Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Winamp 5 (???)

One advantage of having a newsreader like FeedReader is that you can subscribe to a whole load of RSS feeds for sites that you find interesting but cumbersome to check every day. One of those is FileForum, and they bring news that Release Candidate 8 of Winamp 5 was released yesterday.

Wait a minute. Winamp 5? What happened to 4?

A lengthy trawl of the Winamp site finally unearthed this FAQ. Basically Winamp 5 is built on version 2, but with more of the features from version 3 – the logic being 3+2=5. It’s a good idea – Winamp 3 was good on paper but in reality it was far too slow and bulky. Which was why after it was released there were subsequent releases of Winamp 2.x.

Anyway, the new program looks pretty cool – it’s certainly fast enough and has all the features that it used to have, plus some more. It also comes with the nicer version of Nullsoft’s installer, which is a plus because the old one looks very dated and ugly.


  1. I have a comment on the “speed” of WinAmp5. It seems to suck up a ton of CPU. I have noticed that if I have the player fully open, it takes about 30%-40% of the CPU, when it’s in it’s single line mode, it takes much less, about 10% or so.
    iTunes on the other hand take about 5%.
    Now, I have to admit, the new WinAmp has a bunch of great features that iTunes really needs to incorporate. Like “Rescan media folders” and “Remove missing files from Media Library”. I find it interesting that WinAmp has added a few features in recent days to compete with iTunes like Smart Playlists, Ratings, Play Count and Last Time played.
    I just wonder what the “Pro” version is going to cost and if it’s going to be worth it. I also wonder if WinAmp is ever going to be able to play non-protected AAC files, like files ripped using iTunes and ripped to AAC. I have a few albums that I ripped to AAC or M4A. WinAmp currently doesn’t recognize that file extension, even though it recognizes AAC extensions.
    Should be interesting to see what happens with it when it is finally released.

  2. I’ve used iTunes and Winamp5, both are good but I seem to be using winamp 5 more and more though.

  3. My problem with iTunes is that it doesn’t recognise WMA files. I ripped a lot of CDs to WMA because I found it better at sound reproduction at low bitrates that mp3, and I got far too many CDs and too little disc space to encode everything at 320 or above.
    On the other hand, I like M4A & mp4 for sound quality, but neither Winamp or Windows Media Player can read their media info. I’ve ended up keeping two different sets of playlists – a complete waste of time.