Please state which version of Windows you are using, the exact three-section version of Audacity from Help > About Audacity and whether you obtained the .exe installer or the zip.
Audacity 1.2.x and 1.3.x are obsolete and no longer supported. If you still have those versions, please upgrade at http://www.audacityteam.org/download/. The old forums for those versions are now closed, but you can still read the archives of the 1.2.x and 1.3.x forums.
I don't know what the changes are, probably nothing "major". I have Winamp 5.65 on this Win7 32-bit machine that I'm on right now.
You don't have to "subscribe" to iTunes. As far as I can remember I've never given them a credit card number but I did register because I think you have to register to access their online database, and maybe I had to register to "synch" my iPod to iTunes. Just about the only thing I use iTunes for is to copy songs into my iPod.