Services & Software

Nullsoft founder may stay put at AOL

Weeks after hinting at a desire to leave America Online, Winamp maven Justin Frankel seems to have made peace with the Internet giant--at least for the time being.

Nullsoft founder Justin Frankel may be sticking around America Online after all.

Just a few weeks after Frankel hinted at a desire to leave AOL, the Gnutella author and the online giant seem to have made peace--at least for the time being. In a posting Saturday on his Web log, Frankel said he will remain at the company to work on the latest version of Nullsoft's popular Winamp digital media player, due out late this year.

"Been back for a while now, got all the work stuff sorted out," he wrote in a note posted on his personal Web site. "I'm at least content now to get Winamp 5 out, we'll see how it all goes from there."

Earlier in June, Frankel threatened to quit AOL after the online giant pulled a link to his new software program, Waste, from the Nullsoft Web site. Waste allowed up to 50 people to form private, secure peer-to-peer networks to swap files and communicate in real time. AOL cited software copyright violation as its reason for pulling Waste.

Frankel was a founding member of Nullsoft, whose Winamp software became one of the most popular MP3 players available for free download. AOL acquired Nullsoft in 1999 and incorporated Winamp code into the media player for its flagship online service in 2001.

However, the latest version of Winamp, called Winamp3, has been pulled back after developers and users complained of its bulk. An earlier version of Winamp, version 2.x, is now being promoted in preparation for Winamp 5, which will incorporate elements of versions 2 and 3.

AOL was not immediately available for comment.