Thirty Six Reason to Buy WinAmp
By now, most people are not even aware that Shoutcast, and WinAmp even exist, which is probably why AOL has decided to shut the venture down. In my opinion, AOL has proven they are best at not making a go of anything they touch. So, the demise of Shoutcast/WinAmp does not surprise me. I’ll bet Justin Frankel, who sold the company Nullsoft (Original Name) to AOL, laughs up his sleeve multiple times a day. If he waits a few months he can probably acquire the patents of the products he created/helped create for penny’s on the dollar from the reportedly $59 million he received for Nullsoft from AOL.
The loss of Shoutcast is no laughing matter which is reason number one, why someone should buy it. Then one must wonder if (the behind the scenes/reported to be interested) Microsoft has a much better track record with it’s more recent acquisitions? Reason number two, why someone should buy the property rather than letting MS jettison it into the dump permanently in a year or two. Just for fun, I suggest that someone hurry to 770 Broadway in NYC before HP gets an itch it can’t scratch and volunteers tens of millions for Shoutcast/Winamp= Reason number three.
Shoutcast services stream music and information throughout the world from individuals who lack the finances to own a real broadcast facility. The loss of the outlet for those individuals’s creativity becomes reason number four. Hot on the heels of numero quatro comes the listeners who rely on WinAmp to provide them streams of music/information without a bandwidth eating monster loaded on to their devices (desktop/laptop, tablet, smartphone). That makes it to number five. If you’ve ever sat through loads of garbage many of today’s music providers you’ll put mark number six on the wall for me. Yes, AOL takes it in the shorts by providing WinAmp virtual nuisance free and that dear friend is my seventh favorite reason someone else with a large wallet should step in and keep the almost free services coming.
Why not Ben & Jerry’s as a suitor for Shoutcast/Winamp? International conglomerate Unilever could send out Ice Cream Coupons every time someone downloads one of their services. Reason number eight it should go to a good home with a generous heart. How much fun would it be to listen to your favorite radio station from Serbia knowing that in a few weeks you’d also be able to eat ice cream while listening. Nullsoft could be so much more, and with a name like Nullsoft, they’d have the build in image for being the Santa Claus of streaming music/information. Who knows they might even surpass the U.S. Government’s listener-ship for Radio Free Europe. Bet they already have.
Actually, I only put up a random number to entice you to find out why Shoutcast/WinAmp are so important. With a few cases of Ben & Jerry’s and the rest of my espresso beans ground, I could keep going. But, I won’t.
Microsoft could do wonderful things with Nullsoft’s products. But, they won’t.
Remember, the creator of Nullsoft believed in freebies. His creations were designed to allow people to broadcast and listen for free. Along with Gnutella a peer to peer sharing program, Frankel created some very neat stuff. AOL shut down Gnutella. Probably because they were not interested in the billions in fines a company that size would suffer for allowing people to share stuff over the internet. That might be the best financial decision ever made at AOL.
Until the final axe falls, those of us with a vested interest in WinAmp will be sitting on the edges of our lounge chairs waiting for the loss of something really rare– a great product with no strings.