foobar2k - The next generation advanced media player

Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes, I'm pretty sure everyone had heard about them? What about foobar2k? I assume that only 3 out of 10 persons know or even heard about it.

At first guess, the name foobar2k might sounds weird and fuzzy. However, it is actually an advanced media player where you (the user) can customize in a way that suits your style of browsing your digital library. Most important of all, upon minimize it, it only cost roughly 5-10MB of RAM in background. Compared to other media player, this is by far the media player that uses the least amount of RAM.

In fact, if you are using foobar2k for the first time, after installation you might find it to be very plain, as that is it's default UI (user interface). By using various plugins, you can customize it into your style. For my foobar2k, I customize it as you can see in the screenshot below:

In the view of customization, you can customize it using foobar2k own language which might take you 1 to 2 weeks to learn. The language used is pretty much self-explained and the forum contains many documentation on it. For your information, there are also various plugins available to extend the functionality of foobar2k.

If you got yourself an iPod, you might think that the only way to sync your music library is via iTunes. You have an alternative here with foobar2k
foo_dop (the original plugin for it is foo_pod where the developing process had been halt. Hence another author started again and name it as foo_dop instead) plugins. It offers basic functionality to edit your music like assigning or editing Video Type (Movie, Shows) either individual or multiple files.

General FAQ
Q: What operating system does foobar2k can run?
A: At this moment foobar2k can only run on windows platform. Sorry for linux and mac osx users.

Q: Will foobar2k takes a long time to load as my digital library grows (albums over 200)
A: Actually almost all media player especially iTunes is having this kind of issue where the system resource usage will increase when user launch the application. Luckily foobar2k NEVER suffer such issues as every single album is well organized and integrated in it's user database, which can be accessed via (by default): C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Application Data\foobar2000\database.fpl. I have over 700 albums in my PC and foobar2k manage to handle them just fine. No delay when launching the player.

Q: Will foobar2k corrupt my mp3 metadata (ID3v2 tag)?
A: Well, I've experienced such issue when importing my music folder to iTunes and it basically mess up my iD3v2 tag for my mp3, well, just some of them at least. Ever since that I've been using foobar2k as my default mp3 tag editor. It's more easier to use and most importantly, it's free unlike other tagging softwares like id3TagIt.

Q: Should I embed my cover art scan inside my mp3?
A: It's basically up to you. For me, I prefer using some album art plugin to display those album art scans in their respective folder (say folder.jpg) in every music album folder. Bear in mind that if you ever embed your cover in your mp3, your mp3 file size will increase. The amount of increasing depends on what is the size for your album art scans. Besides, by using plugin it can automatically resize the image without needing for you to manually scale down the size to decrease the image file size.

Q: What are the plugins can you recommend as foobar2k user?
A: For me, I'm using:
  • Channel spectrum panel (foo_uie_vis_channel_spectrum) - display the visualizer as in the screenshots above.
  • Colums UI (foo_ui_columns) - for UI customization. You can find various templates at HydrogenAudio forum where every audio enthusiasts will share their customized layout.
  • iPod manager (foo_dop) - to manage and sync my music for my iPod Classic.
  • Playback Statistics (foo_playcount)- to store and display a playcount for a music file, recently added file, recently played file and so on. The statistic will be stored either in the mp3 file itself or the database in foobar2k directory.
Q: Where can I download those third-party plugins for foobar2k?
A: Basically you can just search for those plugins in HydrogenAudio forum by typing their plugin name (ex. foo_dop) Just make sure you download the recent version that is compatible with your foobar2k version. It is v0.9.5.5 at the time I wrote this. You can also visit the websites as shown below for more information about them.

Visit foobar2k or their official forum HydrogenAudio for more information.

Some websites to download third-party plugins:
foosion's page
musicmusic's page


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