The latest version of Winamp, released on Wednesday, will be the last, with the venerable media-playing software scheduled to all but vanish from the internet next month.
"Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013," reads a notice posted to the Winamp website on Wednesday. "Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download."
Winamp was launched in 1997 by developer Justin Frankel via his company, Nullsoft, and it quickly became one of the most popular media players for Windows. AOL acquired Nullsoft two years later, and the company has operated as an AOL subsidiary since then.
Nullsoft has come up with a number of software products in the intervening years, including a software installation system, a streaming media format, the Gnutella file sharing system, and the WASTE peer-to-peer messaging and IM platform. But Winamp has remained the company's mainstay, and recent releases have included ports to Android and OS X and support for Windows 8.
Unfortunately for Nullsoft, however, with the rise of streaming media services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Radio – not to mention the fact that every OS platform has shipped with a built-in media player for the last decade or two – standalone media players like Winamp have somewhat fallen out of favor.
It's not clear whether third-party download sites will still be able to offer Winamp following the official site's December 20 closure. But given that Winamp, though free to download, is copyrighted, proprietary software, that seems unlikely.
Nullsoft gave no reason for Winamp's shutdown on its website, and the company has not responded to El Reg's request for comment. ®