Winamp to shut down after 15 years online

After 15 years on the Internet, the once-ubiquitous digital audio player Winamp will soon be just a memory.

According to a brief note on the Winamp website, the formerly super-popular media player will no longer be available for download after 20 December, 2013. This includes Winamp.com and associated Web services.

You probably remember Winamp from the late 90s and early 2000's when it was one of the most widely used Internet services for listening to music and radio streams. Winamp eventually lost popularity as services like iTunes and Windows Media Player hit the Web, but it'll always hold a special place in the hearts of many.

Developed by former University of Utah college students Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, Winamp launched in 1997, and quickly gained popularity alongside the rise of MP3 file sharing. AOL eventually acquired Winamp in 1999 when it picked up Frankel's company Nullsoft for $80 million (£49.7 million) in stock.

By the time Winamp released its 10th Anniversary edition back in 2007, most people had already moved on to more modern digital music services.

"Most of the people I spoke with were genuinely shocked to discover that not only is Winamp still kicking on their 10th anniversary, the app is seeing the release of a new version this week," one reviewer said at the time.

Winamp version 5.55 was highly reviewed by commentators at the time, often gaining marks for its sleek interface, built-in artist bio information, and enhanced audio/video playback support.

Image: Flickr (bmills)