The last members of the original Winamp team have said goodbye to AOL and the door has all but shut on the Nullsoft era, BetaNews has learned.
Only a few employees remain to prop up the once-ubiquitous digital audio player with minor updates, but no further improvements to Winamp are expected.
Winamps abandonment comes as no surprise to those close to the company who say the software has been on life support since the resignation of Nullsoft founder and Winamp creator Justin Frankel last January.
The marriage of Nullsoft and AOL was always one of discontent. After AOL acquired the small company in 1999 for around $100 million, the young team of Winamp developers was assimilated into a strict corporate culture that begged for rebellion. Although Nullsoft was initially given a long leash by AOL, it wasnt long until the two ideologies collided.
Frankel and his team were accustomed to simply brainstorming ideas over coffee and bringing them to the masses without approval. So when Frankel and fellow Nullsoft developer Tom Pepper devised a decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing system, dubbed Gnutella, parent AOL was left in the dark.