It’s crazy to think that I’ve been using Winamp as my go-to desktop music player for nearly two decades now. The app has always been the best looking tool for the job, and made light work of managing my collection as it grew from a handful of MP3 snippets to a 350GB library of locally stored tunes.
I stuck with Winamp even after I upgraded to Windows 10, but it doesn’t play nice with my 4K display. That’s why I’ve been looking for a worthy replacement, and Dopamine seems to check all the boxes on my list.
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The free music player has a beautiful interface that blends in nicely with Windows and lets you customize its accent color and overall theme with light and dark options. It also works great in a small window size that highlights only the cover art, and displays notifications with playback controls every time a new song starts up.
Once it’s indexed all your music (just point it to the folders where you’ve stored your collection), it’s good to go. You can see a list of artists, albums and songs on a single screen and sort them as you like. There are tabs to switch between artists, genres, albums and songs. You can also create playlists and add songs to them from any search results in the app.
I found the interface to be much better to navigate than iTunes for finding songs and artists; if you’re used to Winamp’s highly functional Media Library, you’ll certainly appreciate Dopamine’s design.
Plus, it’s lightning quick and doesn’t balk at having to wade through thousands of artists and songs – even while displaying album art for my entire collection that’s spread across my laptop hard and external storage.
Of course, Dopamine isn’t yet perfect. It’s missing features you might miss if you’re migrating from other apps, such as support for playing files in the cloud – but things like Last.fm scrobbling, fetching album art from the Web and displaying lyrics are in the works. Developer Digimezzo is also building a companion app for Windows mobile devices.
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