Metavalent Stigmergy

How New Default Consensus Realities Instantiate

Winamp 5.23 Jumps The Shark

I guess it was only a matter of time before AOL ruined Winamp; still, it’s a disappointment to see this fine, nostalgic player finally jump the shark. I can’t even bear to link to the site, it’s so bad. While Winamp has gradually become more and more bloated over time, it was forced to keep pace with other players and in doing so did a reasonable job of not exceeding the competitor’s Feature-To-Crap Ratio.

Enter Winamp 5.23 with an FTCR well below 20%. Bloated with more than 80% crap, Winamp 5.23 features no less than seven screaming NEW! NEW! NEW! bloated crap items. Moreover, in the side-by-side feature comparision, the Lite version is reduced to 3 out of 25 possible “features” while the other free version all exceed 20. For historic users of Winamp, this is clearly the quantum leap in uber-bloat and NEW! NEW! NEW! AOL noise that we’ve dreaded ever since the acquistion. So, if you’re a long time fan of Winamp, like I am, I’d suggest staying with 5.2 until we can find a reasonable replacement.

Back in the day, Sonique was another long time favorite, until it too got swallowed up in Lycos-bloat. Same with Real Player; great for awhile, then off into bloat-land with built in browsers, incessant come ons for downloadable NEW! NEW! NEW! like automatic mortgage calculators and a trillion other features we don’t need in a media player. With the latest disaster at Winamp, it may be time to do a new comparison of Lycos-bloat vs. AOL-bloat and once again, go with the lesser of the evils. The biggest implication of all this is that these players could potentially become so bloated with bolt-on-branding of every conceivable tie-in that MS Media Player could actually become the Least Evil!

Written on June 8, 2006