Its been a tough year for the AOL owned Nullsoft, with the release of Winamp 3 (here) a year ago then the abandoning of it has set back the media player quite some way. Nullsoft then took on the task of putting together the best parts of Winamp (here) 2 and 3 into what has become Winamp 5. The player features an updated look along with being able to support a large range of skins. An updated media library allows you much more freedom in browsing and ordering music.
The launch of Winamp 5 also brings a Pro Player which costs $14:95 (?11) which gives you faster ripping speeds, MP3 music encoding and CD burning up to 48x. While this may not be enough to tempt you there are rumours that more will be available on the Pro Player in the future.
Winamp 5 includes better support for video and makes good use of Nullsoft's Streaming Video (NSV), this works well for Internet TV which is found in the media library. Currently there are only a few channels available (mostly either music or porn) however I'm certain there will be more in the coming months.
"Winamp continues to be a popular player for digital media enthusiasts who want a lot of flexibility and control over their media experience," AOL said in a statement. Over the past years Winamp has become less popular against its rivals such as Microsofts Windows Media Player and Real One Player.
In May 2003, Winamp reached 5.5 million users, lagging far behind Microsoft Windows Media's 43.1 million, RealNetworks' 26 million and Apple QuickTime's 13.5 million, according to online measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings.
Winamp 5 may be a step forwards to undo some of the damage caused in the last year but it is unlikely if Winamp will ever become as popular as it once was. However I still find it to be the fastest, nicest and easiest media player to use and there is no doubt that I will continue to use Winamp.
Winamp download: here