Oct 21 AT 1:50 PM Clark Wimberly 68 Comments

Winamp beta for Android released, is awesome

Hey, remember Winamp? The best media player you haven’t used in over a decade? Well, they’re back with a new Android offering that’s gonna have you falling in love all over again.

Winamp for Android offers two main things that set it apart from other players I’ve tried: a rock-solid interface and wireless sync. I know that there are other players that are mighty pretty and other options for syncing, but the way Winamp handles things, on my device and on my desktop, really can’t be beat. Here’s why:

Persistent play controls

As you jump from screen to screen, the play controls stay locked to the bottom of the screen (as opposed to just the track info in the stock Android player). Along with the controls, you get a now playing bar, which at any time you can slide up (notification bar style) for access to the full now playing screen.

Also locked to the bottom of the screen is a button to jump to the play queue (where you can easily drag and drop songs to reorder) and a Winamp logo to jump you to the app’s home screen. Combining all those options into a tiny persistent bar makes jumping around the app an absolute breeze.

Pixel-perfect interface

In all fairness, and as a designer myself, I know a lot of UI and functionality boils down to preference. But damn, I prefer this. The UI looks absolutely perfect on my Nexus. Every button, bar, and gradient looks crisp and inviting (really, you should check out the full-size linked to the left).

Mixed in with all the custom UI is a solid dose of stock Android, making everything feel natural. The track listings and settings screens are the familiar white text on black background I’m already used to. My only gripe is sometimes my album art looks pixelated when displayed so large, but that’s partly my fault for downloading low-res album covers.

Playlist control

Creating and managing playlists was never that big of a hurdle to begin with, but Winamp adds some welcome improvements.

In addition to the regular, user-created playlists, it automatically builds a handful of smart playlists for you based on your listening patterns. You can easily access your most recently added or played music or your most popular tracks.


In addition to all the standard equipment, Winamp is packing a slew of impressive extras. You get a home screen widget (with play controls, shuffle, repeat, albumb art- the works), along with lock screen controls (which I didn’t test because I don’t use a lock screen) and audio scobbling (via Last.fm).

Wireless sync

If the above, player-specific features aren’t enough to win you over (and really, they should be), we’ve saved the best for last. The latest Winamp desktop release can sync your music over wifi. And that’s the main win here:

The Winamp desktop player doesn’t suck. I don’t want to name names, but we all know there is a certain piece of desktop sync software that comes up often in the Android-as-an-MP3-player conversation. After today, you’d have to doubletwist my arm to make me allow it anywhere near my desktop. Syncing over wifi with Winamp was honestly a best-case scenario.

After enabling it in the options, my desktop Winamp immediately listed my Nexus One under the devices tab [image]. From there I was able to pair the device and start sending files over. It was as easy as finding the tracks in my library and selecting them for transfer [image]. While the transfer is active you get a screen showing the progress of the queue [image] and an overall progress percentage [image].

Within minutes of installing I had new music showing up on my device, no extra setup, no hassle. And like I said, the player itself is so solid that the wireless sync is just icing on the cake. I’d use the player without the sync feature, and I’d use Winamp desktop over Doubletwist any day- put those pieces together and you’ve got my new music app.

Sound off

Sometimes you guys razz us for being too positive in reviews. This time I think it’s warranted (actually, it’s always warranted- we get excited about good software) but I still want to know what you guys think- about the app and Winamp in general. Had you given up in the desktop player? Will this bring you back?

I’ve always had the desktop player installed but over the past year or so it lost out to iTunes (mainly due to the awesome iTunes remote app in the market) but I could see the Android app winning me back. That’s actually an interesting topic in itself: what other apps are good enough that they sway what you use your real computer?


Via: Winamp Blog

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website Llamajames

    i would just like to say i use winamp everyday. thank you.

    • http://Website Mike R

      I too have been using Winamp for the past decade and am using it as I type this post. I am very excited about Winamp for Android!

    • http://Website segv

      Indeed, never stopped using Winamp – tried other – Winamp still wins.

      Now on Android. Awesome!

      • http://Website Dave

        I also would like to say I use Winamp every single day and love it! I never stopped using it, its simply the best player for large collections. I must now get this on my Droid, thanks

    • Janderson

      Same here, I’ve been using Winamp for over 10 years. I can’t wait until my new G2 gets here so I can install this!

    • http://yobif.com Name (required)

      I too love winamp… sound,plugin,themes are awesome…

    • http://www.bestandroidapps.in/ Radhika Ray

      there are too many new applications being launched in android market off late. The customers are really spoilt for the choice but who’s complaining. More the merrier.

  • http://Website Icon

    Sounds awesome, but I am currently using Audiogalaxy. See I have 60+ gigs of music, and even with a 32 gig sd card, I wouldn’t be able to get all my music on my phone. Plus it allows me to use my SD card for other things. But it does sound pretty cool.

    • http://Website meanmcclean

      do you have a pc that stays on and connected to the internet from home that holds your 60+gigs of music? if so, look into subsonic.

      As far as this Winamp app. It looks great and I will test it out, but I need streaming video. Although not supported by Android at the moment, heres hoping to a better rendition than what VLC has to offer at this point. No video capability means useless to me.

  • Azeem

    I agree completely with this review. Winamp, my first music player, has become my default player again on my computer after this app release for my phone. Great job, Winamp, and great review, Clark.

  • http://Website Todd

    I have a real emotional attachment to Winamp, glad to see this.

    Hope future version(s) will stream music from home desktop to my phone OTA

  • http://Website jerbear

    I use winamp all the time. Still one of the better music and shoutcast managers on windows.

  • http://Website Jean

    Question I’m asking is why don’t you use a lock screen? lol

  • http://Website sam

    So basically you’re saying. It STILL whips the llamas ads

  • http://Website miltk

    one thing i don’t like about other players, even meridian, is their simple-minded playback functions. not one of them have the “smarts” to playback the way players like winamp or quintessential does. so here’s hoping

  • http://whosthisguy.com Brendan

    I love this app. I installed the instant I heard about it and have completely forgotten about doubleTwist. The Last.fm support is far more robust than doubleTwist.

    I hope future versions of the Winamp app include podcast support, and perhaps some EQ support.

  • http://Website Jonathan

    I tried Winamp out, and it’s awesome, but I can’t use it until it supports scrobbling through Simple Last.fm Scrobbler or adds the ability to multiscrobble.

    • http://Website Clamm

      It does dupport lastfm scrobbling, u just have to install lastfm app first then just activate it on settings in winamp.

      • http://Website Jonathan

        But it doesn’t support scrobbling to both Last.fm AND Libre.fm. And there’s no way I’m putting my scrobble data solely in Last.fm’s hands.

  • http://Website Michael

    I’ve been using Double Twist but it has really aggravated me that it doesn’t work in landscape mode. I’ve switched over to Winamp, those folks didn’t seem to have much of a problem making a horizontal screen.

  • http://Website Chris

    Is this only for 2.0 or higher because I cant find it in the market. Im using a mytouch 3g

    • http://whosthisguy.com Brendan

      Yes, 2.1 and above only.

      • http://Website Chris

        Ahhh. Thank you sir I’ll have to wait til this update comes out

        • http://Website @neidlinger

          I found it…. it works…. using a MyTouch3g with Android 2.1 ;)

    • http://Website Nithin Jino

      Just wait a few days. T-Mobile is pushing a fro-yo OTA

      Or root your phone. I’ve been rocking fro-yo for 1-2 months now

      • http://Website Chris

        I’ll wait..I rooted my phones twice and I have the phones that require goldcards,etc.. Ill just wait for 4 more days. But froyo is awesome

        • http://Website anon

          What phone are you using? The MT3G1.2 required a goldcard but now with universal 1-click root.. it worked like a charm

    • Azeem

      I’m using this on a mytouch3g 1st Gen with the 2.2 update, and it’s close to perfect. The pull down notification controls don’t show up (it shows as a persistent notification, but doesn’t show the controls), but perfect otherwise. ;-)

      • http://Website James!

        “Along with the controls, you get a now playing bar, which at any time you can slide up (notification bar style) for access to the full now playing screen.”

        Sounds like you pull up Winamp’s Now Playing bar for the controls. The controls aren’t in Android’s pull down Notification shade.

  • http://Website Jason

    Needs shoutcast support…

    • http://Website Mykon

      Have you tried Shoutcast from DroidLive or StreamFurious? (I agree the android winamp needs shoutcast)

  • http://Website watbetch

    The lockscreen album art chops off the sides and the picture is really really jagged. There is no EQ, not sure if they plan on getting one out. It needs more stuffs. The widget looks nice

    • http://Website anon

      If that’s your real picture, you are ugly madam.

  • pchristensen

    You didn’t call it out specifically, so I’ll ask. Does this have support for Winamp Remote?

  • http://Website Ltown

    The best part about the winamp desktop app is the milkdrop visualizations. I use itunes for everything else but when it comes to visualizations NOTHING beats milkdrop on winamp. I hope they add visualizations to the android app.

    • http://Website AToTheK

      Nothing beats WinAmps queued functionallity.

    • adam

      I think it is central to have milk drop available for android.

    • Dean

      1,000,000% agree!

      I have the Android Winamp app and happy with it, but disappointed that my new Samsung GS2′s screen can not been really shown off by MilkDrop vis…

      Please for all things good put MilkDrop on the android app

  • http://Website JeffDenver

    No 4×3 widget eh? pass.

  • http://Website LordYoda

    I still use winamp on my win 7 laptop as primary audio player. I’m too used to the global shortcuts and the simple interface of winamp. Although if one needs to complicate things, one can easily get som addons. Dont know why it died. Or has it. Can’t wait to get winamp on my android.

  • http://Website Balthazar B

    Does it support gapless playback (including MP3, AAC, and FLAC)? If not, meh…

  • http://Website Dave M

    Songs, artists, and albums… but to drilling down by genre. Seriously, what’s the deal with all these music players in the market skipping over what is, imho, the MOST useful and important sorting method for my music O.o

  • http://Website Jiminikiz

    I love winamp. I wish there was a Linamp.

    The fact that it’s on Andriod… leaves me completely speechless. Immediate install with defaultness.

    High expectations. Immediate considered awesome. ‘Nuff said, try it yourself!

    (EQ please!)

  • http://Website Cameron

    Hmm…I can’t wait to try it. With exception to the awesome power hour plug-in, I haven’t used Winamp in years. I tend to use Media Monkey Gold as I have a relatively large music library (250GB) and it auto-updates my library in near real-time.

    I’ve tried to use Double Twist but I hate it as it tends to lag. I’m excited to re-discover Winamp for desktop and even more stoked to use it on my Nexus One.

  • http://Website Jorel

    Its all but perfect, it needs an EQ, it sounds ok without one but not better than my Samsung player on my Vibrant……hopefully in an update it will have this, otherwise its far & away the but UI for a music player on an android device…but not the best sounding thou =(

  • http://Website Jorel

    Best** ….is there really no edit button for this?

  • http://Website jk

    no album art and playlists didn’t sync…wifi sync is nice feature but if i can’t get the album art and playlists what’s the point…moto droid (the original 1) – any idea what the issue may be?

  • http://Website AToTheK

    I tried the app for a day now and I found 1 thing that “buggs” me.
    The thing I really love with WinAmp (win version) is the “queue” feature which does not seem to be implemented in the android version.

    “queue” feature: I usually add all songs to the “play list” and then on windows I select a song and press “q” to play that song as next (this can be done with multiple songs) and then WinAmp first plays the “queued” songs then goes back to the play list. In the Android verison there are no queue function only enqueue which places the song last in the play list.

  • http://Website Dean

    When I use the desktop app and “Send to” my EVO, the songs transfers nicely, but not the cover art. I have to manually Get Album Art from the desktop app when viewing the songs from my Portables. Is this true for other users. Maybe I don’t have all settings correct.

  • http://blog.jameslabove.org James

    Best music player I’ve used on Android so far, despite being in beta.

  • http://twitter.com/tehk tehk

    Now that they have ported WinAmp over to Linux(Android) … can we expect to see a full Linux version soon??? I’d love to have WinAmp (LinAmp) on my Ubuntu machines (^_^)

  • http://Website JTHC

    Definitely the best player I’ve used thus far. Doesn’t have EQ settings, but apart from that’s it’s perfect. Great lockscreen player and easy playlist editing.

  • http://www.gollyjer.com Name (required)

    Never left Winamp. By FAR the best, most feature rich, audio player for the PC.
    Can’t wait to use it on my Android devices.

  • http://www.gamespog.net/ POG

    I’m using this on a mytouch3g 1st Gen with the 2.2 update, and it’s close to perfect. The pull down notification controls don’t show up (it shows as a persistent notification, but doesn’t show the controls), but perfect otherwise.

  • http://Website Tarcisio

    I use Winamp since 2000, never changed to any other.

  • http://Website Name (required)

    i would just like to say i use winamp everyday. thank you.

  • droiddrew

    Totally Awesome app, would be better if there will be equalizer settings for the full release!

  • http://Website Luciferi666

    The best media player you haven’t used in over a decade?

    You better check yourself before you wreck yourself!!!!

    i use Winamp everyday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • prantzos

    I am too a proud user of Winamp desktop for many many years and I was waiting for Winamp for Android. It came as a very positive surprise to me to have just discovered that a beta has been released!! I will use it every day since i listen to music a lot!

    That is my first post and i like it is about this fantastic piece of software!!

  • http://Website Melao

    Try PowerAMP, the file compatibility is better, and the controls with the headphone is better also.

  • http://Website karl olson


  • http://Website Al Morris

    Its about time. Got it working on mytouch 3g, wish I could get it on my Archos

  • http://Website Ataru6

    Hi Clark,i’m Max. I have 3 questions for you: 1) when you sincronyze winamp for the music you can do it with Mac as well? 2) how much MB is the app? 3) in your photos i saw a % on the battery showing the charge % of it. What app is it?

  • http://[email protected] Carrie wootten


  • http://Website albeno


  • http://Website gjm


  • http://Website addie


  • Carmelo Piccione

    For milkdrop visualizations, there is a standalone app for this: