What is the best old version of Winamp?
July 15, 2009 1:10 PM   Subscribe

What is the best old version of Winamp? I like the Music Library feature, but it seems like the new versions run slower. If you know of any other resource-light mp3 players, please post them as well.

The software will be used on an 1.33Gz Intel Atom Silverthorne.
posted by SouthCNorthNY to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
2.95 was the last 2.x version. It's fine but has an update thing letting you know there's a new version when you start. Once you load it, though, it's fine.
posted by delmoi at 1:14 PM on July 15, 2009

Foobar2k is pretty resource light, smaller than WinAmp
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:18 PM on July 15, 2009

2.5e used to be my favorite, but I don't know if it has the music library. At some point, though, I started running a minimal install of the newest version, and I've never looked back. If you're using it on a networked computer, security vulnerabilities might be a good reason to do the same.

Foobar's pretty light, but, as with any modular player, it depends a lot on your configuration.
posted by box at 1:19 PM on July 15, 2009

I used Foobar for awhile, which was very lightweight compared to other media players I've used. However, Foobar is not media library-based player - it relies on playlists to organize music. If you can deal with that, it should work out fine.
posted by extramundane at 1:24 PM on July 15, 2009

Media Player Classic works well as a basic MP3 player in a pinch. No ID3 support, though.

Current Winamp versions perform a bit better if you use Classic skins instead of Modern ones.
posted by neckro23 at 1:26 PM on July 15, 2009

They are making it increasingly hard to find with each new version, but Winamp still makes a stripped-down build of Winamp called Winamp Lite. (Link is a direct download of the EXE.)

It's essentially Winamp 2: no modern skin support, very lightweight, etc. It's also super-speedy. I don't know if it has the library or not but I think it does.

I used it for a very long time until I found a super-cool skin that required modern support and had to abandon the lite version. I am happy to see that they decided to keep providing lite versions of all their builds, though.
posted by relucent at 1:27 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

VLC also works as a basic mp3 player.

And SysTrayPlay might be the most barebones mp3 player I've ever used.
posted by box at 1:42 PM on July 15, 2009

Foobar has a music library and is fantastic.
posted by RGD at 2:01 PM on July 15, 2009

It may be too barebones for your use/taste, but on my Atom netbook I've found Billy to be wonderfully lightweight and it stays happily out of my way. The dealbreaker for many will be that it doesn't even support reading ID3 information, but this is a conscious omission by the developer for performance reasons, and in my use I haven't actually been bothered by it.

When I want to manage my "library," I fire up iTunes, but for quickly and painlessly listening to a folder or playlist of MP3s, Billy is perfect.
posted by Ryon at 2:02 PM on July 15, 2009

One of the latest installs of foobar2k requested the location of files upon first running it. Also seen in the screenshots: a media library setting. I think foobar2k can serve your wants.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:06 PM on July 15, 2009

Also, I want to suggest having a well-organized music folder rather than bothering with libraries. Any media player with a library probably will not be fast since it has to constantly index everything. I keep a neat directory structure for all my albums, and just open up Windows Explorer when I want to play music, and that has worked very, very well for me for about eleven years now.
posted by relucent at 2:20 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love 1by1. No need for playlists (though you can use them), just point it at a directory full of .mp3's and it will play them.

You can extend it with plugins too. I'm playing a song with it right now, and it's using less than 2meg of memory. It's also 85kb in size.
posted by Solomon at 2:28 PM on July 15, 2009

Also just want to add in, you can find versions as old as 0.20 on the Winamp page of OldVersion.com
posted by blackout at 3:44 PM on July 15, 2009

I keep 1.90 around because the installer is small (412K), it's stable, and it does everything I expect it to do.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:23 PM on July 15, 2009

I use 2.95. Didn't like 3 when it came out, and 5 reminded me too much of 3.
posted by reptile at 12:52 PM on July 16, 2009

There's a lot you can do to minimize Winamp's system load, by the way--the most important ones are using only Classic skins and disabling the media library (don't know if you want to do that, though). Additionally, you can disable the Winamp Agent, delete unneeded .dll's, remove visualization and DSP plugins, disable video support, etc., etc. (here's a guide).
posted by box at 5:24 PM on July 16, 2009

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