The first MP3 player I ever used extensively was WinAmp, which may be going the way of the dodo:

Winamp is shutting down. The website and all of Winamp’s web services will shut down on December 20 and the desktop player will no longer be available for download.

Even if you don’t remember Winamp, you may remember the demo MP3 that played when you installed the app: “Winamp, it really whips the llama’s ass.”

As the article notes, the landscape of music-on-the-computer has changed a great deal over the years. But WinAmp isn’t really a historical relic for me. It’s what I still use. I’ve never really had reason to use anything else. Indeed, I use it now the same way I used it then.

I started my MP3 collection when WinAmp was on top, so I geared how I use it to Winamp 2.1. By which I mean, my music collection is organized in a series of folders and filenames. I actually have two copies of many of my MP3’s. In some cases, I have three. I have one set that is a folder for the artist all in one big bulk. Then, if I liked the artist enough to make road trip CDs, I would have another one with each folder denoting 80-minutes worth of music. When my car could play MP3 CDs, I added another set that just had the artist’s discography from beginning to end.

Sometimes I just wanted to listen an artist on random, so I’d just go to the first set of folders. If I wanted to listen to the good songs with the lackluster ones cut out, it would be the second. The third was if I really liked an artist’s entire catalog, if there were specific CDs that I wanted to listen to from start to end, or (as is increasingly the case) I was just too lazy to cut up the artist’s catalog into 80-minute chunks of greatness.

MP3 players today are all geared towards having managed libraries, which doesn’t work as well with my setup. The libraries do arrange by album and whatnot. I’m sure there are ways I could arrange them myself. Though in that case, it wouldn’t transfer so easily to my car which doesn’t have anything so fancy as iTunes.

So I’m not a huge fan of the library system. On my phone, in my car, almost everything can handle just plain old folders with the songs organized by folders and filenames. With hard drive space so cheap, having multiple copies of the same file doesn’t cost much if anything.

WinAmp tried to get into the library mode. I suspect that most of its recent improvements were improvements on that corner of the house where I never treaded. In that sense, I guess, WinAmp’s possible retirement – unless Microsoft revamps it – doesn’t mean that much to me. I can probably use the most recent version indefinitely.

CGHill also comments.

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4 Responses to Llamas Everywhere Celebrate… For Now

  1. Burt Likko says:

    I, too, am a Winamp fan. I use it especially on my phone when walking for exercise or to broadcast music in my outdoor activities. It’s easy to use and gives controls over the music I can’t find easily in other music players.

    Sad to see it go.

    • trumwill says:

      Assuming you still use Android, I would recommend:

      Rocketplayer, which is free and requires little maintanence.

      AstroPlayer, which has a paid version (also plays video), requires some customization, but is more robust.

      MortPlayer I used for the longest time and cannot honestly remember why I moved away from it.

      Others that I have tried and liked to some extent or another: Mixzing (free and paid versions), PowerAmp ($$), Meridian (free and paid, includes video).

  2. Though in that case, it wouldn’t transfer so easily to my car which doesn’t have anything so fancy as iTunes.

    Other than a dynamic playlist of the newest songs and most played songs in my iTunes library and iPhone, I really don’t bother with playlists. I just set it to random and just skip through what I don’t want to bother listening to.

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