iTunes has been my player for years upon years. In the spring of 2022, I discovered that iTunes duped up audio files for ripped CDs and store downloads forsome timee. After six-eight hours of de-duping, I decided to investigate replacement options.
I looked at the Windows Media Player. It couldn’t import/display my audio library correctly. Sorry, it disqualified itself.
For months, I worked with Dopamine. Note that my discussion is with version 2, and a pre-release version 3 available. This software was solid with a few quirks that I learned to live with.
The biggest was playing a list of songs in Now Playing and adding/removing songs botched the playback of the rest of the songs. More of an annoyance was when switching between mp3 files a buzz sounded. I found this quite bothersome when listening to linked songs. Artists like Pink Floyd and Yes do this often.
Overall, the player is good. It doesn’t rip CDs or transfer to Android devices.
I nearly uninstalled the program as soon as I ran it. Its display was so small that I couldn’t read it. Fortunately, I didn’t give up. The Control Menu Icon (left-hand corner) of the app’s window has an option named Windows Settings -> Scaling. Set it to 150% or 200% before doing anything else.
Changing skins (Options -> Skins) and setting (Options -> Preferences) are intuitive. Set them as you like.
If you plan to rip CDs, there are some settings you ought to change so the news audio files seamlessly fit into your existing audio library. Under Option -> Preferences -> CD Ripping -> Output File settings [tab], set the Destination Folder to your existing library.
In the same tab, set the Naming Convention to match the directory and filenaming of your library.
You may find Help of use in determining your settings, too.
The app is intuitive and works similarly to iTunes. Try it. Play with the Equalizer. So far, it’s beaten Dopamine out.
I have a few nits, though. When a song begins to play, the skin displays a popup with Artist, Song Name, and Album Art. The problem is that the skin ignores the Windows Scaling setting, so the popup is tiny and difficult to read.
WinAmp recognized my phone when I plugged it in. However, it wanted to sync my entire library to it. I didn’t allow that because the library is too large for the phone. UPDATE: 8/5/22 1:30 PM:
I’d like to see syncing by playlist implemented. After I created a playlist, I found that could send it to my phone by using the right-click menu. This is beyond cool.
Overall, I’m impressed by WinAmp. A few more tweaks and it’ll be awesome.
When you first look at your library in any new media player, don’t be alarmed that your albums are duplicated with the songs split between them. This is an artifact of iTunes automatically getting album information online. That data isn’t consistent. It needs to be edited manually to bring all the song info in sync: album name, album artist, artist, album year. They all need to be alike. This link from Dopamine discusses it well.
I’m an author living in northern Virginia with a wife and a cat. In the late ’80s, I worked on the International Space Station project. I recently retired from managing a group of software engineers to focus on writing science fiction and speculative fiction. Learn more.