foobar2000 v0.9.6.9 Review

foobar2000 foobar2000 v0.9.6.9 Review

While not a competitor to any of the other music organizing applications I’ve reviewed lately, foobar2000 deserves somewhat of a “special mention” for it’s computer side music playback capabilities. Read on for a quick review-slash-walkthrough.

What is foobar2000?

Since this software is so different from the others I’ve reviewed lately I though a short description of the application was in order. foobar2000 (avilable here for free) is not a music organization application at the same level as MediaMonkey, WMP12 or WinAmp as it can’t sync with MTP devices, which frankly most of the MP3 player market today uses. As such I’ve chosen to treat it as a computer side music player only. You can organize content on a MSC device with it, but there are fewer and fewer players suing this. What makes it so special on the computer side is that it is extremely lightweight while also being very extensive in it’s area. It doesn’t look fancy or try to be that fancy; it does music playback and nothing more. In these days of netbooks and UMPC/MIDs running “real” OSes on low power hardware, the need for something lightweight is definitely there.

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Custom layouts

Other software I have reviewed has supported skins and in one case (WinAmp) a messed up attempt at custom layouts. foobar2000 handles the whole layout thing so different that it deserves it’s own section. When you first start it, you’re given the choice of some colors and default setups. These aren’t skins, they are more like guidelines for how the menu bars and separators behave. foobar2000 is fully based on dividing the application window into whatever shape and form you want, adding various UI elements yourself and resizing whatever you like. The layout you see in the screenshots is done by me, and features three columns. The left one is divided into two, where the top is a tabbed section with file info in one tab and a list of playlists in the other. The bottom is a media search box, which searches the library. The middle column shows the current playlist as well as a playlist selector, and the right column holds the giant album art display and equalizer. I could exchange or resize any one of these windows to do something else, add 10 new columns or rows, add playback controls, visualizers, 10 identical playlist windows or play tic-tac-toe with playlist windows if I so pleased. The reason this works so much better (in my opinion) than skins and the WinAmp attempt at doing this is that instead of clogging the system with fancy graphics making up the UI it uses standard application elements to form a custom look with standard “parts”. Compare it to building something in Lego instead of carving it in wood. Either way, it works very nicely, and doesn’t affect the performance of the application one bit.

As well as the main window there’s a feature called “album list”, which is a pop-up window that lets you browse your music in a tree structure. This is also customizable so you can select how each of the sorting methods (year, artist, album etc) actually sort your music.I loved the similar tree structure view in MediaMonkey, and foobar2000 takes this one step further.

Features

On the surface, foobar2000 looks dull and plain due to its lightweight touch and feel. Under the hood however lies some of the most advanced audio playback features out there. By default it supports MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, Musepack, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC / Ogg FLAC, Speex, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU/SND, CDDA, WMA and Matroska. This can be further expanded through “components”, which are extensions in one way but much more lightweight than you’d normally think of extensions- they’re simply .dll files you put in a subfolder. The format support can then be expanded to include TTA, Monkey’s Audio, ALAC, MOD, SPC, Shorten, OptimFROG, AC3, DTS, PSF, NSF, XID, XA, MMS, RSTP, TAK and others. This should cover every format most people have ever heard of and about 20 more that few knew existed. On top of that you have features such as gapless playback (as well as included components to remove silence), replay gain (which normalizes the sound volume without physically editing every file) and a 18 band equalizer which is the best I’ve seen on any of the music software I’ve tried. Other features include a CD ripper and tagging capability, streaming and others.

Playback

When I started my WinAmp review I ranted about it on the ABi>> IRC channel. People there (WinAmp users) then said they didn’t care about the lacking library features etc, all they wanted was to play a playlist or a folder. While WinAmp can barely do that without annoying you to death, such use is exactly what foobar2000 is made for. It’s made to play music, create playlists and find the music quickly and easily, then play it. You have everything you need in foobar2000 by default and if playing music is all you want to do, foobar2000 is perfect. It’s easy to create playlists, easy to search for music and easy to control playback. You can map the playback controls to keyboard shortcuts and you can also move the playback controls in the application as they are part of the customizable UI elements. I dowish there was a way to make the playback controls bigger (I couldn’t find one) as while they were good enough for a 720p 11.6″ screen, I’d hate to use them on my 1080p 24″ monitor.

Playlists

Playlists are pretty major in foobar2000 and most of your music sorting will likely be using playlists. You can create, copy, paste, rename and play playlists as well as apply replay gain to the entire playlist, add the playlist to the “now playing” queue or convert the entire playlist- just like you can with single files. Playlists can be selected in a variety of ways, including making own windows to display them all or haver a drop-down list to choose between them. Note that it’s easy to confuse what import functions import to playlist and which ones im
port to the media library, as you should specify the music library location in the corresponding menu in the settings and then create playlists from that.

Settings

It’s hard to write a lot about an application like foobar2000 because it’s meant to be lightweight, while still providing perhaps the single biggest set of directly useful features out there. Since a lot of the functionality in foobar2000 is hidden in the settings menu, I thought a short run through of them would be more useful than continuing to repeat “it simply works”. This doesn’t cover everything, by far- the UI customization settings could have gotten 1500 words by themselves, but it does show off some of the settings you can tweak in foobar2000.

Display

Allows you to customize how foobar2000 looks, including changing the layout. You can customize what info the status bar and window title displays, save and load saved layouts, change minimize settings, colors and fonts and playlist view. One extension I actually installed was one adding Windows 7 jump list functionality (allowing you to control playback from the icon in the taskbar) and that menu is then also here for me.

General

This allows you to change keyboard shortcuts as well as configure how to import music, including filters to skip files, automatically add to playlists and so on.

Media Library

These settings include folders to monitor for changes and adding to the main music library as well as some filters for what files types to look for. The settings for the album list window is also here, and you can specify your own strings that decide how the tree structure will look under each of the sorting options (year/artist/genre etc).

Playback

Playback settings include an output submenu that lets you choose the audio output device (sound card and port) and a few other settings as well as the very useful DSP manager. The DSP manager handles sound enhancements and lets you add and remove as well as configure various tweaks such as an extra equalizer, mono/stereo/surround settings and converters and a few others.

Tools

Tools only have one submenu that deals with the built in converter in foobar2000. Here you can set the default values to use when converting as well as add more converter formats and update your encoders manually if you want.

Other settings

Some of the other settings I’ve noticed while using foobar2000 that might be worth a mention include settings to remove dead or duplicate options (the latter of which I tried, without luck for some reason) and a setting to select if the cursor should follow the playback or vice versa. The latter is basically a way of telling foobar2000 what to focus on in the information windows, such as the album art display and the file info tab- should it change with the playback or be independent and tied to your manual input, and so on. There are also some nice playback modes that besides repeat settings include several different shuffle modes to select if you want to shuffle playlist, folder etc. I could probably fine comb the application and list minor tweaks and settings all day, but the basic point I’m trying to get across here is that while the application is somewhat plain and straightforward, there are options to tweak the heck out of the application if that’s your style.

Conclusion

As I said it’s hard to write a lot about a software that does so little and so much at the same time. A lot of applications can be tweaked through extensions and plugins, hacks and tinkering to do what you want, and foobar2000 is no different. However, foobar2000 has a lot more defined borders for what the application is made for, and most of this functionality is included in the stock install. Upon trying the application for the first time it doesn’t take long before you have control of the situation and have it configured to your needs and there is no heavy learning curve or other excessive features. You can of course add all sorts of extension, pimp it up to have eyecandy all over and tweak it as you like, but the stock application has its definite uses as well. Many applications, like WinAmp, suffers from trying to do a little bit of everything and ends up doing nothing right and being heavily outdone by dedicated applications in the process. foobar2000 tries to be the best plain, simple, heavily featured music player and I think it succeeds. foobar2000 is that rare kind of software that simply works and does what it says without trying to do everything else.




45 Comments

ultrauber on November 1, 2009 3:41 PM

Foobar2000 totally kicks ass. I never sync, I’m MSC all the way, so this was perfect. The customizability was welcome – although I just stick to a huge list sorted by artist/album/tracknum. And you can screw around with the colors. EQ = awesome. Although I’ve got about 300 songs – so no word on large libraries. Seems like this would work well, though.

Neil on November 1, 2009 3:44 PM

I’ve been using foobar for the last few years – it really is a very nice player.The greatest bit is the customisation of the user interface. I hide the EQ, the album art, the artist display. Infact the only things which are displayed are the volume control, seekbar and the playlists (which appear as tabs).It is very unusual that I actually use the UI, I’ve wired up all the functions I need to global hotkeys, so I can just jump to the search box whilst typing documents. Find the track I want to listen to and play it then and there. No faffing with the user interface. Foobar spends most of it’s time in my system tray – it’s a music player and it does just that. It doesn’t need to take over my desktop, it just does it’s job and it does it well.Large libraries aren’t an issue ;)

Detroit on November 1, 2009 4:07 PM

Best themes I’ve seen for the latest versions:http://br3tt.online.fr/

JawnyG on November 1, 2009 4:32 PM

Don’t forget the columns plugin!

HulkSmashNow on November 1, 2009 5:22 PM

You can also have foobar2000′s controls on your Firefox toolbar with a free plugin. Just search for “Firefox foobar controls.”

sassafras on November 1, 2009 5:51 PM

The advantage of Foobar lies in its extensibility. Every feature of the other players is readily added to foobar2k by the means of plugins. Sync (but no MTP…) even with iPod/iPhone, ridiculously sweet graphical layout, last.fm scrobbling and playback, song rating, remote HTTP control, Direct digital S/PDIF output, file format conversion & filters,A/B/X testing, are all examples of plugins that foobar2k has which mean that with a little work it is essentially the “end-all” to media players.

Canar on November 1, 2009 6:11 PM

“foobar2000 (avilable here for free) is not a music organization application like MediaMonkey”"I think that’s redundant because foobar2000 knows exactly what it is and what it’s there to do without trying to trick people into thinking it’s more than that (maybe with the exception of the tagging features and CD ripping, those are in my opinion features you want to outsource and don’t belong in foobar2000).”Excuse me? Did you even use this software? What foobar2000 is to me is the only thing that touches my music. Seriously. It is most definitely a music organization application. It’s the best application for that job that I’ve ever used.It has best-in-class CD ripping. AccurateRip support, so you don’t need to bother with EAC any more to be guaranteed you’re getting proper rips.Complete extensibility in masstagging, moving, copying, and renaming files (You’ll need to select the “File operations” component in the main installer, which is part of the “Full” install), complete iPod support (with the appropriate component). Tagging from Discogs, freedb (also from the main installer) and Musicbrainz. Complete last.fm integration, including radio.foobar2000 tags circles around MediaMonkey. Unlike MediaMonkey, it can even support novel field titles, so if you’ve got some random information like who a CD was purchased for, you can tag your music with it. Or if there’s a notable saxophonist, you can make a “Saxophonist” field.That’s to say nothing of it’s large database support, where it also blows MediaMonkey out of the water. It uses a custom, highly-tuned data structures that work hand-in-hand with its arbitrary metadata. Meanwhile, MediaMonkey uses SQL. The performance difference is notable.Finally, if there is anything at all you dislike about the player, the API is so vast and powerful that you can literally change almost anything.It has no MTP support. It has very fully-fledged MSC support though, and also very thorough iPod support. It will even let you copy music off your iPod onto your main computer!And this is all without scratching some of the more technical arguments, involving dither algorithms, audio pipelines, limiters, and so on.

eboyer93 on November 1, 2009 6:56 PM

Canar is right, (your a Moderator on Hydrogenaudio.org aren’t you?), foobar2000 is awesome.

eboyer93 on November 1, 2009 7:35 PM

Also, I prefer the Default UI over the Columns UI. Which do you prefer?

Lewis on November 1, 2009 9:21 PM

Canar is pretty much on the mark with all the technical capabilities of the player. But I would also like to add that foobar2000 can put any other player in the market to shame in the eye-candy department as well. As long as you are willing to take the time and effort required to make it so (though for my setup I’m also forced to use an older version of foobar2000 since the latest versions break compatibility with PanelsUI). Here’s what my setup looks like: http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l246/riku0116/screenshot01-11-2009210657.png

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 12:15 AM

@Canar Yes I used the application, however its clear that you didnt actually read the review properly or any of the other software reviews splattered on the front page now as part of a series of software reviews. If you had, and if you had actually looked at what site you were on (an mp3 player website) you would have understood that music organizing means the ability to organize the music on your MP3 PLAYER not the computer. You would also have seem the countless times I’ve stated in other reviews how it’s physically impossible to base a software review off anything but the stock install as it would immediately turn the review into the review of a custom setup of an application, not the actual application. Every software review I have done has been the stock application, with noting that there are extensions available to your heart’s content. Cd ripping for example should be outsourced because the application cant sync you music anyways. The fact that you bring up iPod support on a site called anything BUT ipod clearly shows that you haven’t actually paid much attention to where you are or read the review in context. Finally, your super moderator status on hydrogenaudio.com explains why you’ve missed the point of this review, and frankly when you’re affiliated with the company in question you should state so very clearly in your comment or it may be removed as spam. We have plenty of companies or affiliated people from companies come on here to comment, and they’re very welcome, but the difference between a person with a hidden agenda and one trying to defend their product is a small disclaimer.

Cynic on November 2, 2009 1:43 AM

The best music player out there, period.

sassafras on November 2, 2009 2:22 AM

Not to fan the flames, but…How does one differentiate between the ability of an application to correctly organize and tag music on the computer, and then organize and tag music on an mp3 player when the application has the implicit ability to sync all content with a stored library. If Canar establishes that foobar2k has the best and most robust tagging capabilities, and also has the ability to sync to portable devices how does that make it not an application that can “organize the music on your MP3 PLAYER not the computer”? I fail to see any difference between that and any method you have mentioned in your other reviews.Granted, MTP support does not exist in foobar2k and therefore it cannot be the management tool of choice for all users. Yet, I still feel that you underestimated the power of the application as a music library and device library management tool.Yes, many add-ons that Canar mentioned are not part of the stock install, but the most important ones: namely the file management, track tagging, and device syncing plugins are actually included in the stock install. If you don’t have these features, simply reinstall and select the optional features you had previously deselected.

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 5:32 AM

@sassafras: no software can be taken seriousely as a contender to sync daps when it doesn’t even support MTP. the majority of mainstream players use MTP these days, and being able to sync to MTP is a requirement to be looked at in the same light as the other software I’ve reviewed on here. I reviewed foobar because I like it and it runs better than other software on low powered computers, but I can’t review it on the same line as mediamonkey etc when it doesn’t have the core feature that was the point of the reviews in the first place. If you want to use it for MSC thats fine and I don’t dislike foobar in any way so I wouldnt urge you not to, but the fact is still that it lacks mtp support and therefor is not a full fledge music organizing application for MP3 players.

d12 on November 2, 2009 7:03 AM

Oh please HA people, do us all a favor, go back to your own site and do all the ranting there. You know what you’re good at? Showing off how smart you are, attacking people who have a different point of view than yours, and anyone who says bad things about your beloved foobar2000 (you are no different, moderators).Don’t get me wrong, I love foobar2000 just as much as you do, just don’t bring that kind of attitude around here. HA has some of the most disgusting types of forumers I’ve ever seen. Please keep this site clean. (Note: I didn’t say ALL HA forumers are disgusting, read it however you like)Anyway, you’re doing a good job as always, Andreas. This is anythingbutipod, so iTunes has a chance, right :p ? While I don’t like Apple, iTunes left me some good impressions, so I’d love to see a review.

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 8:37 AM

@d12iTunes might have a chance, at least for the music store capabilities and podcatching capabilities if I ever start going into those. ABi isn’t an iPod hate site as many people seem to think, it’s a “not ipod” site. BIG difference. With iTunes now providing DRM-free AAC which is supported by a decent amont of players it’s suddenly a lot more relevant than it used to be. Of course it would have to be part of a series of reviews including amazon, emusic etc, but that in itself is a nice idea.

sadburai on November 2, 2009 9:05 AM

looks too simple, has too little eye candywell… NOT best looking player out there if you take your time to configure it in the way you like it.Someone allready mentionend Br3tt, here are the updated versions: http://br3tt.deviantart.com/

Canar on November 2, 2009 12:43 PM

“Cd ripping for example should be outsourced because the application cant sync you music anyways.” Using MTP, no. MSC, sure, fine. I only buy MSC-supporting players. MTP is needlessly complicated. While we’re speaking of disclaimers, perhaps a disclaimer saying that only MTP-support is classified by you as music organization? How about a disclaimer saying that the “Full install” is never chosen, just the standard? Your shallow reviews of audio players are doing none of them justice. Even your Winamp review really misses the point. ____________________________________________________ For the record, the foobar2000 forum is only hosted at Hydrogenaudio; they are separate entities and are actually run significantly differently, if you’d bother to look into it. Sure there’s user-base crossover, but there’s HA/ABI user-base crossover too, or HA/Winamp user-base crossover. foobar2000 is Peter’s baby, not Hydrogenaudio’s. You’d be more accurate saying that we’re affiliated with LAME or Musepack or Vorbis. ____________________________________________________ The point I was making about the iPod support was simply that MTP support is easily within reach if anyone cared. In reality, very few of the people that I know about care about MTP or consider it a selling-point. Certainly no-one I know would refuse to call software that supports MSC-only or MSC/iPod “music management” software simply because it lacked MTP. And what ever happened to “music management” on the PC?____________________________________________________Don’t get me wrong, the hardware reviews on this site are wonderful. The software reviews, however…

pete on November 2, 2009 1:12 PM

what’s the point of a minimalistic player if it doesn’t have something like MM’s micro-player?!I tried foobar… but I’ll stick with MM

eboyer93 on November 2, 2009 1:47 PM

@pete: foobar2000 is not a minimalistic player, it doesn’t say that anywhere on the foobar2000 website, I have only heard it been called that in this review.

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 3:22 PM

@canar: Some people might not care about MTP, but thats mostly the power users. The fact is that besides ipods, companies like sony, samsung, sandisk and creative all use MTP and they are the biggest MP3 player manufacturers out there. Cowon, Archos and a few others can mostly be considered niche if you look at them in comparison to the entire market, or even the reader base of abi (note that I say the reader base, not only the people who comment or read the forum. Theres a rather giant difference ;) ). As such, I chose only to review software that can do MTP syncing as music organizing apps on this site, and foobar because i use it and like it as a music player on the computer. The same with extensions, wading through every single extension to make sure everything is covered would make it impossible to write extensively about the app as the reviews would literally be 10 times longer and take 20 times more time. Then you have mediamonkey and winamp sharing plugins, and so on and so on. While some people like tweaking everything until it works for them, including myself, that’s hardly the majority of people. Any look at the difference between downloaded application installers and extensions shows this well. As such, I found it more productive to give the majority of readers a look at the stock install of several apps instead of spending the same amount of time doing a ridiculousely in-depth review of a single app (which would even take longer). In the end that would have been pointless as the people who would actually read such a review would already know everything in there, and the point would be mute. I also can’t help to notice that while you disagree on my reasons for not considering foobar a music organizing app for MP3, my reason for not writing in-depth about the CD ripping or tagging, you don’t seem to actually disagree about anything I have actually written in the review, is this so? If I’m actually wrong about any facts in the review I’d be glad to change that as I often do in my reviews, but as everything you seem to think is wrong about the review is that parts are missing, there’s a very easy solution to that problem: the ABi forum has a user review section, and you seem to know this application and its MSC syncing pretty well, as well as its extensions and so on. Why don’t you do an extensive review of the parts of foobar you think are missing, and I’ll happily add a link to it from this review. That way the common user gets the basics, and anyone who wants can get the full package. Win/win :)

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 3:23 PM

@eboyer93: minimalistic was meant as a way of saying it has a small footprint, runs without taking up much resources. its not simple or “puny”, it just hides the power well@pete: you can run it in the system tray and use hot keys.

Canar on November 2, 2009 3:52 PM

My issue is never with objective reality. My issue is always with subjective nonsense. How can I argue about the fact that foobar2000 comes with an 18-band equalizer or a modular UI? It’s all of the subjective crap like “foobar2000 is not a music organization application” and “it does music playback and nothing more” and “include a limited CD ripper” (foobar2000′s is a best-of-breed secure ripper and rivals EAC and dBpoweramp with the new foo_verifier) and “or sync support at all” which is either synonymous with No-MTP-Support or is invalid, et cetera. Stop trying to pass off opinion as fact. The same criticism applies to your Winamp review. Instead of learning how real users use the software, you write some text about how you cannot be bothered to learn how they’re actually sufficient. This perspective is just fine for dealing with limited software like that found on a PMP but not when dealing with more complex software like you find on a PC. You’re doing the equivalent of complaining about Mac OS because it has no start menu. You can probably get some program with similar functionality, but it’s a non-issue anyhow because that’s not how Mac users usage patterns work. As for a more thorough review, I touched on a bunch of salient points in my first post.

Andreas Ødegård on November 2, 2009 4:29 PM

@Canar: I’ve edied parts of the review that you found subjective to better describe the features, hope you’re satisfied with the changes. I won’t add any more to it as I still stand by the fact that no MTP support is reason enough for me to not spend time on the organizing part of it since this is a site for MP3 players where most of them are MTP based. Also, while I’ve added some extra notes about extensions, the same goes here (and for your winamp comment): I review the stock setup of software to give my opinions of the best music organizing applications to the majority of readers on this site. Power users don’t need me to tell them all the fancy stuff you can do with the application IF you take time to learn it, tweak it, etc- they already know. However, as the original intent of the other software reviews were to give a brief introduction to the best “off the shelf” application to handle the music on an MP3 player, the fact that Winamp has buggy, somewhat hidden sync features and overly complex menu systems is very relevant a smediamonkey and WMP12 does not and so if you’re looking for off the shelf software to use you’re better off with those. Most people arent interested in making something work, theyre interested in soemthing that just works. I cannot and will not recommend software that for all intents and purposes should come with notes saying “some assembly required”. Not unless I’m speaking to someone with very specific needs that really need the application for something specific.

Rick Spoketire on November 2, 2009 5:07 PM

Good review. I am glad to see that some people agree with me about foobar2000.Would it kill you guys to proofread your articles? menu cars? dowish? I wish I could read a review without having to cringe every paragraph.

Robin on November 2, 2009 8:40 PM

It’s good to see you reviewing not only music players, but music players as well :P .Two tips on softwares you could review would be Banshee and Rythmbox, both of wich are open-source and work under linux. I think Banshee is making it’s way to windows in the near feature, but as of now you would have to build it yourself.It would be nice if an experienced reviewer like yourself could test these out and see how they measure up against non-free software :) . I see you’ve already started with songbird and foobar200.

Slaughter on November 3, 2009 12:38 AM

Canar – Just to hit on a couple points. I use Foobar exclusively for piping digital audio from my PC to my DAC to my headphone amp. I recently reinstalled MM because it looked like they made some good improvement. I have a modest 12000 song library and the new MM search bar finds any song, artist, or any other field in the tag in 1 sec, so saying Foobar’s db is superior is ridiculous. You obviously haven’t tried MM in a while. And you must be joking about tagging support? I was exclusively an MP3Tag user because its Actions capability blows anything away, including foobar. Again, after trying the latest MM, I haven’t touched MP3Tag. Tagging is somewhat objective, but MM has custom tag fields as well. So before you go bashing someone’s review, make sure you know both products, which you obviously don’t.

Nolwendil on November 3, 2009 6:49 AM

Foobar can also browse your music in a folder view, which is useful if you don’t have everything tagged properly. And that’s a feature I haven’t yet seen on any other sw player. So the people who are complaining about Sansa Clip not having a folder view should be complaining about the same thing missing on their favorite software music player. Luckily, Foobar 2000 and Clip+ both have the feature :-)

Andreas Ødegård on November 3, 2009 8:31 AM

@Notwendil Actually both MediaMonkey and WMP12 supports this as well

Canar on November 3, 2009 8:36 AM

Slaughter – On my own 40,000 song library, foobar2000 is much more responsive. Toss the 160,000 modules I have into the mix… foobar2000 is faster. It’s the difference between SQL, written for general-purpose but small-subset data sets vs. hand-coded, hand-tuned data-structures written explicitly for the purpose of returning significant subsets of the database. And yes, I’ve used both for tagging, thank you very much. MP3Tag’s actions are roughly equivalent to foobar2000′s Masstagger “scripts” which are built around the title-formatting syntax and can be arbitrarily complex. There’s the Properties dialog, which takes all the Masstagger functionality and makes it easy to use for non-automated tasks. MediaMonkey’s still in the dark-ages of providing a different label and text-box for every different metadata field. With foobar2000, I can use whatever metadata fields I want (even ones that don’t exist by default), formatted however I want, displayed however I want in the UI. MediaMonkey simply cannot do that.

Canar on November 3, 2009 8:47 AM

Andreas – Your changes are noted. I’m amused by your rambling about MTP at the start. MSC mode was one of the reasons I purchased my Sansa Clip. :) I don’t like players that can’t double as hard drives. Most of the foobar2000 MTP users I know simply drag and drop using Explorer, often setting up a “sync” folder that holds material they want to put on their player. Final quibble: “settings to remove dead or duplicate options (the latter of which I tried, without luck for some reason)” — Remove duplicates removes duplicates of entries of the same file, not duplicates based on metadata or any more advanced heuristic.

Canar on November 3, 2009 8:47 AM

Oh and thank you for being responsive.

bricksie on November 3, 2009 11:04 AM

I use foobar2000 to process multi-channel WAV files ripped from DVD-A disks (other software) into 2-channel Dolby Headphone-processed FLAC files that I can play on my Fuze. The near-binaural effect is quite amazing!

eboyer93 on November 3, 2009 10:36 PM

I like your changes to the review. good work!

Batterycentury on November 4, 2009 3:53 AM

Foobar2000 is very good, simple and beautiful.

pan.sapiens on November 4, 2009 3:40 PM

“I’ve stated in other reviews how it’s physically impossible to base a software review off anything but the stock install”-ah, well, there’s the rub. Software as customisable and extensible as Foobar2000 is virtually never be run as a “stock install”, and you’ve got to spend 20mins playing around with settings to realise its full capabilities. E.g. I use Foobar because of ASIO output support and the convolver DSP, and the option to view by folder structure. I’m sure that most users don’t use these particular features, and I don’t use features which make Foobar200 a favorate app for other users -which is why Foobar is great, it does what YOU want, but still gives you a clean, simple interface, such that you wouldn’t even know that features you choose not to use are there. Also the devs deserve congratulations for turning what was a confusing, hard to set up app a few years back into somthing so easy to use and intuitive.

joaquin on November 8, 2009 2:54 AM

foobar is annoying, clunky and painful to setup.the so called skinning is retardedly limited.winamp has a much better interface (classic skin)but fb2k does start up the fastest.

Noam on November 8, 2009 2:44 PM

Off-topic:There isn’t really much to review, seeing how simple it is, but personally my favorite player is Billy (sheepfriends.com).You should give it a shot.It’s the ultimate no-BS, fast loading player.Also, nice review. ;)

tom on November 8, 2009 11:03 PM

foobar2000 can also play archived files w/o unzipping them. saves few mb of space while still maintaining organizaion

Matt on November 9, 2009 10:57 AM

I used to try and evangelize fb2k to my friends… I’ve since realized that’s a fruitless endeavor. If you’ve read this far down, you’re clearly interested in foobar. If you’ve never installed Windows (or other operating system) from scratch, you can probably find another media player. Foobar2000 is advanced. If you want to sit and look at the pretty pictures your media player makes, then please don’t try foobar, no one in the community wants to help you set that up unless you are willing to do a significant portion yourself. Seriously, it’s a music player, do you not have a better use for the screen real estate? Various plugins and such can be used to get foobar control in the taskbar/tasktray, and there is even a plugin that mimics WinAmp’s windowshade mode. If you want to tinker with settings to make foobar work EXACTLY like you want, please download it and ask intelligent questions – people will help you.

Ronny on November 13, 2009 2:31 PM

“as it can’t sync with MTP devices, which frankly most of the MP3 player market today uses.”Andreas, I don’t see the value of this point. Connect your USB device, then use Explorer to “sync” it (copy & paste).

Andreas Ødegård on November 13, 2009 4:19 PM

@Ronny, lol, there is a VERY big difference between syncing and using drag&drop. Playlist creation and management, auto-conversion, playback data sync to mention a few that arent even related to the obvious advantages with having software to look over your music and make sure updates in the library is mirrored to the player, sort everything in the right place etc. If you think drag&drop is the same as using an application, you should check out what some of the real syncing software can do- like mediamonkey and media jukebox. I guarantee you my “point” will have “value” afterwards ;)

Canarium on November 18, 2009 12:02 AM

I used to like foobar but unfortunately Pete and company decided one day they would {…} up developers that did not follow the standards, so a lot of users like myself were forced to be left behind using the old version instead of trying the new one(s), because a couple of very useful plugins would be useless in those.I personally love foobar’s library thingy and the way I can have ratings and stuff… took me like three decades, a billion headaches and a couple of window glasses to get it working but I succeeded at the end. However now I think I am ready to move on and check JRiver thingy.. just hope its library support is up to par with foobar, then it will be my farewell.As far as the technical capabilities I don’t give a …… I am just a human not an audiopsycho like most guys @ HA, that will fight about decibels and technical stuff that honestly most of us don’t care about.. so for me every single player in the planet sounds the same (Neeeh!! I am just kidding!!! Foobar actually has more decibabbles since it compresses the yaddaspace of 1.2 microns into a blablaspace of 2.545 ultrafoos which in turn gives us a full megababble spectrum which in the end sounds better, you can check it out with W/Yest or ZXBRTRTTest and you will see technically it is much better than God).Haha I am just trying to be funny but seriously… seeing people praise Foobar because of its technical abilities is like seeing a dozen monkeys on a placebo… for Christ sake… all players sound the same ;)

gavreto on January 24, 2010 3:36 AM

can you give me pls cool plugins for foobar2000

Ariana Roofkoo on September 12, 2011 7:15 PM

“I dowish there was a way to make the playback controls bigger…” Can you assign Hotkeys for em?

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