There was lots of great stuff at the Internet Archive's Annual Bash
. But for those of us who can remember the days before PCs played music, the highlight was right at the end of the presentations when the awesome Jason Scott introduced
the port of 1997's WinAmp
to the Web. Two years earlier
WinPlay3 was the first real-time MP3 audio player for PCs running Windows, both 16-bit (Windows 3.1) and 32-bit (Windows 95). Prior to this, audio compressed with MP3 had to be decompressed prior to listening.
WinPlay3 was the first, but it was bare-bones.It was WinAmp that really got people to realize that the PC was a media device. But the best part was that WinAmp was mod-able. It unleashed a wave of creativity (Debbie does WinAmp, anyone?), now preserved in the Archive's collection of over 5,000 WinAmp skins
Jason has the details in his blog post Don't Click on the Llama
Thanks to Jordan Eldredge and the Webamp programming community for this new and strange periscope into the 1990s internet past.
When I first clicked on the llama on The Swiss Family Robinson
on my Ubuntu desktop the sound ceased. It turns out that the codec selection mechanism is different between the regular player and WinAmp, and it needed a codec I didn't have installed. The fix was:
sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
I should also note that the Archive's amazing collection of emulations now includes the Commodore 64
(Jason's introduction is here
), and 1,100 additional arcade machines
Mayank Parmar at Bleeping Computer reports that Winamp 5.8 Media Player Released in All Its Nostalgic Glory:
"Back in the days before we got our music from the cloud using Spotify and Pandora, we would use MP3 players to play our music. When it came to players, there was (is?) no player more popular than Winamp.
Whether you like the vintage skins, the visualizers, or just a media player with a ton of options, Winamp had it all. Guess what? The world's most famous media player - Winamp - is back with changes that make it compatible with today's modern operating systems such as Windows 8.1 and Windows 10."
Kyle Orland's Researchers can now legally restore “abandoned” online game servers reports on the latest set of DMCA exemptions approved by the Librarian of Congress:
"Research institutions can now launch their own versions of video game servers used for "administrative tasks beyond authentication, including command and control functions such as tracking player progress, facilitating communications between players, or storing high scores," as the National Telecommunication and Information Administration put it."
Couple Who Ran ROM Site to Pay Nintendo $12 Million by Wajeeh Maaz reports that:
"Nintendo has won a lawsuit seeking to take two large retro-game ROM sites offline, on charges of copyright infringement. The judgement, made public today, ruled in Nintendo’s favour and states that the owners of the sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co, will have to pay a total settlement of $12 million to Nintendo. The complaint was originally filed by the company in an Arizona federal court in July, and has since lead to a swift purge of self-censorship by popular retro and emulator ROM sites, who have feared they may be sued by Nintendo as well."
"the purpose of the enormous settlement amount is to act as a warning or deterrent to other ROM and emulator sites surviving on the internet. And it’s working.
Motherboard previously reported on the way in which Nintendo’s legal crusade against retro ROM and emulator sites is swiftly eroding a large chunk of retro gaming. The impact of this campaign on video games as a whole is potentially catastrophic. Not all games have been preserved adequately by game publishers and developers. Some are locked down to specific regions and haven’t ever been widely accessible."
Jason Scott reports 2,500 More MS-DOS Games Playable at the Archive:
"The update of these MS-DOS games comes from a project called eXoDOS, which has expanded over the years in the realm of collecting DOS games for easy playability on modern systems to tracking down and capturing, as best as can be done, the full context of DOS games – from the earliest simple games in the first couple years of the IBM PC to recently created independent productions that still work in the MS-DOS environment."
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