After more than 15 years, the famous Winamp media player will shut down on December 20, its makers announced Wednesday.
The announcement itself was a whimper--a small banner notification on the Winamp website--rather than a bang, and the end seems sadly appropriate. The skinnable media player was all the rage at the turn of the century, but barely made a peep since being acquired by AOL in 1999.
After years of floundering, Winamp released Android and Mac versions in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but that appears to have been too little, too late.
As Winamp ruled the days of Napster, iTunes and streaming media services such as Spotify and Pandora control the music scene of today. Winamp's still got the skins, but it was just too niche in today's cross-platform, pay-as-you-go world, though the software still reportedly made money right up until the end.
ArsTechnica has a superb, detailed look at Winamp's fall from grace--a tumble that former Winamp honchos attribute to AOL mismanagement. If you can't bear to leave the past behind, you have one more month to download the free Winamp media player before it shuffles into the annals of history.
This story, "The End of an Era: Winamp's Shutting Down" was originally published by PCWorld.