Bluegrass Listeners Could Be Loosing Some Options with Upcoming SHOUTcast Closure

PRESCRIPTION BLUEGRASS IMAGE   -  SHOUTcast LOGOOn Wednesday this week, AOL, the parent company  of  one of the more popular audio players for internet music listening for more than 15 years, announced it is shutting down Winamp.

The media playing software for Windows and Android devices was acquired by AOL in 1999 with the $80 million dollar takeover of Nullsoft the original developer of the software.

Another announcement from AOL, this time about the closure of SHOUTcast - a media streaming service also developed by Nullsoft, is expected next week.

Prescription Bluegrass has learned that Microsoft is reported to be currently in negotiations with AOL to purchase Winamp, possibly along with SHOUTcast.  Microsoft is refusing to comment at this time. Our own research shows that more than 20 different Internet bluegrass radio stations and streams from Over-The-Air broadcast stations use SHOUTcast including several of the most popular, like The Bluegrass Mix and World Wide Bluegrass.

One of the newest stations broadcasting bluegrass on the internet, The Bluegrass Jamboree uses SHOUTcast but it is not their only method of delivering the music to the listener.   According to the company's owner, Annette Grady, " As of right now, I don't think it will (affect the listeners). In the future I don't see an issue either. I'm looking at alternate means so there will be an easy transition with no down time on the stream and the schedule will remain the same. Most of the DJ's are using SAM. There's no impact there."

Winamp made the announcement of it's closure as it released its latest — and last — update to its Windows software. This and other versions will still work after Dec. 20, AOL said, but "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available" and "Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download."

Roger Randolph, owner and co-founder at The Bluegrass Mix where 15 different disc jockeys and 6 syndicated programs keep the bluegrass music flowing 24/7 said, "even if the company shuts down all support it would not affect our operations. The Shoutcast "Servers" are software modules installed on server machines independently owned and as long as the basic windows architecture does not change this latest available version of Winamp will serve our needs for quite a while."

Grace Muldoon at World-Wide Bluegrass said, "Have no fear, the WWB will still be here"

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