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Enter Winamp, the skin-able, customizable MP3 player that "really whips the llama's ass." In the late 1990s, every music geek had a copy; llama-whipping had gone global, and the big-money acquisition offers quickly followed. AOL famously acquired the company in June 1999 for $80-$100 million—and Winamp almost immediately lost its innovative edge.

“There's no reason that Winamp couldn’t be in the position that iTunes is in today if not for a few layers of mismanagement by AOL that started immediately upon acquisition,” Rob Lord, the first general manager of Winamp, and its first-ever hire, told Ars.

The problems began early, since Nullsoft wasn't interested in being a traditional corporate unit. For instance, in 2000, just a year after the acquisition, Frankel released (and open sourced) Gnutella, a new “headless” peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol that understandably steamed the bigwigs at AOL corporate headquarters in Dulles, Virginia.

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If you haven’t heard yet (I heard via Rough Trades twitter) that the warehouse of PIAS UK distribution burnt down during the London riots, the only info I have found is the statement below, I hope all the indie music lovers out there can chip in and help out during this huge loss.

I have no doubt that if you’re here you’ll have heard the news that the PIAS distribution centre in Enfield has been burnt down during the London riots. What you may not be aware of is that the warehouse contained the physical stock for most of Britain’s Indie records labels. The subsequent loss of income and cash flow problems that this act of mindless vandalism will bring about may well be enough to push many of the smaller operators out of business.

Our aim is to try and rally the music industry, both on the artist and the audience sides, and see if we can raise some money to see those affected through the tough times ahead.

This is just a holding page at the moment but more details will be posted here as and when we have them. In the meantime, if you would like to get involved or contribute in any way please drop us an email to: piasfundraiser@gmail.com” – PIAS benefit

This distributor was home to many labels listed below

2020 Vision
Beggars
Border Community
Boysnoize
Def Jux
Domino
Drag City
FatCat
Full Time Hobby
Kitsune
Kompakt
Lex
Mute
Ninja Tune
Peacefrog
Rough Trade
Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar / Dead Oceans
Soma
Sonar Kollectiv
Soul Jazz
Subliminal
Thrill Jockey
Touch And Go
Vagrant
Vice
Warp
(and many many more)

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