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Before the revolutionary arrival of the iPod, long before music streaming from Spotify, Winamp was one of the most famous media players among Windows users. It had a distinctive interface, could be customized with skins and it was great for ripping music from CDs and creating playlists.

The truth is, years have passed, times have changed, and many of us thought Winamp’s life was over. However, in 2021 we learned that the developers were working on a new version, although we had few clues. Now after a period of betasthe Release Candidate of the software has been published.

They grew up in Winamp 5.9 RC

Four years was the time it took the development team to come to this point with the media player software. It hasn’t been four years in a row, as the developers took a multi-month hiatus during the pandemic. In all cases, we upgraded from 5.8 to 5.9 RC 1.

At first glance, we may not detect many changes. The skin modern is still relevant and the various columns and functions of the player seem intact. However, the bulk of the update comes from within: the Visual Studio 2008 code base has been migrated to Visual Studio 2019 to add new features.


These new features aren’t here yet, but work in Visual Studio 2019 the team now has the basics to work on a bigger update. Of course, along the way, we also lost some compatibility. Winamp no longer supports Windows XP, Windows Vista and earlier versions.

The new minimum system requirements require Windows 7 SP1 or higher. This means that the player works perfectly on all later versions of Microsoft’s operating system, including Windows 11. The good news is that anyone who wants to try Winamp 5.9 RC 1 can download it now.

If you’re wondering how to get it, it’s very simple. Just look for the download link on this page. IImmediately the software will start downloading in an executable .EXEalthough it may be detected as “malware” by your browser or anti-virus. According to Bleeping ComputerThese are false positives.

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Once downloaded, all you have to do is install it and start using it, you can even configure the skin original to immerse you in a retro experience of the highest level. It should be noted that Winamp 5.9 RC 1 is not a final release, but a “Realse Candidate” release that is not yet ready for mass deployment to the public.

We will have to wait a little longer for the arrival of the final version, which promises to include native support for the formats opus, ogv/ogm, TS, H.265, HLS and VP9 and support for new online services. Are we facing an alternative to VLC and Windows Media Player to listen to music? Maybe yes, in time we will know.

Cover Image | winamp

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