Back before the music industry had figured out innovative new ways to screw musicians out of money with streaming services, the best way to listen to music on your computer was through Winamp. The audio software was ubiquitous throughout the late ‘90s and early ‘00s—the only real choice for anyone discerning enough not to just throw all their tracks into Windows Media Player like a chump.
Now, thanks to Jordan Elderedge, those who lived through that era can experience a head rush of nostalgia by perusing a virtual museum of 65,000 Winamp skins.
The Winamp Skin Museum is massive. It allows users to scroll through an eye-watering number of skins from back when people were crafting these very specific artist statements for the enjoyment of others all the time. Click on one of the images and a pop-up appears that previews the skin, shows its name, and provides links for sharing and downloading the file.
Even if you don’t plan to get deep into Winamp skin collection again, the Museum is fantastic as a time capsule of its era’s pop culture obsessions and internet design sensibilities.
For the superfans, there are even skins that just slap a photo of Bubba Sparxx or Jennifer Love Hewitt on the player, which is a real godsend for anyone eager to stare at these celebrities while listening to their Staind and Puddle Of Mudd rips.
This is a real treasure trove, and a great reminder of just how vibrant the Winamp skin scene used to be. It’s also, like all exercises in nostalgia, a little sad. The time of Winamp has passed us by. We live in a different world now. One where you just aren’t as likely to find yourself listening to music alongside a Diablo II skull with the word “HORNY” spray-painted above it.
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