Dopamine F.A.Q.

This page provides an answer to some frequently asked questions.

Why did you create Dopamine?

There are a lot of audio players out there. Most of them have much more features and are much more configurable than Dopamine. But that is exactly what bothered me: I want to listen to music, not spend time configuring my music player. So, Dopamine has one simple purpose: fire it up and play in and easy, clear and beautiful way.

What does “Dopamine” mean?

“Dopamine” is a chemical in your body which transmits signals in the parts of your brain that are related to rewards, motivation and pleasure. Whenever you perform some activity that makes you feel good, that’s Dopamine being released in some parts of your brain. When you listen to music you enjoy and it makes you feel good: that’s Dopamine!

Why are some of my songs not grouped in one album?

First, you must understand this: once audio files have been extracted from a record or CD, there exists no such thing as a Album anymore. You just have a bunch of loose audio files, containing correct or incorrect metadata (also called tags) about where these files were extracted from. As a result of this, software audio players need to use some artificial way to define which audio files belong to a same album. The correctness of the metadata influences how software audio players succeed in that task.

We’ll take a closer look at 3 of these metadata tags: Artist, Album artist and Album title.

An audio file has 2 artist tags: Artist and Album artist.

  • Artist = the artist who performs the song
  • Album artist = the common artist for the whole album

For albums where all the songs are from the same artist, these 2 tags will contain the same value: the artist who performs the song. For albums containing songs from multiple artists (also called compilation albums), the value in these 2 tags can be different.

Furthermore, a song also has a tag Album title, which is the title of the album.

Dopamine organizes albums based on a song’s Album title and Album artist. All songs which have a same Album title AND a same Album artist, are considered to be part of the same album: they will appear under the same cover in the Albums views in Dopamine.

People are confused by compilation albums. From lots of e-mails I received, I’ve come to the conclusion that most audio files from compilation albums are incorrectly tagged. Most of them have an incorrect value in the tag Album artist, namely: the artist who performs the song. In such case, Dopamine considers these songs as part of a different album.

To resolve this, tag your files correctly:

  • Artist = the artist who performs the song
  • Album artist = some common artist name (e.g. “Various artists”)

You can use Dopamine’s built-in tag editor to correct this.

Where are the log files?

Log files are stored in your user directory, in this folder: %appdata%\Dopamine\Log. Copy and paste this in Windows Explorer and the folder containing the log files will be opened.
If you press the keyboard shortcut [CTRL]+[L] when inside Dopamine, the folder containing the log files also opens.
When you report an issue to me, always include the log file, as I can’t see what is happening on your computer.

How do I submit a bug?

Software doesn’t react the same way for all users. When you experience unexpected behavior, your bug report needs to give me all details necessary to reproduce this issue on my computer. It’s simple: what can’t be reproduced, won’t be fixed.


“Lyrics don’t work!”    “Covers don’t show!”    “Dopamine crashes!”


– Send the log file (The little “bug” icon on the main window, or pressing CTRL+L will help you find it)
– Describe the problem
– Describe the exact steps you performed before the problem occurred

Why wasn’t my suggestion accepted?

I’m open to all suggestions and I’m grateful for all the help I’m getting. A lot of suggestions are very constructive and useful and have been added to Dopamine at some point, or are planned to be added later. Unfortunately, not every suggestion fits in the idea that I have for Dopamine. So some of them will be refused.

Thanks for understanding that.

Why is Dopamine flagged as suspicious by my Anti-Virus?

Most (if not all) Anti-Virus software has a Heuristic scan engine. A heuristic scan engine analyzes software for specific behavior. Some types of behavior are automatically flagged as suspicious, even if the application isn’t doing anything suspicious. Even worse, some heuristic scan engines flag software as a potential threat, just because that software isn’t well known.

Dopamine is scanned by Virustotal before each release. It usually has a detection rate of 2/57, which means that 2 on 57 Anti-Virus software flag Dopamine as a potential threat. These Anti-Virus software flag Dopamine regularly: 360 Total Security, Avast. In 1 case, Symantec also flagged Dopamine. These are false positives. I invite you to read this blog post about this problem. I couldn’t have explained it better: Antivirus companies cause a big headache to small developers

What is Search Online, and how do I customize it?

Search online allows you to search for information in your default web browser, based on song information from Dopamine. Some default search providers are pre-configured for you. You can however add more if you wish to.

When adding a search provider, you’ll be asked for 3 parameters: Name (mandatory), Url (mandatory) and Separator (optional). You can find Url and Separator by browsing to the website of that search provider and by performing a search. E.g. if you go to and search for “30 Seconds to Mars Echelon”, the url in your browser becomes

These are the pieces that you need:

  • Url:
  • Separator: +

If you don’t provide a separator, Dopamine will automatically use a space, which usually works as well as a separator.

What is “Follow the playing song”?

When a song starts playing, it is automatically highlighted in the list of songs. When “Follow the playing song” is enabled, Dopamine automatically scrolls to the song that starts playing. That is especially useful when shuffle is enabled, and the next song that starts playing is in a part of the list that is not visible.