My first proper access to the Net was in 1997 when I started my university career at Maastricht University. After classes and assignments I often (always?) found myself in the computer room on the top floor of the building. There were only a few seats in there where the admin couldn’t see the screens of the monitors – that’s where I would sit, chat on ICQ and download music using services such as Audiogalaxy, Napster, and Kazaa. Also related to music, remember Real Player from Real Networks? I once applied there for an internship when I was visiting Seattle.
In order to play the music that I downloaded, I needed software to play the files. Winamp was by far the best choice at the time and everyone I knew used it. The freeware media player which “really whips the llama’s ass” clocked up more than 60 million users by 2001, well before the likes of iTunes or VLC player made any sort of dent in our music-listening habits.
I liked the look and feel of the interface, but welcomed the possibility of skinning the player. It’s not really graphic design, it’s not really software development, it was something in between. Here’s a picture of what the player looked like:
Being a huge Michael Jackson fan and also a member of the Michael Jackson Internet Fan Club, I created the MJIFC skin. It was fairly popular with 13.3k+ downloads from 1001skins.com. Hee hee!