foobar2000 Reviews

Divisive... like any powerful tool.

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foobar2000 is [ wonderful / terrible ] because its [ spartan | outdated ] interface and [ versatile | obscure ] functionality are miles [ ahead | behind ] anything else available for Windows.

It's possibly best to think of foobar2000 as a sort of server rack that happens to come pre-assembled with some standard components. You can open the box, stand it up, plug it in, turn on the master switch, and play back common music files in a basic playlist. It will not impress anyone, but then again, server racks generally aren't meant to.

On the other hand, you can dig into the components that are included, assemble them as desired, and fine-tune them in ways that no other music player can lay claim to. This still won't impress anyone just looking for another iTunes or Winamp clone, but if you want to bridge all sorts of functionality that no other single system can manage, visual aesthetics aren't the priority anyhow. (Heck, if you're like me, you just might prefer the understated, resource-light look instead of all those Playskool busy-boxes out there. There's my bias, and I'll own it.)

With foobar2000 and third-party components, I've been able to:

  • freely explore hundreds of videogame music data formats,
  • play back files from basically the entire history of sound encoding, lossless and lossy both,
  • set up a UPnP service to make my organised music library browsable and playable on any system on my network, including my Xbox 360 (back when I used it),
  • mass-edit file tags,
  • install plugins to alter the sound to work best with various output configurations, from the most basic stereo headphone playback all the way to full 5.1 surround effects, and
  • fill a playlist with original Nintendo game music data files, equalise their volume, add a hint of stereo reverb, grab accurate tag information, and render it all to lossless audio files stored in a logical directory structure on a networked system, simultaneously registering them in my music library so I can browse through them and listenm them them remotely via a compressed stream.... all within minutes, and fully automated (save for desired confirmation dialogs, natch).

That having been said, there are negatives:

  • The core program code is closed. This is the same evolutionary dead-end that's killed so many other programs in the same space.
  • The developers have an unnatural love of undocumented proprietary formats for configuration and playlists. The stated reason is to keep developers of third-party components from not bothering to comply with the unified configuration UI, but all it's done is force workarounds and prevent advanced troubleshooting.
  • As the program evolved toward version one-point-zero (it's at v1.3.15 as of this writing) the internals changed dramatically, meaning a whole slew of old plugins stopped working in part or in full because their developers never went back to update them.
  • Visualisations come in two flavours: exceedingly basic, or dubiously bridged via an unstable Winamp plugin bridge that hasn't been updated since before Windows 7 came out.

The long and short is this: If you just want something simple and glossy that'll play your haphazard MP3 library, foobar2000 isn't what you're looking for. If you want something that can be (mostly) bent to your will and sculpted into a personalised music conversion-and-playback powerhouse, the effort in setting all that up will be rewarded in full.

[Edited by ElectricKeet, April 15]

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I love Foobar for its HIGHLY customization that iTunes or Windows Mierdas Player did not give to me. I mean, why I want a lot of sections on a MP3 player. What I can do with Foobar it is:

-having the MP3 playing and the lyrics at the same time without clicking on properties;
-edit the IDTAG of the MP3 directly from the player as previous, and I do that a lot;
-having all the sections i want in a single window with tabs so I go faster to my destination;
-adding all kinds of metadata, live, language, mood (at night, morning mood...) whatever you use;
-organize my library by Genre, Style, even Mood or Language, if you like that kind of thing and LOVE music Foobar is for you.

The only thing is that to have a full experience you can not be a beginner on Google search or PC, etc., you must have a little experience on both. The only thing I know is that when I discovered Foobar I uninstalled iTunes and even Windows Mierdas Player from my PC saving me a lot of hard disk space and headaches because iTunes crashed a lot and Windows Mierdas Player almost every week had to search again my library.

To close this review in my opinion if you like heavy interfaces and beauty ones Foobar is not for you. > With Foobar the simple the better.

My custimozed Foobar

Tabs section


Lightweight, powerful, efficient, handy.

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The best player for Windows platform. Too bad there is no Linux version and it's still closed-source.

The GUI is perfect: simple, with tabs, no bullshit library with extra useless artworks.

Lots of plug-ins available which supports reading files in archives (rar, zip, etc!).

A must have!


I prefer to have a nice view of the Album art though


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It's fast, it's lightweight and includes a lot of nifty functionality like ripping a CD or converting from wav to flac etc.

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The best audio player for power users. Lots of components, highly customization and very stable. Great support for the Opus codec, and the best conversion GUI available supporting custom encoders, processing(resampling, eq, channel mapping, etc.), replaygain(and opusgain), tagging, attaching pictures, etc...


pure cancer

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Foobar2000 is arguably the best music player on any platform.

The GUI is hideous, it can be made slightly less hideous with arduous tweaking. There used to be plugins to do literally anything, but those no longer work. It used to be possible to instantly search though all the lyrics in your library, but the developer decided that was not cool, so they removed it. To enable that requires some obscure hacks that I cannot find anymore.

The source code is closed, and the developer, being a moron, makes idiotic decisions.

Good programs like this are a cancer, they stifle innovation because nobody wants to write the whole damn thing from scratch, and they block the possibility for incremental improvement because nobody can fork or contribute to the project.


You do know you can load skins, there are hundreds of them too, from or for example, and all the plugins I uploaded work, so I think it's your problem really.

Most of those skins depend on the Panels UI component which has not been supported for years. If you only use older versions of Foobar2000, then some things can be better.

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The best music player for Windows
I've been a big fan of Winamp before it (temporarily) got discontinued and tried different players. I started using foobar back then (in December 2013) and still use it to this day. I've tried switching back to Winamp and alternatives to AIMP just to see how it compares. The ease of use, simplicity, incredibly low memory and CPU footprint convinced me once more that nothing fares better. Highly recommended.

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The best music player of all time

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This player has it all AND it is lightweight and FAST

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I like the GUI on both Android and PC. Easy to use, nice sound.

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Fast, lightweight player with outstanding audio playback quality and unlimited customization capabilities. It means that you can have your own custom theme with only the information about songs/playlists that you need (and not only choose color schemes, like in other players). An exceptional sound quality and lots of useful plugins makes foobar an ultimate music player. Once you try it you will never switch back to any other music player.

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Not only an excelente player, but lightweight too.

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Does the job without being too deistracting.

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It's my favorite and default player in windows stations, and recently is available to linux as snap app. I'm trying in ubuntu 16.04 and the bugs doesn't make me change this audio player.