Hobbyist revives the beloved Winamp player into a polished physical marvel Hobbyist revives the beloved Winamp player into a polished physical marvel

Hobbyist revives the beloved Winamp player into a polished physical marvel

Hobbyist revives the beloved Winamp player into a polished physical marvel


The big picture: Teenagers and young adults of the late 1990s will remember Winamp as the de facto music player on their Windows PCs. If tinkering with electronics and fabrication is your jam, give Linamp a look. It brings Winamp to the physical plane, allowing you to touch this piece of history. It is a testament to one’s passion and creativity, taking something old and giving it a new lease on life.

Winamp was released for Windows in 1997, just as MP3s were becoming mainstream. Some of the features that stood out were Winamp’s unique interface with dynamic spectrum bars and the ability to change skins (a.k.a. themes). Let’s not forget the signature start-up sound, which you can listen to here. The longevity of Winamp’s popularity was cut short after its acquisition by AOL in 1999 and the explosion in popularity of Apple’s iPod and iTunes products in the early 2000s.

Hobbyist Rodmg recreated Winamp’s look and feel as Linamp, a physical media player with design roots tracing back to 1990s audio boxes. Powering the Linamp is a Raspberry Pi 4B with a 32GB SD card. It features a 7.9-inch touchscreen, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, two USB ports (Type-A and Type-C), and an ethernet port. Rodmg used PCBWay to machine the outer 1mm aluminum shell and 3D-printed the face plate, paying homage to Winamp’s default skin.

Also see: What Ever Happened to Winamp?

Linamp can play music from a local SD card or a connected CD player for retro-loving music-goers. The supported digital codecs include MP3, MP4, and FLAC. Rodmg has expressed interest in bringing modern quality-of-life capabilities such as Bluetooth and Spotify streaming support in the future.

If this project is beyond your skill level, there are alternatives.

AudioWanderer recently showed off Raspinamp, a less glamorous but functional project for a Raspberry Pi-powered physical Winamp-themed MP3 player. If you want to play with the source code, you must wait until September 2024, when it will be open-source. I am looking forward to running Winamp on my FreeBSD media system.



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