Like most companies, Winamp was created to solve a “pain problem.” That problem? Two decades ago, it was pretty difficult to organize and play compressed music, which had just started to enter mainstream usage.
The German scientists behind the MP3 format released their first encoder in July 1994, but for the next three years, it remained difficult to share and find the resulting music files. Frankel has always created software “because it was software that I wanted to be able to use,” as he told the Digital Tools blog in 2008. “Winamp grew out of wanting a good, enjoyable way to listen to MP3s on a computer. It wasn’t the first MP3 player, but the MP3 players around before it were hard for me to want to use.” (via Winamp’s woes: how the greatest MP3 player undid itself | Ars Technica)