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Save Winamp

Open letter asks AOL to hand off Winamp to new stewards

Save WinampIt’s two weeks into the campaign to rescue the beloved but doomed media player Winamp, and the Save Winamp petition has over 41,000 signatures. Unfortunately, there’s been not a peep out of corporate parent AOL, nor any other news about a rumored purchase of Winamp and Shoutcast by Microsoft.

The team behind Save Winamp are looking to kick the campaign up a notch by sending an open letter making their case to AOL. Changing their tact a bit, they acknowledge that “due to AOL’s change of direction and corporate goals, Winamp is not exactly a great fit with the rest of the company’s portfolio.” Therefore they reiterate their request for AOL to either sell Winamp and Shoutcast “to a company that’s willing to grow it,” or to “release it to the open source community.”

Expanding their initial list of reasons why Winamp should live, the team adds a point that I’ve been making: that the app and the Shoutcast platform “are being used by radio stations every day to stream shows to their listeners.” I’ll also point out that I’ve seen plenty of college and LPFM stations using Winamp as a very inexpensive automation tool for unattended operation. What it lacks in sophistication it makes up for in stability; Winamp is far less likely to freeze and crash than several professional automation programs I’ve used.

The Save Winamp team says they’ve sent the letter to AOL press contacts and executives. They’re hoping to hear back from AOL before the Winamp’s execution date of December 20.

This is the full open letter to AOL:


We believe that Winamp and its ecosystem are worth saving so we created a petition, a website and several social media channels to spread our message. We would like to wrap-up our campaign by officially asking AOL to save Winamp.

How Winamp can be saved?

We totally understand that, due to AOL’s change of direction and corporate goals, Winamp is not exactly a great fit with the rest of the company’s portfolio. However, we do believe that this product, its services and ecosystem should not be shut down. In our view, saving Winamp means one of the following courses of action:

  • Selling Winamp, Shoutcast and related services to a company that’s willing to grow it. In this regard, the rumors about a possible Microsoft acquisition have given us some hope that Winamp will be saved by AOL. Whatever you do, please do not sell it to a company that’s going to shut it down and use only parts of its code or features.
  • Open-sourcing Winamp, Shoutcast and its related services. If the rumors about AOL trying to sell Winamp to another company are not true, then we would like to ask that, instead of shutting down this product, you release it to the open source community. In the hands of its fans and users, this product has a real chance of growing and moving forward.

Why Winamp should be saved?

I think we all know that:
* Winamp is a relevant product today, in 2013. It is actively being used around the world by millions of users every day.
* Winamp has a dedicated group of users, more than of any other similar product.
* Winamp & Shoutcast are being used by radio stations every day to stream shows to their listeners.
* Winamp is a marketable product and can be a profitable product too.
* Winamp is an iconic product in its niche, just like Firefox is in the world of web-browsers.

All these are great reasons to keep Winamp alive.

How many people are part of the Save Winamp movement?

If there’s one thing we learned through our Save Winamp petition, it is that the Winamp community is large and very passionate. We have gathered more than 40.000 signatures in support of our message. This, in less than two weeks. The signatures are attached. We also have 40,000 comments from genuine Winamp users. You can access the comments here.

We encourage you to read what people have said. It will give you a great perspective about what Winamp users feel about this product. We also received 37 requests from developers, product managers and all kinds of IT professionals that would like to get involved in an “open-source Winamp” development team. If AOL is willing to open source Winamp, we can facilitate kicking off the required transition, with the help of these volunteers.

Thank you for taking our message into consideration. We look forward to a reply from you soon,

40.000+ active Winamp users from all over the world

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  1. Saving Winamp and Shoutcast may be prohibitively complex | Radio Survivor - December 19, 2013

    […] than 45,000 people have signed a petition supporting a campaign asking AOL to save Winamp, by either releasing the source code as open source or selling the platform to “a company […]

  2. Report says Winamp sale is imminent, shutdown will be averted – Radio Survivor | Money ChitChat - December 20, 2013

    […] Open letter asks AOL to hand off Winamp to new stewards […]

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