Phew, talk about a close call! Winamp's days of whipping the llama's ass came this close (place your index finger and thumb really close to each other) to being over after AOL decided to pull the plug on the media player it acquired in 1999 for $80 million. AOL announced its intentions
in November, saying it would dismantle Winamp five days before Christmas, but has now found a buyer instead.
Rumors began to surface
days after the announcement that Microsoft was interested in acquiring both Winamp and Shoutcast, the latter of which is a free Internet radio service developed by Nullsoft, the same company that built Winamp. Those rumors persisted for a month
, but it wasn't Microsoft that ultimately gave Winamp a stay of execution.
According to TechCrunch
, it's Radionomy, an international aggregator of online radio stations based in Brussels, Belgium, that's acquiring the Winamp and Shoutcast properties. There hasn't been an official announcement yet, though a couple of eagle-eyed online detectives noticed that Winamp's name servers have already been transferred to Radionomy.
"We have since learned from a reliable source that the deal is for both properties and should be finalized by Friday, if not sooner," TechCrunch
It's unclear what the future holds for these two properties, but at least they aren't destined to become a mere footnote in the history of the Internet, at least not yet. It will also be interesting to see if both Winamp and Shoutcast remain free.