At the end of November AOL announced that Winamp - the most famous music player would be shut down on the 20th of December after more than 15 years and millions of users. The fans have time to download the latest version of the software by this date after which the official site will also go offline.
Of course dedicated fans of Winamp could use the software without updates for ages. But there will certainly be many people searching for a good yet simple alternative.
After this news hit the online community, there appeared dozens of articles offering a number of software to substitute Winamp. Most of them are either heavy and full of useless functions or losing in design.
Let's compare two simple alternatives: a web-service (Spotify) and freeware (Freemake Music Box) and decide what is better.
Although Spotify are proud of its huge music library, you'll hardly find a lot of metal and rock bands there not speaking about rare tracks and genres. Moreover, a lot of bands allow to playback only a small part of their discography, so you'll probably not find a new album of your favorite band on Spotify.
Speaking about Freemake Music Box, it's way not that limited as Spotify. The software takes music from free legal sources as, for example, YouTube. Since the latter is known for a great collection of music videos, one can easily found almost all favorite tracks. What you need to do is simply type the name of a song and the software will provide you with best quality results. Moreover, the software can also playback local files from your PC in most popular formats.
Although Spotify app for iOS is free, it has limited functions. To have full access to Spotify features, one should subscribe to Premium account for $9.99. For this amount you'll be able to stream music online, synch your playlist between devices, save tracks for offline playback, share them via Facebook and Last.fm
Freemake is about to launch their 1st mobile application. Now the Freemake Music Box for iOS is available in testing mode. The app is said to be fully-functional without any restrictions or subscriptions. However, there are really few functions. The app will let user to stream online music, listen to radio and customize radio stations.
When you use a free Spotify account, you'll have to enjoy Spotify ads during playback. Besides, after 6 months of free service, you'll be limited to 10 hrs of music per month or again get a paid subscription for $4.99.
Freemake Music Box is completely free all the way through and doesn't tire your eyes and ears with ads.
Apart from online music library, Spotify also provides a collection of radio stations while its strong integration with Facebook helps find new music based of friends recommendations.
The most interesting additional feature of Freemake Music Box is the import of the playlists from other music players. With the latest news about Winamp shut down, this feature looks like a rescue. If you have a number of playlist in Winamp, you can easily move them to Freemake Music Box. The operation is pretty simple and won't take much time or effort.
Both Spotify and Freemake Music Box seem to be good alternatives to Winamp with their pros and cons. In case you have regular music taste and spare money, you can stick to Spotify. But if you prefer all-in-one music tool and wish to import Winamp playlists, Freemake Music Box is right for you.