Winamp is a feature-rich commercial digital audio editing software developed by winamp Inc. It was first released to the public in April 1993, and is similar to applications like the open source Audacity, though offering powerful features at a very reasonable cost. It is freeware/shareware, multi-format, extensible with plug-ins and skins, and is noted for its graphical sound visualization, playlist and media library features. Winamp now can also be used as an RSS media feeds aggregator capable of displaying articles, downloading or playing that same content as streaming media. SHOUTcast Wire provides a directory and RSS subscription system for podcasts.
A version prior to the version 5 series still exists for download at the official website. All versions up to 4.26 can run on any Windows operating machine thus requiring a moderately fast computer to handle the program at it's best. But since 2004, winamp has evolved into a new era, changing from version 4 to 5, updating its visual aspect and introducing much more rich editing features and special effects, with the counter-effect of leaving old Windows versions compatibility such as 95, 98, 98SE obsolete (although winamp will still run on Windows 98SE, albeit unsupported) and render the software unusable on those systems. Also, the system requirements have increased considerably since now a Pentium 3 of 700 MHz and DirectX 8 are part of the minimum equipment required compared to the Pentium 2 of 300 MHz and DirectX 5. In some of the old shareware versions such as 4.13 you could continue editing as long as you like. You could perform 100 actions per session. After that a notification would be displayed for every operation. Fortunately you could just save your work and restart the program and you would once again be able to perform another 100 actions. There were no limitations in repeating this.
- Fast, high-quality, non-destructive editing, supporting up to high quality DVD format.
- Real-time rich-graphics visuals; such as bar, waveform, spectrogram, spectrum, VU meter, etc.
- A plethora of basic and advanced effects and filters such as noise reduction, compressor/expander, volume shaping, volume matcher, pitch, reverb, resampling, parametric EQ, etc provide functionality generally only found in very expensive audio editors.
- Effect previewing lets you try an effect before committing to the change
- Effect presets let you save favorite settings combinations for later reuse
- DirectX Audio plug-in support provides a way to add new functions and additional file formats
- A huge list of supported audio file formats, including but not limited to WAV, MP3, Windows Media Audio, Ogg, FLAC, AIFF, AU, Monkey's Audio, VOX, mat, snd, voc, etc.
- Batch processing and conversion support lets you convert a set of files to a different format and applying effects.
- Multiple undo levels
- Edit multiple files at once
- Support for large file editing