Archives For music

RIP Winamp

Chris McLeod —  Dec 22 2013 — Leave a comment

Winamp shutdown yesterday. Even though I hadn’t used it in years, this makes me a little sad, as Winamp was iconic. It was a hero of the early world-wide web, helping to kick-start the internet music age for a great many people like myself.

Winamp1.006

I first discovered Winamp around 14 years ago, during my first year at university. Back then, you could run Winamp from any old folder without installing it, so everyone used to have a copy in their network profile. This was the early days… MP3s were still a rarity here in the UK, so you would listen mainly to CDs (Windows Media Player was a world of suck on Windows NT), or the 2-3 MP3s you had downloaded from Napster.

As time went on, MP3s became more and more common, and Winamp became the defacto music player for a lot of people. Imitators sprung-up elsewhere. It was small, customisable, and with plugins was able to do almost anything – like managing an MP3 Player, if you were the early-adopter who splashed out a few hundred for one of the early, pre-iPod devices. Ahem.

Then the iPod happened, and with it, iTunes. Once iTunes for Windows hit, that was the end of Winamp’s glory days. Owned by AOL, it sank into irrelevance. Full-blown music library management, with integrated store and device management, was the order of the day – all things Winamp was woeful at, even with plugins – relegating Winamp to a niche of nostalgia and a small number of users who couldn’t do with out some feature or other. Winamp 3 was a mess, Winamp 5.5 moved away from the minimal UI. There was even an Android version. It was terrible.

By that time, we had all moved to streaming music services. Why store gigabytes of music files on your computer, when someone else can do it for you, and high-speed access is increasingly common? The need for an application like Winamp was increasingly shrinking. At least Spotify has honoured your legacy by releasing Spotiamp.

spotiamp

And so yesterday, Winamp ceased to be. The site is still there, and for now at least, it seems you can still download v5.666… but that will be turned off soon.

So long, Winamp. You really whipped that ass for as long as you could.

About these ads

I first heard of Frank Turner last night, while watching the coverage of the Reading Music Festival on BBC3. I was pretty much instantly captivated, by the performance and – more importantly – the music. I’ve been listening to his latest album “Tape Deck Heart” all morning.

It’s strange how sometimes new things can just resonate with you. There are many songs and specific lyrics on the album which perfectly describe how I’ve been feeling lately. The video above, for the song “The Way I Tend To Be” could perfectly sum up the last 4 months for me, culminating in something that happened this week.

UPDATE: Here’s the performance of this song from Reading -

Not a fan of the video, but the song itself is gorgeous

So Long Spotify

Chris McLeod —  May 19 2013 — Leave a comment

My Spotify subscription just got cancelled; I’m moving to Google Play Music full-time. The Instant Mixes are a resurfacing a load of forgotten gems in my existing collection, and once the “All Access” streaming service hits the UK I’ll have access to everything else they have in their store too. Win-win.

As a bonus, I get to use a mobile client which works well and doesn’t destroy my battery!

Deconstructing: Trent Reznor’s Legacy – Stereogum

I love this song (and the video!)

picture of the iTunes Match setup process

iTunes Match is now live internationally it seems. The yearly subscription price in the UK is £21.99.

No official word from Apple yet. You need iTunes 10.5.2 to subscribe.

Lastfm_tumblr

When Tumblr rolled out a new version of their site in July they broke the popular Last.fm Tumblr service by Joe Lazerus, for those of us who didn’t previously have it enabled. This made me sad. So using a new(ish) service called If This Then That, I fixed it!

What to do:

  1. Set your Last.fm tumblr feed up as previous, using Yahoo Pipes.
  2. Sign up to IFTTT. Activate the Tumblr and RSS channels.
  3. Copy this recipe, and enter the URL to your Yahoo Pipe RSS feed.
  4. Sit back and wait for Sunday.