AfterDawn: Tech news

WinAMP v3 Final is here!

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 08 Aug 2002 6:57 User comments (5)

It's been a loooooong time since Nullsoft released their first public alpha version of WinAMP3 player, but finally the wait is over. WinAMP v3 Final has been just released.
Bugfix list, changes, etc include mostly bugfixes and the sole purpose has been to make this as a "stable version" that can be recommended for users that aren't too much into beta versions :-)

Anyway, if you prefer to check out what the World's Most Popular MP3 Player's version three has to offer, download it from here:

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5 user comments

18.8.2002 15:26

Hmmmmm..... version 2.8 was the first one to natively handle ogg vorbis music files without having to download a separate plug-in. Other than that, all the versions released over the last year or so are pretty much fine as-is. (AOL now owns Win-Amp, doesn't it?). I'm a little bit leery about that - sooner or later (perhaps even now?) AOL will/may incorporate some [self-serving] restriction(s) into the player. But maybe not. I urge anyone who uses any current or semi-current WinAmp version and is satisfied with it (I am), to backup your player (just-in-case). But I'll certainly check the new player out. Thanks for the update. K.A.

29.8.2002 2:36

3.0 is totally new concept from Nullsoft guys, modular media player that is truly built out of modules that you can turn on/off, XML-based skinning, etc neat features. Obviously for some, even for me, new version is slightly "bloat-y", compared to those "good old" versions that date back to 1997 when WinAMP was the first player to include playlist and ship without any .dlls and was under 200kb or so in physical size. And after a quick test-run with the latest "final" version, they still need to do some bug fixing and need to address zillions of requirements videofreks ask from the player before they're willing to drop WMP6.4 in favour of WA3. MPEG-2 clips are played upside-down at the moment ;-)

AOL now owns Win-Amp, doesn't it?
Yeah, they own Nullsoft. Bought the company back in 1999 for some ridiculously huge pile of money (if I'm not totally demented, it was something like $300M or so :-). And of course, Nullsoft has since p*ssed AOL off several times; had MP3 search engine back in 2000 for several months, Justin Frankel (original developer of WinAMP) is the guy who developed Gnutella, he also made a little tool that removes ads from AOL Instant Messenger, etc ;-) Anyway, WA3 and WA2 work on the same system, AFAIK.
Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

310.8.2002 19:09

It depends on what you're looking for, dRD. Traditionally, Win-Amp has been an audio-only player, and that is still it's major claim-to-fame. Regardless of how well and efficiently the modular pieces of it all fit together, or how user-friendly and configurable it may be, adding VIDEO to the picture (no pun intended) potentially complicates things dramatically. As such, don't ever expect small install.exe sizes any more - my expectation is that it will get ever larger and more complex. And that's unfortunate, because I've always admired the refreshing, non-imposing, non-demanding simplicity of Win-Amp. And it is as I suspected - there were a couple of AOL links plopped onto my desktop immediately after installing (which can, thankfully, be removed). Perhaps a sign of things to come? Having to deal with the myriad of video formats in current use these days is going to bloat WinAmp *way* past it's current 3meg + install size. Even with version 2.8, I only install the "lite" version (not 'standard' or 'full'), and then just manually copy the ogg vorbis .dll file into the plugins folder. That way, I can dispense with a lot of features/extras that I neither want or need. I'm not overly thrilled with the track display window either. Have the song title & artist names scroll forward and then *backward* is kinda creepy. I didn't spend much time trying to configure it. Also, I can't seem to use the "Insert" key anymore, which was a major convenience for me. (Pushing the 'insert' key allowed me to play *all* the tracks in a given folder, in the correct order - one folder equalled one complete cd album) - it seems I can only play individually-selected tracks now, but as I say, I haven't tried to configure anything. I think I'll wait this one out....... -- Klingy --

411.8.2002 1:46

True, WA is going towards overall "media player" genre, which tends to be bloaty and will cause some serious issues, weird requests from users (I assume they already have 300,000 emails asking for a subtitle support for video playback, software-based pan&scan, etcetc). I'm big fan of small tools -- I still use WA2.80 as my MP3 player and WMP6.4 as my overall media player. Userfriendliness != skinnable, IMHO. But knowing Nullsoft's style, I'm fairly certain that they will continue supporting and probably even developing their "classic" series (2.xx) in the future as well. WA3 kinda sucked all their resources, but maybe they will have more manpower now, after the "final" deadline has been reached and AOL is fairly happy with the product (I assume it will ship with future versions of AOL distro -- then again, they own NS and AOL browser is still based on IE :-).

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

512.8.2002 11:55

Bloatware? Maybe not quite, but the overall feel of it is a bit heavier then with the earlier versions. Iīve defenetly prefered WA because of itīs low stress on the system, even if my system could handle things like Music Match Jukebox. The fact that theyīve named it Winamp3, that the start-menu and other folders are named Winamp3 as default, suggest Nullsoft isnīt through with the old versions. Letīs hope so. Requested improvements: The media library still needs work. The thinger seemd a bit useless. The description of improvements could have been just a tad more comprehensive. Overall Winamp3 is a much wider piece off software then the earlier versions, and Iīm not sure I want to trade in the "liteness" for a bunch of features that I wonīt use (havenīt decided yet, having trouble doing so). I still use WMP 6.4 as my videoplayer. Does what itīs supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less, just like the good olī WinAmp.

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