Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Click On The Llama

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.
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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
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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.

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