Winamp version 5.9.1 is here, rejoice! The venerable — no, aged — but reliable media player has received occasional updates over the past few decades, but few truly new features have appeared (and that’s just fine with us users). But this new version brings an unexpected and thankfully optional feature: NFT playback.
No, it doesn’t just read the current valuation of your various square avatars; NFT-type technology has also been applied to music, offering the possibility of limited editions of digital tracks, like you might have a limited run of vinyl records. At least that’s the idea – I don’t think it’s really caught on yet, and with the cryptocurrency world currently in shambles, it’s hard to blame anyone for refusing to participate in a potentially risky ecosystem.
“Winamp was a key part of the first digital music innovation when mp3s changed the way we listen to and enjoy music. Now we’re supporting the leading edge of what’s next as more and more artists explore web3 and its potential,” Winamp CEO Alexandre Saboundjian said in a press release.
As you may recall, Winamp acquired Radionomy in 2014, and in 2018 a new effort to revive the brand was announced. Saboundjian told me at the time that the idea is to act as a connecting layer for all music services, so you can simply open Winamp and select a song or playlist, whether you’re using Apple Music or Spotify or Tidal or all three. . But it opens in a different interface.
This unified experience didn’t exactly materialize. In fact, the revamped app still counts equalizer among its “soon” features. So it’s a little strange to hear that the working NFT layer arrived first:
The latest version of Winamp allows music lovers to connect their Metamask wallet to Winamp through Brave, Chrome or Firefox. It then connects their favorite music NFTs to their proven player. Winamp supports audio and video files distributed according to the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards, and introduces this new feature for the Ethereum and Polygon/Matic protocols.
To be clear, the legendary new merged player still seems to be a distant possibility. It’s the original old-school player given a new feature along with a bunch of bug fixes and optimizations. Changes are listed, as they almost always are, in a Winamp forum post, followed by fervent thanks to the community and vague bug reports.
I am grateful that this software is still actively maintained. I won’t be using the NFT feature, but it’s just one of the many things added in 5.9.1, and as soon as the rest of the Winamp users (there are dozens of us!) start testing it for me, I’ll download it. After all, he really still whips the llama’s ass.