October 26, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
WinAmp has been one of the things that I’ve missed most since switching from Windows to Mac for my primary computer. But the Music Software Gods have finally answered my prayers as WinAmp for Mac is now available for download. And to make matters even better, the WinAmp for Android app just got a major update to be compatible with the desktop and add a few premium features.
The new WinAmp for Mac desktop application, like its PC counterpart, supports wireless sync. Users can mark an entire library or just a set of playlists to be placed on a device using Wi-Fi connections. Once the two devices are paired over the same network, it’s very easy to transfer music without needing to connect wires. (Note: the Mac OS WinAmp client should be available for download at WinAmp.com later this morning. It is for the moment pretty barebones in comparison to the PC version.)
WinAmp for Android also added the ability to customize the home screen of the app, browse according to folder rather than ID tags, and play music with a 10-band equalizer. The equalizer allows users to adjust settings that increase bass, treble, or others levels to get the audio sounds just right. You can also use that to listen to the Spinner MP3 of the Day, which is available in the latest version. Getting these Pro features requires a one-time $4.99 in-app purchase
Combined with better controls for headsets, crossfading, gapless playback, and album art gesturing, this is a big upgrade for WinAmp. There are apps that offer equalizers but not streaming, or wireless sync but not as easy. WinAmp manages to cram key features into one app, which should prove valuable. Will that be valuable enough to unseat the current solutions – doubleTwist, PowerAmp, etc. – people already employ? Maybe not if you upgraded to the premium version because you don’t really gain anything by paying another $5 for most of the same features. However recent Android converts and those who haven’t purchased a premium streaming app might want to try this out.
Devices with Android 2.1 or higher should be able to access WinAmp. I used a pre-release beta version, and like many Android apps today, there were issues of compatibility. Playback was problematic on a T-Mobile Galaxy S II (force close on back button), but perfectly fine on my T-Mobile G2X.
Note: The download links for WinAmp for Mac and an update to the Android Market app should appear this morning.