even looked at it. Spinner was shut down first, it's the end of Music 1.0," venture capitalist Josh Felser, who founded Spinner.com, told Arstechnica.
Former employees estimate that Winamp was pulling in around $6 million per year. The service also has millions of users around the world, though the general concensus is that it could have been much bigger if not for mismanagement.