After AOL announcement on October the discontinuation of the popular and long-lived music player Winamp, many people started mourning the imminent death of the well-loved software. AOL said "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013" and advised users to download the latest software before that date. However, December 20 came and went and not only the site is still up but also the software can still be downloaded. This could possibly be the result of negotiations that AOL is undergoing with a potential buyer looking to purchase Winamp.
The possible purchase just might give the veteran music player a new lease on life. Reports of the possible sale of Winamp were disclosed by a source that has intimate knowledge of the deal.
Despite being a former leader in terms of music players, Winamp slowly fell by the wayside, especially in light of the rise of iTunes. However, the results could have been drastically different had Winamp been managed differently. "There's no reason that Winamp couldn't be in the postion that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition," says former general manager of Winamp Rob Lord.
The software giant Microsoft had reportedly shown interest in buying Winamp and Shoutcast a month ago. However, AOL-owned Techcrunch did not clearly identify who the most likely buyer would be. Nonetheless, a deal apparently is close to completion. Both Winamp and Shoutcast were acquired by AOL after the company purchased Nullsoft more than a decade ago in 1999.
Winamp, which was first released back in 1998 for Windows, was the go-to player for millions of users around the world. However, the popularity of the software waned by the mid-2000s. After AOL purchased Nullsoft, a few updates were released such as the release of Winamp for Mac. However, the response to the Mac app was lukewarm owing to the entrenched position of iTunes. Aside from the Mac Winamp release, AOL has been largely ignoring Winamp as evidenced by the lack of activity on Winamp's official blog. Hopefully, Winamp will see resurgence if and when it finds a new home.