without responding line item, let me make a few points...
i don't care about 16 bit vs 32 bit vs 64 bit. i am simply suggesting that going to 64bit would be a good excuse to "start over" and people would just have to deal with the deprecation of plugins that ALREADY aren't being maintained. many many plugins are ALREADY kaput!
and if an older plugin really was so good and necessary, if the new environment were enticing enough, you can't dismiss the possibility that THATS what would motivate someone to redo it, or do again from scratch, (ie. another person).
there are weaknesses in the current implementation, things i have asked for that i've been told can't be done because of those weaknesses. a 64bit beta project would be a good excuse to put those things in the past. things that the competition in some cases, already does:
plugin version checker and verification
skipping of short files due to weakness between input and output plugins
more modular skin design, more control to layout, buttons, sorting, etc
ability to randomize ALL visualization plugins, not just the one loaded at that moment
multi threading and all that proc mumbo jumbo
and i'm sure you guys can think of many more.
some other benefits that could be realized in a new project, would be making as many plugins open source as possible, including open source input/output plugins, converting everything to unicode, having APIs that are consistent across the board and entice developers to make plugins, b/c the environment is a good and reliable one. (it seems like right now, 3rd party guys are demotivated in part b/c new winamps break their functions. it would be good to design core winamp such that that would almost never be the case, or less frequent than now)
i can't think of every possible angle or make the best case for this, i'm not qualified to. but being tied to the past is not a way forward. it just feels like this would be a good time to strip down winamp, and start over, and slowly build the beast. that way all the things that i see drive you crazy DrO, all the inherent contradictions in the app, could be addressed.
and i was oversimplifying the winamp3 story, i know that, but for all intents and purposes thats how it looked to the public at large. and i should also point out that i don't like apple, and until recently i hated apple, but i do think that they are realizing gains in their CURRENT PRODUCT OFFERINGS that are realized by NOT having to worry about or be concerned with legacy issues and support.
now one can absolutely reasonably say that legacy support is important and a good thing and so on, i can certainly see and concede that that is a legitimate POV, but apple is demonstrating that KILLING legacy support is the more commercially successful strategy, at least for the moment. and i think in large part that is due to the fact that the platform they offer is more attractive to more developers, simply b/c it is so uniform and devoid of legacy issues.
just my ever so humble opinion.
my subj line suggestion:
beta winamp 64, pros and cons