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Winamp look lives on in Spotify's Spotiamp tribute app

A Windows app gives an old-school interface to the streaming-media service. Don't expect full-on MP3 playback support, though.

Spotify's Spotiamp gives a retro Winamp-style look to the music-streaming service.
Spotify's Spotiamp gives a retro Winamp-style look to the music-streaming service.

The Winamp media player is facing extinction -- or maybe not -- but the software's style lives on at least for now in a tribute app from Spotify called Spotiamp

Version 0.1 of the software brings what is now a retro look to Spotify's music-streaming service, at least for Windows users who have a premium Spotify account. According to the company:

Spotiamp is a Windows program that lets you login to your Spotify account and play your playlists. You can also search for tracks to play, and there's a radio feature. Spotiamp borrows the design of the UI from Winamp, an excellent MP3 player back in the days.

The software buffed up the Spotify brand for at least one user.

"You guys continue to surprise me with neat little things like this. As a netizen that remembers Winamp during the beta days this is the best throwback I've ever seen," said one commenter on the Spotiamp forum.

Another commenter would like Spotify to be even more faithful to the Winamp original by adding MP3 playback support. An administrator nipped that idea in the bud, though: "Probably not going to happen. Is not high on the todo list anyway."

The software also can be used to stream music using the Shoutcast technology to devices such as Sonos music systems. It'll play Winamp visualizations, too -- at least some of them.

It's a bit awkward in places -- for example, you have to click the "eject" button to show your playlists. And while it's nice, I'm not sure it's really a core part of the Spotify plan, so I wouldn't count on Spotiamp having a glorious, feature-filled future. On the other hand, we regularly use retro effects filters to style photos with the very problems that camera makers spent decades trying to overcome. So maybe that 1998 look for music players will have a longer shelf life after all.