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Winamp/GNUtella Creator off to Greener Pastures

Posted on 28 January 2004 by Demian Turner

Another story from the ‘programming hero’ bag, Justin Frankel, the creator of Winamp, leaves the AOL umbrella perhaps to the relief of company execs.

In case you weren’t aware, Frankel is the programmer behind Winamp, almost certainly the most popular Windows MP3 player out there. His company, Nullsoft, was bought by AOL for $86 million last year.

Since then, Frankel has been busy. First he programmed Gnutella, an open source file sharing application that can be used as a replacement for Napster, among other things. This did not make AOL happy, especially because they were starting merger talks with Time Warner at the time.

Now comes part two. Frankel has programmed a Winamp plugin that blocks out the advertisements in AOL’s AIM instant messaging program. The ad areas are currently used to advertise AOL features; install Frankel’s plugin and they’re replaced by plain white boxes. Start playing a tune in Winamp and the boxes turn into a graphical display that changes with the music.

Also check out the code section of his site, some interesting source for browsing.

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