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10 Questions With Chief Llama Geno Yoham AOL’s Executive Director of Music Products



AOL's Geno Yoham, Executive Director of Music Products photo: AOL

Winamp was officially announced to the Android market after about a month of the beta version. Winamp’s been around since the 90’s. Before Itunes it was the dominant media player. Winamp went hand in hand with Napster and it really kicked the llama’s ass then and with new features, portability and an Android app with Wifi Sync, it is still kicking the llama’s ass now.  We got to do the 10 questions drill with the very busy Geno Yoham AOL’s Executive Director of Music Products…

1. How long has winamp been around, can you give some background from the point
of creation, to AOL’s purchase and now?

Winamp was first launched in 1997, there is a pretty good general overview of the
history/evolution of the player on Wikipedia, although not 100% accurate. AOL
purchased Nullsoft the parent company of Winamp in 1999.

2. What do you feel sets Winamp apart from other mp3 player solutions available in
the Android Market.

Winamp for Android is an end-2-end solution for music management on your
Android device, it is an Android App AND an all new version of our desktop
software (version 5.6). Many Music Player apps in the Android Market are one-
sided solutions that only manage music on your phone. Winamp’s leading feature is
its ability to wirelessly sync over Wi-Fi from your desktop to your Android device.
Winamp has also received high marks for its intuitive interface and solid features on
the device. Last but not least, Winamp has one of the best integrations of SHOUTcast
on Android and we should, we create it J

3. With AOL owning Winamp what advantages does that give the end user

AOL enables Winamp to have access to great content. The Winamp Desktop
seamlessly integrates with Artist content, bios, photos, videos, news based on music
the user is playing and is very popular with our users. Winamp for Android also has
this feature.

4. What’s Winamp’s model for monetization

Winamp for the desktop and for Android are free and are ad supported, however
ads only appear on ancillary content (e.g. artist bios) and not around a user’s library.
Winamp also has a PRO version, commerce (e.g. 7Digial) and subscription partners
(e.g. eMusic) as well.

5. So I’ve got 33,000 songs in my iTunes is there an easy way to keep my music in
playlists in Winamp? Is there another library alternative if not?

Winamp is one of the best solutions for seamlessly importing your iTunes library
and playlists, in fact there is a one button iTunes import upon install.

6. Wireless sync has become a hot topic with Apple’s Air Sync, Withme.com and
Doubletwist are there plans within Winamp to do something similar.

Winamp for Android has had a Wi-Fi sync feature in market since its Beta launch
on 10/20. To my knowledge, Apple does not have a Wi-Fi sync feature, Doubletwist
does as of 11/30. I am not familiar with the Withme solution or when it was
launched. Doubletwist and Withme cost $4.99 and $13.99 respectively. Winamp for
Android, Winamp for the desktop and Winamp’s Wi-Fi sync are all free.

7. Winamp’s rise to popularity went hand in hand with napster, Winamp WAS the
only game in town before Itunes it’s great to see winamp back at the foreground
how did you get there?

Winamp never stopped innovating, trying new features and has consistently
listened to its users and community, who are very loyal. So the core audience for
Winamp has always been there. Media player usage has been steadily increasing
over the last 10 years and that has been more tied to the growth of Internet
penetration and hardware sales (computers and portables). While it is true that
Apple has dominated portable media player sales over the last 10 years, computer
sales have driven usage too, which has benefited Winamp, and now that we have
Android as a platform for portables, we see that changing again.

8. Are there plans to offer the full suite of equalization plugins for the Android
version?

We consider our launch on 11/30 the first step of a long road of innovation. Winamp
has a rich history and deep expertise in creating great media player features. The
Android platform is a great fit for Winamp and we plan to aggressively innovate on
it. So yes, you can expect a richer set of features coming soon…

9. Where did the llama come from

That came from a comment by a user on one of the early versions of Winamp,
something like “this player really whips the llama’s ass” and it stuck. Every product
needs a good mascot, so the llama filed that role. As a tradition we also ship every
version of Winamp with that test MP3, even the Android app. Every product needs a
good tradition too.

10. (the fun question) name three ways Winamp really kicks the llamas ass

Wow only 3, there are so many ways J

1. Winamp for Android has to both Wi-Fi Sync and iTunes import.
2. Winamp for the Desktop has great customization options; we have over
6,000 extensions on Winamp.com. We like to say “don’t conform, make your
media player do what YOU want it to do”
3. SHOUTcast, 40,000+ radio stations from all over the world, I listen to
SHOUTcast everday!

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