A blast from the past

Get a lightweight version of the classic media player Winamp.

Winamp has been around for ages--it's one of the first media players we remember using--and it's still alive and kicking. Winamp Lite is a scaled-down version of the program, offering the basic character of Winamp with fewer features and in a smaller package. Although we personally find Winamp to be dated and awkward to use, hard-core fans will likely approve of this lightweight version of the software.

Opening Winamp Lite was a blast from the past, as its interface has remained largely unchanged over the years. It's still full of tiny text and buttons with hard-to-read labels. The program is organized into a main window, playlist editor, equalizer, and video player; aside from the main window, these can be opened and closed independently of one another. It's easy enough to import and play songs with Winamp Lite, although some of its other features are likely to flummox the first-time user, given the abbreviated descriptions on many of the program's buttons. The online Help file isn't particularly helpful, either. Winamp Lite does get points for its excellent sound quality and support of a variety of file formats, which are attractive features for serious users. Overall, we know that Winamp has its loyalists, and we don't begrudge them their media player. But anyone who isn't already a fan of Winamp would do better to seek out a more straightforward option than Winamp Lite.

Winamp Lite installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal.

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