Winamp 5.581 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Winamp

CNET Editors' review

WinAmp 5.3 took some long-needed steps to improve the old-school media player, with support for AAC encoding, CD burning, and a robust file-management system. WinAmp 5.56 ups the ante with strong support for portable devices, including iPods, the ability to sync non-DRMed files to your PC from your device, an optional new interface layout and a built-in browser for media discovery.

We liked that clicking on an artist's name will get you related headlines and Web sites in a separate pane. There's also Podcast support, device synchronization that lets you tweak the sync list while in progress, and continued support for AOL's excellent Shoutcast. The new Bento layout is worth mentioning, too, because it gets the venerable llama away from the old modular format. The joined panes for the browser, media player, artist list, album list and more make WinAmp instantly more visually appealing. There's also an Auto-Tag feature, which will download metatags from the Gracenote database, and Winamp's proprietary music scrobler called Orgler, with links back to AOL Music.

If you want MP3 encoding and full-speed CD burning, you have to shell out $19.95 for the Pro version. However, there are other problems. Automatic album art download support is spotty at best. More importantly, there are some stability issues when playing videos, and occasional program crashes were far more common than they should be.

WinAmp 5.56 is no iTunes killer--not yet. It has become, however, a strong alternative and should be of interest to those looking for something with more meat on its bones. Llama meat, that is.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.9 stars

    out of 1,506 votes

    • 5 star: 624
    • 4 star: 519
    • 3 star: 137
    • 2 star: 56
    • 1 star: 170
  • Current version:

    3.8 stars

    out of 36 votes

    • 5 star: 14
    • 4 star: 12
    • 3 star: 3
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 5
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 36

  • 3.0 stars

    "It was satisfactory"

    November 20, 2010  |   By frollo17

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    Can play loads of different music files, nice internet radio although available through shoutcast

    Cons

    Absolutely useless at playing videos, slow, lags, and crashes

    Summary

    It's a nice looking program and I did enjoy the online radio stations feature, but it takes way longer than WMP to launch and crashes numerous times. When I uninstalled the program it left all my music files dead ".winamp" files. For me the program just felt to clunky, WMP still works better

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Can't play a song without my computer locking up"

    November 16, 2010  |   By x.killeddestiny.x

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    absolutely none

    Cons

    It's performance was SO bad that I couldn't even get to know the program

    Summary

    If a Dell Studio XPS that's 2 weeks old doesn't have enough power to run this program I'd hate to see what does. I'd rather die then wait 5 minuits for a new song to start so I can use my computer again.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Excellent audio player"

    November 2, 2010  |   By ptikoy

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    Can play virtually all audio files

    Cons

    Not too great as a video player

    Summary

    Fantastic stuff as an audio player

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Still works for me"

    November 2, 2010  |   By wheelzup

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    Small easy to use and set up play-lists. Internet radio is nice too.

    Cons

    Some static once in awhile but not enough to make me stop using it.

    Summary

    The thing is free, works as well as Windows Media Player if not better.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Crashed my computer"

    November 1, 2010  |   By ddebanks

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    It was nice while it lasted for about a week

    Cons

    this program all of a sudden crashed along with half of my music

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Simple small fast and unique !!"

    October 31, 2010  |   By xneox

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    Whole library of addons and amazing Skins ! Really quick because of its small size even if you have a huge library. And customizable global shortcut keys. I can control, search and do whatever with winamp without ever going to the application.

    Cons

    Maybe certain buttons can be small for a few users. But that's where skinning comes in. I normally don't use it for videos even though it supports quite a few formats. Had noticed bugs in the video player a whille back. Havent tested after that.

    Summary

    Fantastic piece of software. Supports a lot of formats. Works great with my Windows 7. Way too many cool features. And you can connect to any media player of choice and also phones. Wireless transfers to my Android through winamp.

    Updated on Oct 31, 2010

    Forgot to mention Shoutcast ! I have a list of stations bookmarked which I listen to most of the day. Great quality and has always worked. Don't know what the others have problem with. Could be firewall or something.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Long time Winamp Pro can't stand it any more!!!"

    October 28, 2010  |   By tununiq1

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    Used to love it, but could not install and function propel√ły on a newWin 7 computer!

    Cons

    Won't play any Shoutcast stations
    Followed instructions of DJEgg exactly to no success and now the Egg stopped replying to me! Since he gave, I'm done with this buggy software!!

    Summary

    Buggy software! No effective support!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Windows media center was acting up and this worked fine"

    October 26, 2010  |   By ubuibi894

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    It takes care of all my video and music needs period. I love the EQ, many different skins and the overall versatility of this software.

    Cons

    The EQ has a lag time when making adjustments. (may be sound card) It would be nice if I could have just a couple more bands on the EQ. All and all this is very trivial.

    Summary

    Two thumbs up. Thanks for the free software.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "winamp is the best media player i have used."

    October 20, 2010  |   By migeno

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    its so easy to use, even i can figure it out at 61 years old

    Cons

    could do with more free visulisations

    Summary

    i think my other comments sum everything up. this program has everything going for it. the visulisations are fantastic. thats what an old hippie thinks anyway. thanks for an ace piece of software

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A variety of programmes in one"

    October 18, 2010  |  

    Version: Winamp 5.581

    Pros

    The possibility to use apps inside Winamp is really great! When I use Winamp, I can (if I install extras) read the lyrics, get the chords, remove vocals etc, etc. And it plays all my media filetypes with ease.

    Cons

    It cannot change size (esp. width) of the player itself. Also miss that it doesn't automatically "learns" where to I move my music files after a playlist is created, not only that they are moved (or deleted).

    Summary

    Awesome player: Video OK, music GREAT!

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Results 1-10 of 36

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