Design, Tech

Desktop Jukebox

What the Winamp looked like.
What the Winamp looked like.

The Winamp was a computer-based jukebox. It played MP3s and CDs.

A slender, rectangular box, with a row of buttons on it, its faux materiality mimicked the form and function of a CD player or a cassette deck. As on those devices, on Winamp too, one could play a track by hitting the “play” button or pause it by pressing “pause.”

I liked it because it presented a skeuomorph of the analog media. Similarly, Apple’s iBooks, an e-book app, emulates a wooden bookshelf. Note-taking apps replicate yellow legal pads.

A skeuomorph is an ornamental feature, borrowed from the original object, and grafted into its new version, with the aim of bridging the gap between the old and the new.

As for the Winamp, its era drew to a close in December, 2013.

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