When it comes to playing MP3s in Windows, Winamp can’t be beat. Winamp was really the model for efficient, low-profile mp3 playback.

A few months ago, Winamp made the jump from like 2.81 to 3.0. 3.0 brought with it a whole bunch of new features, including video playback, insane new skinning options, and an auto-populating media library.

The problem is that while 3.0 *looked* the same as 2.x, the gracefully quick launches and small memory footprint were nowhere to be found. A pretty sizable chunk of people declared it bloatware right away and went back to 2.x. I installed 3.0 and have been using it ever since. It is a little slower, but not in ways that I’ve ever really noticed. Plus, I actually do use most of the new features.

Well it looks like Nullsoft was listening to the criticism, because today they’ve released Winamp 2.9 with most of the features included in 3.0. Notably absent is support for .wal skins, but maybe 2.91 will hook it up!

This makes a lot of people happy, and provides some decent competition to the hideously bloated and totally unncessary Windows Media Player.

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