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End of an era: Winamp is shutting down after more than 16 years

It’s the end of an era as media player Winamp is calling it quits after more than 16 years of faithful service. The program rose to prominence in the late ‘90s and early 2000s as the go-to solution for listening to MP3s and streaming radio stations but popularity has clearly waned in recent years due to the proliferation of mobile devices and streaming audio sources like Rhapsody, Pandora and Spotify.

Created by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev, the first version of the media player hit the web on April 21, 1997 and quickly grew in popularity. The software has seen a number of revisions over the years and was notable for supporting multiple formats, skins, visualization plug-ins and playlists.

During its peak in 2002, AOL purchased the application for $80 million in stock and has held on to the property ever since. The company eventually released a version of Winamp for Android and Mac although it never reached the level of success the Windows client enjoyed years ago.

It’s unclear exactly why Winamp is closing as no official reason was given but odds are, it’s simply no longer popular enough to sustain. As Ars Technica pointed out last year, the app has survived essentially on life support for years although those involved didn’t feel it was quite dead just yet.

You have until December 21 to snag the latest release before it’ll disappear forever although older (and arguably better) versions are still readily available for download on the web.

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Facebook to soon launch Paper, a Flipboard-like news-reading app

Facebook will reportedly soon be coming out with a Flipboard-like news reader app called 'Paper', to engage more people looking to catch up on news.

According to a report by re/code, Facebook is readying to launch a news reading service built for mobile devices in the coming weeks. The website cites an unnamed source for the information regarding the app. The app will apparently be known as 'Paper' and can be similar to Flipboard.

"Paper and Flipboard share a number of similarities", the source is said to have told the website.

As per the source, it's not clear that the app will be a standalone mobile application or a web experience suited for mobile devices. As for the launch date, the re/code source says that the launch time can change, but for now it is expected to come before the end of January.

"We do not comment on rumours and speculation" Facebook spokeswoman Jessie Baker said when contacted by the website.

The alleged Paper app, apart from news, will reportedly also feature status updates from Facebook users, acting as aggregator of rich media content. It is said to display a mix of news stories from different publications.

The report says that the entire project is known as Project Reader, and is headed by Chris Cox, Facebook's VP of product, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg also directly involved in the development. Apparently, the project was originally to develop a feature for the News Feed, but was abandoned.

Recently the search giant Google had also combined its Currents app and Play Magazines app into one, named it Google Play Newsstand. Now the Google Play Newsstand app is the single destination through which users can purchase newspaper and magazine subscriptions as well as read content from online publications, blogs and news feeds.

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