When comparing Spotify vs Winamp, the Slant community recommends Spotify for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” Spotify is ranked 5th while Winamp is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose Spotify is:
Spotify has over 20 million songs and arguably the largest collection out of its competitors and usually has the fastest access to new music. The Spotify desktop client allows local music files to be imported with the option of syncing with a mobile device which largely mitigates the issue of missing artists.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Huge collection of music and fast access to newly released songs
Spotify has over 20 million songs and arguably the largest collection out of its competitors and usually has the fastest access to new music.
The Spotify desktop client allows local music files to be imported with the option of syncing with a mobile device which largely mitigates the issue of missing artists.
Pro Has a free version
A free, ad-supported account allows streaming from an extensive library of music.
Pro Related artists
Helps to find new authors based on your previous picks
Pro Weekly Discover playlist uses a great algorithm
A playlist generated by Spotify based on your listening habits and released every Monday. The algorithm used by this playlist is great and stands out from its competitors.
Pro Curated playlists
Public playlists on Spotify created by other people are great for finding new music.
Pro Client's functionality can be extended via third-party apps
Pro A huge selection of skins are available
Winamp allows skinning the interface and there are thousands of community created skins available.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plugins
A wide variety of DSP, input, and visualization plugins have been created by the community.
Pro RSS, Atom Podcasts, and Internet Radio streams (among other modern features) are available
Modern features are essential for power listeners nowadays, proving that Winamp (while an old app) still offers features users look for in a modern player.
Pro Great search and Playlist functionality
Considerable functions to search and develop playlists.
Pro Good sound quality
The sound quality of Winamp is good, especially with DSP plugins like enhancer.
Pro HTTP streaming support
HTTP streaming is necessary for both live and on-demand content, which it can deliver without lengthy buffering or waiting periods. It is also less susceptible to network hiccups than other forms of streaming.
Con Free account have lots of ads
If you hate commercials, you would buy Premium or go on using something else.
Con Discovery is terrible
The discovery algorithm is poor and does not learn fast enough. Not obvious how to train it.
Con Poor audio quality
There's a high range of bitrates and most of vary from average to bad.
The last stable release of Winamp was published on December 12th, 2013.
Con Cluttered interface
With all controls, skins, and options it's hard to find the basic commands.
At the beginning it was simple to download and install, now it has so many things it became very heavy to download.
Con Relatively poor quality audio
Compared to other players, Winamp doesn't offer high quality audio.
Reason for Winamp's lesser audio quality compared to other modern audio players is that it uses deprecated audio output interfaces (APIs). In fact since Windows Vista onward, those APIs Winamp is using (such as DirectSound, WaveOut) are emulated in software mixer for compatibility purposes further distancing the audio path from the hardware.
Modern audio players support modern WASAPI audio output for direct access to the audio hardware (especially in WASAPI exclusive mode). For more info see Wikipedia's entry on DirectSound.