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Winamp Down for the Count 815

Posted by michael
from the elvis.mp3-has-left-the-building dept.
Artifex writes "BetaNews is reporting that the doors at Nullsoft have been closed: 'The last members of the original Winamp team have said goodbye to AOL and the door has all but shut on the Nullsoft era, BetaNews has learned. Only a few employees remain to prop up the once-ubiquitous digital audio player with minor updates, but no further improvements to Winamp are expected.'" The Register also has a story.
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Winamp Down for the Count

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  • I guess... (Score:5, Funny)

    by holzp (87423) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:04AM (#10786826)
    I guess they really are Nullsoft now.
  • OS Winamp (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kdark1701 (791894) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:05AM (#10786829) Homepage
    So when are they releasing the source code?
    • by motown (178312) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:37AM (#10787185)
      Well, they have already released most of the Winamp 3 sourcecode (without any of the DRM stuff) under the Wasabi project [wasabidev.org].

      Furthermore, the Nullsoft-guys already brought us the open Gnutella protocol.

      All of this would indicate that the good people at Nullsoft are pretty cool with open source. So if the Winamp 5 source code is not going to be released, then I think we should blame AOL for that, not Nullsoft.
      • by LiENUS (207736) <`moc.eganamtev' `ta' `todhsals'> on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:49AM (#10787349) Homepage

        Furthermore, the Nullsoft-guys already brought us the open Gnutella protocol.

        Might want to check yourself on this, Nullsoft brought us the Gnutella protocol but they did not make it open. Other talented individuals reverse-engineered the Gnutella protocol. Nullsoft never released any source-code or specs.

        All of this would indicate that the good people at Nullsoft are pretty cool with open source

        Might want to check the license on wasabi http://www.wasabidev.org/license.php [wasabidev.org] you can't even distribute the closed source wasabi.dll with what you write using that sdk, ie it is useless and windows only. It is most certainly NOT open source./p

        • by Erik Hollensbe (808) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:04PM (#10788274) Homepage
          IIRC (and please correct me if I'm wrong, just this is how I remember it panning out)

          Nullsoft released the initial Gnutella client with the intention of Open Sourcing it.

          Within a day of release, AOL put a stop to that. You might be able to find all this in the /. archives.

          Those who had copies of the clients started producing hacks of it and documenting the current protocol, and that's what lead to Gnutella 2, which is what most clients use today.
  • It's successor? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by romcabrera (699616)
    Which one do you think will likely be its successor?
    • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bricklets (703061) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:08AM (#10786873)
      Which one do you think will likely be its successor?

      Knowing what AOL did to their Netscape division, it'll probably be Windows Media Player.
      • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:15AM (#10786959) Homepage
        Does anyone else feel like AOL went around buying up software developers in competition with MS products just so they could kill it as part of a deal with Microsoft?

        Really, did we ever see evidence that AOL had any intention of using Netscape or Winamp for anything, or was it just to kill the projects?

        • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:31AM (#10787119)
          The real killing of things started when control switched hands from AOL to Time Warner. Once that happened, the Microsoft settlement and killing of Netscape happened, now this.

          AOL seemed to have a clue, but didn't really know how to act on it. Time Warner simply sees no value in a product when there is a working Microsoft version of the same thing.
        • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kalidasa (577403) * on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:31AM (#10787127) Journal
          Actually, I was just thinking that: as they once called the Ottoman Empire a prison of nations, they should call AOL a cemetary of independent software projects.
        • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Number6.2 (71553) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:39AM (#10787223) Homepage Journal
          Just remember: Corporate America isn't about *you*. It's about enhancing "value" to "shareholders".

          This means that if they have to make 1000 employees miserable by laying them off for a quarter (or eight) so the financials look rosy for Wall Street, they'll do it.

          And if they have to gobble up a superior technology as a bargaining chip, they'll do it.

          Corporate America is the ultimate communal reptilian brain: cold, efficient, ruthless, amoral, it WILL achieve it's goals, no matter who it has to hurt. Things are very black and white in Corporate America: profit/good loss/bad.

          Open Source, on the other hand, is very mamillian: there are others "like it", there's a *community*. Altruism actually has a place in this scheme.

          And it drives the lizards crazy. If one lizard attacks another lizard, no other lizard intervenes. If a lizard attacks a mamal, all of the mamal's kin come down on that lizard like, well, a pack of wild animals.

          Hence...the antipithy between Corporate America and Open Source.

          This is a metaphore, to be sure: some businesses "get it". These are the businesses that can plan further than a quarter ahead at a time, or are big enough that they can say "screw the Street" and take a short term hit (IBM?)

          Companies are like lizards, they are always prey to bigger lizards.

          Open Source is like a herd of (your favorite heard animal here). They can only be taken down by a BIG lizard or another pack based life form.

          enough

          cheers
          6.2
          • Re:It's successor? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by gordo3000 (785698) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:52AM (#10787383)
            decent try, but real bad example. In most pack animals, the smallest and weakest are left to die when then chase is put on by the predator(your lizard if you want). There are very few mamalian species that rush to the rescue and try to fend off the attack, but their are a few(so I guess it works sometimes).

            a good example is an elephant herd, in which the elders will protect the children from attack and if a parent is killed, the young are still cared for by others. This is not the norm though.

            on the other hand, isn't everything you described what a profit maximizing business is about. take something, give it value for long enough to profit, and always reevaluate the prodcut to see if its still worth it to you. It could very well be that those employees are now out of work, but if their work wasn't profitable, there is no valid reason to keep them. Obviously AOL does not feel the work of Nullsoft to be profitable.

            Of course, you could not blame AOL for failed companies and blame the greed of the head's of those companies who sold out to AOL rather than keep doing a good thing. You know, even if bill gates walks up to me and offers me a billion dollars for something I have, there is no force on this planet that forces the sale.
        • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by InsaneGeek (175763) <slashdot@insaneg ... s.com minus poet> on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:56AM (#10787432) Homepage
          AOL actually didn't really care too much about the program or how good it was. At the time Netscape was the start page of a majority of the internet. They bought Netscape for their page views, they sold all of the programs (except for the browser) off to Sun. They kept the browser so they could keep the clicks, unrealizing that MS would end up flipping their position and that in short while adveritsement dollars wouldn't be quite the same.
        • Re:It's successor? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DrXym (126579) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:59AM (#10787465)
          No it wasn't that. You give them too much credit. AOL are simply incompetant.

          At one time, Netscape, Nullsoft, Spinner etc. were considered to be 'divlets', all with their own identity, all churning out cool stuff that could be reused etc. You think about what these groups produced:

          1. Netscape made Mozilla & Gecko. Enough said. It also had a great portal until some dickheads started infesting it with popup windows, rendering it unusable.
          2. Spinner.com made a great radio system. I still play it on occasion.
          3. Nullsoft made the best, bar none damned media player for Windows, plus NSV streaming, NSIS and more.

          So what does AOL do? Drive them all into the ground and suck Microsoft's cock. Oh I think some of these things are offhandedly in the AOL client (e.g. radio) but innovation? What's that?

          The reason for all this is that AOL has a corporate culture of infighting and conservatism. If two groups compete for some work, it is the one that doesn't rock the boat, that promises the fastest results and with a vision compatible with marketing drones that wins. The AOL client feature requirements and schedule dictates what goes ahead. It doesn't matter that an inferior product will go in or that it will become a millstone in a year or two.

          Meanwhile the innovative product withers on the vine and the group responsible is shitcanned. Why? I don't know but I reckon IE & WMP are like comfort blankets to AOL marketing. If you start going all scary on them by showing them something without 'Microsoft' in the title, they get nervous. I bet even the Mac group in AOL feels like an unwanted child.

          Consider what could have been. Winamp 5.0 has streaming music, videos, a library, a CD burner, ripping, an integrated browser. With a little push it could have been iTMS. Time Warner has tens of thousands of tracks and movies to sell and AOL is (or was) the perfect outlet to sell them. The much vaunted 'synergy' they kept talking about was right under their noses. But apparantly that's not much use to a massive multi media conglomerate. Oh no, "let's sack them all".

          Or consider Gecko. It was cross-platform, standards compliant and modular. AOL could free themselves from Microsoft forever. They could develop a cross-platform and modern client. They wouldn't have to wait for MS to fix bugs, or workaround some broken implementation - they could do whatever they liked with it. So what does AOL do? It stumps for the bitrotten piece of crap from their mortal enemy. And I'm sure Microsoft is ecstatic about that, since it basically ties AOL's hands.

          It really does boil down to incompetance. Sheer bloody incompetance.

        • Re:It's successor? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jsebrech (525647)
          Really, did we ever see evidence that AOL had any intention of using Netscape or Winamp for anything, or was it just to kill the projects?

          Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence. I see no evidence AOL ever made any product that was truly good. Their corporate culture seems to discourage excellence. It's why nobody likes them, and why anything they try to "assimilate" ends up dead within a few years.
    • foobar (Score:5, Informative)

      by maskedbishounen (772174) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:08AM (#10786877)
      http://www.foobar2000.org/ [foobar2000.org] ;)
  • by dogas (312359) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:05AM (#10786836) Homepage
    Much like Netscape did when it was in its death throes, I think it would be great if they could open up the source and allow an online community to develop for it.

    Just think, in a year or so it could be the next iTunes killer..

  • Now that these guys are done with AOL maybe they can get on with their careers. For future reference: have an exit event next time guys so you don't get tied up with AOL or whoever buys it out from under you. Then we all profit because we get cool new toys and you get a pile of dough, AND no responsibility for 9-5 crap.
  • Expected Outcome. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by data1 (23016) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:06AM (#10786845) Homepage
    This has been the expected outcome of Nullsoft's assimilation into the corporate giant that is AOL.
    Read more here: http://p2pnet.net/story/2965
  • Winamp 5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jamesjw (213986) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:06AM (#10786850) Homepage
    Finally they got something right and theyre cut down in their prime :(

    Hopefully the programmers will leave and start some free Winamp like project in the Firefox vein..

    Open Amp, here we come :)

    -- Jim.
  • by loconet (415875) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:06AM (#10786854) Homepage
    Here is to the greatest mp3 player ...

  • tis a sad day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kc0re (739168)
    This is a sad day in free software history. Screw you AOL. (I know this will be redundant)... Winamp is one of the better free programs out there, I guess the few remaining will have to migrate to xmms.
  • Count me among the people who did not know they were owned by AOL. I guess this is the usual fate of buyouts.

  • I like winamp since it doesn't suck up many more processor cycles or bytes of memory than necessary to play MP3s, at least relative to the other bloatware out there. It also doesn't have a million features I don't need, just a few that I never use. RIP
  • So, are there any badnesses associated with WinAmp that people might want to know about?

    I currently use it as my main player on my work machine.

    Any reasons I should be planning on ditching it?

  • Being primarily a Mac user my experience with Winamp was brief, but I had many friends who swore by it. So, what was the cause of Winamp's demise? Is it that Windows Media Player got better? Is it that people just don't care much what play's their MP3's? Did it lose its cool factor or geek appeal?
  • Might as well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nordicfrost (118437) * on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:08AM (#10786878)
    Winamp was one of those Must Have Apps for Windows, and heralded much of the MP3 success. After that half-yearly re-install of Windows, WA was one of the first apps to go back in. So you could play MP3s while reinstalling Office etc.

    But after it went to version2, things became less rosy. Version 1.x worked a charm on my old 266/512mb peecee, but the 2.x series was dog slow and ridden with feature creep. I wonder if all the dumbass features in 2.x was something AOL mandated in the app. Rest of story: I went Linux, the Mac and never looked back.

    Kudos to the original Nullsoft team, you did a great job!
  • Windows?
    If anyone wanted to listen to my Icecast streams, or the ogg recordings I made, I always pointed them at Winamp, as it worked, and was free. And I couldn't be bothered answering lots of questions about codecs, and stuff.
    What's the best thing now?
  • by millwall (622730) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:09AM (#10786887)
    I'm still using v.1 and it still "Kicks the Llama's Ass".
  • Are there any open source replacements for this for Windows? iTunes, while closed source, is a possible replacement, if a bit bloated.
  • Is today April 1st (please please). Winamp is my favorite player.

    Can anybody recommend a good alternative? I am a Windows user (I can't get my nVidia chipset ethernet to work under Linux). The replacement should be capable, and free (no "register for only $39 for bonus features").

    And before anybody mentions it, Real Player and Windows Media Plaer are NOT viable alternatives for me (but I think that Real's "Annabelle the sheep" is hilarious -- sheep are funny, just watch "A Close Shave").

    I don't suppos
  • by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp AT freeshell DOT org> on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:11AM (#10786914) Homepage Journal
    No, it wasn't AOL, or commercial business.

    It was because the Llama really whipped Winamp's ass a couple of weeks ago.

    I'm sure it surprised everyone when it happened.
  • "What's this ogg thing?" "Open it in Winamp! You have the full version, right?" "Uh, what are these s3m/mod/it files?" "Just open them in Winamp."

    Okay, so Winamp will still exist as a reanimated corpse, but the question remains - what am I going to tell people to use now to open these obscure geek music formats? It's not like iTunes would particularly help here, and Microsoft definitely won't care either...

  • I remember when Nullsoft got picked up by AOL: a mix of happiness in the community that they would finally be paid, and fear of what AOL would do to screw things up. This is worse than I think most had suspected.

    Although, on the bright side, winamp has reached near perfection. Either 2.9x for the minimal side of things, or 5.x for the complete package. The sad thing is, every time we'd think that winamp had reached the status of the perfect audio player, Nullsoft would release an update and make perfectio
  • Buying it from AOL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LegendOfLink (574790) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:18AM (#10786984) Homepage
    Anybody out there in Slashdot land think we might be able to put together an initiative, gather donations for funds, and buy the source from AOL?
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:22AM (#10787017)
    I strongly suggest trying FooBar2000 http://foobar2000.com/ [foobar2000.com]
    I have loaded up the playlist with 15,000 songs, and it only used 2MB of RAM!!!

    There are extensive plugin's available, it is compatable with shoutcast.

    FooBar takes a very minimalistic approach to it's UI. You can add bell's & whistle's & visualizations if you want.
  • Goodbye old pal. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lumpenprole (114780) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {elorpnepmul}> on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:23AM (#10787035) Homepage Journal
    A couple years ago I was tired of Winamp seeming to eat a crapload of system resources and switched to Foobar 2000 [foobar2000.org] and never looked back.

    But Winamp was the first free gui audio player that I ever really enjoyed. I remember sending playlists to friends as a way to encourage them to download it. Thanks for helping to make computers cool, Nullsoft. You were great.
  • by lotsofno (733224) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:26AM (#10787068)
    .

    The BetaNews article is a bit off, as is the story it spawned over at The Register (whose headline for the piece was just ridiculous.).

    As usual, Winamp Unlimited [winampunlimited.com] sets it straight with not only details on an upcoming 5.06 version of Winamp, but details on what the former Nullsoft-ees are doing now and a naked picture of their ex-Product Manager.

    "Winamp Unlimited [winampunlimited.com] is your #1 source for Winamp news, rumors,forum highlights, and general propoganda. Awesome!"

    .
  • XMMS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by !Xabbu (1769) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:31AM (#10787125) Homepage
    Time to start begging the folks over at xmms.org to make a windows port. :(
  • by Alphi1 (557250) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:47AM (#10787330)
    I know I'm going to be fighting the current on this one, but here goes anyways.

    Why is this a big deal? Don't get me wrong, I've been a WinAmp user for years, and I love the program for playing my MP3s. But just because it's not going to get any more updates, why is that a big deal?


    I mean, we're talking about a program designed for little more than playing audio (and later video) files. Once that is accomplished, and once the bugs have been relatively shaken out, anything else is just the beginnings of bloatware.


    WinAmp has seemed to be relatively bug free to me, and works for what it was designed (audio/video) files. Why do we *NEED* more updates (other than if more bugs are found, of course)?

  • by Silvercloud (691706) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @10:51AM (#10787367)
    ...off of the winamp forums:

    To all of my friends and loyal users of Winamp,

    I regret to inform you all that I have quit Nullsoft. To many of you, this news may come as quite a surprise, while those who know me best, it's no surprise at all.

    It's hard to describe the experiences of the last year. Nearly a year ago, we released Winamp 5.0 and finally reclaimed our user's hearts. It was a very proud moment for our entire team.

    Since then, for varying circumstances, much of the team has left the company. It's been tremendously difficult to recover from the losses of such core team members and close friends.

    Those of us left behind have tried our best to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. Unfortunately, given our current environment, continuing to move forward has become tremendously difficult and frustrating, to say the least.

    That said; I was recently presented a wonderful opportunity to work at Apple with the iTunes team. I hope to bring much of my experience from Nullsoft to Apple with the hopes of making a tremendous difference there.

    The fact is; there's never a good time to leave something that you love so much. Given the state of things today it was appropriate for me start planning a life after Nullsoft.

    I want to thank you for how much you've all contributed to making Winamp such a huge success. I'd like to appreciate the efforts of all the volunteers who've poured their heart and soul into this place, all the skinners and developers who helped the rest of us customize Winamp to our hearts content, and all my friends at Nullsoft who made working here more than a job, but a family.

    I ask that all of you who work so hard, please, keep working hard. There are still a few of us left at Nullsoft and they're doing their best to keep this ship afloat. You're the only thing that can help them do it.

    For those of you who would like to keep in touch with me, feel free to reach me at 'steve at gedikian dot com'. You can also keep tabs on what I'm up to by going to my homepage at http://www.gedikian.com.

    I love you all and I can't thank you enough for making this chapter of my life so wonderful.

    Peace.

    -s


    I would say the emotional overtone of his post is well understandable, Winamp certainly did build itself up an immense fanbase with it's great (and free) software, it's climb to the top of the proverbial heap of MP3 players showing dedication of the programmers that built and maintained it.

    Farewell, last of the true Nullsoft team, and good luck in future ventures!
  • by slcdb (317433) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @11:00AM (#10787491) Homepage
    Pay a hundred-million bucks for a company with a killer app and a helluva group of innovative engineers. Now that you own the company, make sure all those engineers know you are in charge by stifling the creative process. Strangle that som'bitch til' it's dead; I mean, until there is virtually NO innovation left. Revoke all of the "Next Big Things" that the engineers create. Casually compel the founder and creative genius to leave the company while you're at it. Persevere until all development -- whether it's creative development, or even just suck-ass development -- has all but ceased.

    Voila! You've just shown the world, in textbook fashion, how to flush $100m down the toilet. Not to mention the fumbling of a precious opportunity.
    • by bay43270 (267213) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:51PM (#10788847) Homepage
      You're looking at this over the long term. Think about it in 6-month chunks (like the execs at AOL do):

      Exec 1 buys a great little company for a reasonable price considering the boom (later known as a bubble). He gets a lot of credit and a promotion.

      Exec 2 takes over and refocuses the division on its strengths - service. Exec 2 keeps costs down by discouraging research and development and promoting 'synergy'. Since AOL owns two of every type of software out there, they underfund half the company in the name of savings. Exec 2 gets a promotion.

      Exec 3 takes the new position and wonders why Exec 2 was so highly regarded. Why underfund a product when you can cut funding all together and save even more. Exec 3 takes a CEO job with another fortune 500 company.

      Exec 4 takes the job in 2005 and finds a small upstart making a great new music player. They buy the company for $200 million. Exec 4 gets a promotion.
  • The last guy out... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chief Typist (110285) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @11:01AM (#10787493) Homepage
    ... looks like Steve Gedikian finally shut off the lights:

    I Haven't Forgotten, And We Will Never Forget. [gedikian.com]

    An insider's view of the end of Nullsoft...

    -ch
  • A Winamp Tale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poena.dare (306891) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @11:01AM (#10787498)
    So I had heard about this kewl file format called MP3 and I needed a player. I looked around and found Winamp for $10...

    From: Nullsoft [mailto:sales@winamp.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 3:59 PM
    To: M Smith
    Subject: Winamp Registration Code

    *** Thank you for registering Winamp ***

    (etc, etc)
    Since Winamp is uncrippled nag-free shareware, this key doesn't do anything in Winamp. You can, however, for fun, enter the key into the 'shareware' tab of Winamp's about box.
    (etc etc) Now here's the important part:
    This registration is valid for ALL versions of Winamp, past, present and future.
    (etc, etc)
    ---
    Justin Frankel
    Nullsoft, Inc.
    ---

    ...and it did kick the Llama's ass. I've got bad eyes and it let me make the control panel DOUBLE SIZE, which was a godsend.

    I went through, hrm, 8 or 10 OS upgrades. I almost never downloaded a new version. It did only a few things and it did it well.

    My happy world came to an end when I moved to Windows XP and Winamp stopped working. So I got the latest version and found that after 5 years my registration code didn't work anymore. So I wrote NullSoft:

    From: M Smith
    Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2004 3:24 PM
    To: 'support@winamp.com'
    Subject: Ode to a support person

    In a desperate attempt to contact someone at NullSoft, I send this letter to you.

    Dear Human Being, presumably one employed by NullSoft:

    Back in 1997 I paid 10 hard earned dollars for Winamp. I just downloaded the 5 Pro version and discovered that my registration key doesn't work! Could this please be remedied? Here's the text of the email you sent me ages ago:
    (etc, etc)

    To which I got back this message:

    From: support@winamp.com
    Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 12:46 AM
    To: M Smith
    Subject: Re: Ode to a support person

    Dear M Smith,

    Thank you for writing WinAmp, My name is Larry, I will be assisting you today.

    You can find your Registration Key in your confirmation e-mail. If you do not have your confirmation e-mail, you can also retrieve your Registration Key by viewing the details of your purchase using the lookup at the address listed below:
    (etc, etc)

    Hrm. Larry appears to not have read my email, for, Lo! I did have a conformation email, in fact, I sent him a copy of it.

    NOW, I remembered the whole "AOL buys NullSoft" thing and it occurs to me that I'm in the hands of an organization with infinite cruelty and infinite patience. I tried to break through again:

    From: M Smith
    Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 7:28 AM
    To: 'support@winamp.com'
    Subject: FW: Ode to a support person

    Larry,

    You obviously are not a human being, because a real human being would notice:

    1) I DO have my confirmation email - it was pasted at the end of my email.

    2) My registration key (NNNNNNNN) is obviously not the format that Winamp uses today.

    3) Since I paid for the product BEFORE Nullsoft ever used Digitalriver for order fulfillment, looking up my order would be fruitless.


    Either the human Larry was incensed at my sarcasm or the Perl Script Larry couldn't handle the language for I haven't heard back from NullSoft/AOL/Time/Warner yet.

    So I bumble along with the latest freebie version of Winamp feeling generally dispossessed - I have a lifetime agreement with NullSoft and the parent company won't take my phone calls, so to speak. I tried sending email to Justin Frankel and it bounced - now I know why.

    Anyone know know a lawyer who will take on a class-action lawsuit for 1/3rd of $10?

  • Free the llama! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @11:18AM (#10787691) Homepage Journal
    If AOL is halting its development of WinAmp, it could score lots of credit with the open source crowd by publishing the WinAmp source code under GPL. They'd be done with it just the same, but they'd continue to stymie their competitors with the player that wouldn't die, at no cost to them. Including the low management wind-up cost of releasing under the GPL, rather than some other license (especially one they roll themselves). OTOH, if they have more unholy alliances with "competitors" like Microsoft (like their IE AOL browser), they might strangle this beast just to hear it scream.
  • by szyzyg (7313) on Thursday November 11, 2004 @12:02PM (#10788258)
    Well kinda.....
    Back in 1997 I wrote an mp3 streaming server that was originally intended as the audio equivalent of a webcam I could chat and play music.... obviously this quickly turned into the webs first live mp3 radio station. Problem was that there were no mp3 players that could stream content, I had to give my friends a perl script wrapped around mpg123. (as it happened this script also turned the client into a relay server, creating the earliest p2p streaming distribution system).

    So it laboured in obscurity for a while until Winamp added HTTP streaming support and suddenly I could tell all those windows users to download winamp and point it at port 3223 on the server cluster. The code was released under the GPL, and I had a few downloads, but it required some real hackish thinking to get it to work for most people. That's when I started getting job offers in California (I was working as an astronomer in Northern Ireland).

    Of course then Shoutcast got released and it pretty much did what mp3serv did, mp3serv promptly became even less interesting. But that didn't matter, because mp3serv was so obscure that nobody ever found it, it was only once there was a proprietory solution that people started to look for an open source solution. Icecast came along, it was much cleaner and smarter than mp3serv, so I took all the good bits from mp3serv and integrated them into Icecast and LiveIce.

    That was 1999, by that point I was ready to quit my PhD and take a real job......

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