Comments from another long time user. I remember using Winamp back in the 1990s. I love it for being a small product concentrating on doing the core things well. Without bloat.
Please - no more "social media" stuff in here. If you want Facebook, then write a plugin. There is enough Social Media stuff already with experiments like Orgler and those "More Info" buttons. Items I always deselect in any installation I do.
Aren't there already "now playing" plugins for ICQ, MSN, etc? So an Facebook\Twitter update logically can be done using the same model. No one at Nullsoft need to waste their valuable time on that gimmick. You can write the pluggin yourself now.
The choice of Winamp having OPTIONAL components is a rare gem. It allows us, the user, to really choose exactly how our Media Player looks and acts. Excellent.
Us users can choose our own "bloat" if we want it.
Maybe I am odd, but I like privacy. I don't want links to "social" networks in what is a Brilliant music player. I don't have a link from my Hifi to Facebook, so why would I want one in Winamp?
Ditto with the store. itunes should be a good example here - that media player is locked into ONE store. So no buying stuff from Amazon, etc. It's all about that single Apple shop. And selling. The Media player is almost an after thought. To me, Winamp is a Media PLAYER first. Not a Media SHOP. I use it to PLAY and organise my music collection. And it is brilliant at that.
There is nothing stopping you using iTunes on a PC to buy music, which you then organise with Winamp. Ditto Amazon and other stores. (I don't buy MP3s so don't know how the other stores operate)
With the Arsetechnica article it is noticeable from even the title that the guy doesn't use Winamp much. MP3 player? It is sooooo much more than that.
The more I read through, the more it looks like this is just a "stir up a reaction" type article. An excuse for some historic bitching. More an article having a dig at AOL and business tactics instead of being anything constructive. (And I totally ignored the comments when I saw the "editor's pick" was such a clueless rant)
And PLEASE can we stop with the "XXX company should open source the product
" The trouble is, when someone says that it is clear that they have never been involved with writing a real program for a real company. Examples of "firefox, GIMP, Blender" are not comparable in any way. These STARTED life as Open Source software. You can't just take licensed code like Winamp and "open source it". This is where your Pro fee goes - to pay for the licensing of MP3 ripping, H.264 playback, and so forth.
You don't need to "open source it". If you want to make an improvement, then write a pluggin. Calls for "open source it" often come from people who don't fully understand the term, and usually aren't a programmer who can put in development time anyway.
(I am not having a personal dig at posters above who suggested the Open Source idea... I am having a dig at the concept that a product can just be given away like that. Name me a successful product that has gone from closed to open source successfully...)
Let's stick to sensible ideas that can be achieved.
As to items like "album art flow" - isn't that kind of thing available through the ClassicPro skin system? I know I have downloaded it before on one of my Media PCs (and then went back to the normal Winamp skins as I preferred them)