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  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    50 cent Foobar2000 primer

    Hi, folks,

    For the benefit Aurcauricle and others who have asked about Foobar2000, I'll provide a brief, high-level introduction.

    Foobar2000 is a freeware, Window-only, audio-only player. It plays vritually all formats (with appropriate optional components). It also rips and burns CD and has a half-decent tag editor, but does not manage portable devices such as iPods.

    Foobar isn't particularly user-friendly, though newer versions are much better in this respect. However it is more highly configurable than most players for such things as lists and searches. Furthemore, with the right options and settings, it will deliver bit-perfect digital to your sound card or DAC -- this isn't some that iTunes or Window Media Player can do.

    Have a look at the official Foobar2000 website. On the download page you will see various official, optional components: you're going to want some of these!!

    I suggest you just download and install the latest Foobar version. Then go back and download the optional components you want, (see below). The optional components are comprised of .DLL files. You simply copy the DLLs you want into C(or whichever):\Program Files\foobar2000\components subdirectory: Foobar will recognize that they are there.

    You will want at least the following optional components:
    • Kernel Streaming support -- if you have Windows XP (works with Vista too): ensures bit-perfection by bypassing crappy Windows sound components
    • WASAPI output support -- as above for Windows Vista
    • ASIO support -- optional if you have a sound card with ASIO drivers, or if you choose to use ASIO4ALL. (ASIO is a low latency, bit-perfect protocol.)
    • ALAC decoding support -- if you have Apple lossy or lossless, M4A music files. (Foobar natively supports FLAC and MP3)
    • Monkey's Audio decoding support -- if you have any APE music files.
    There are numerous 3rd party Foobar components, but don't worry about these for a while.

    Now for a little configuration:
    • Start Foobar
    • Go Files > Preferences > Media Library; Add subdirectories where you music files are stored. Note that the latest Foobar version will automatically update your Album list and panels when you add or change anything in these subdirectories.
    • Go Files > Preferences > Playback; if you are feeding output to your receiver/amp/preamp, set Volume to 'Max', and Replay Source and Processing to 'None'
    • Continue to Files > Preferences > Playback > Output
      • Select your Output device: this is where you choose Kernel Streaming, WASAPI, or ASIO -- however to use ASIO, there's work you'll need to do first under Files > Preferences > Playback > Output > ASIO Virtual Devices
      • Select Buffer Length: try 500 ms and see how it goes
      • Select Output Data Format = 16 bit, (unless you have 24/48 or higher files in your collection and your sound card or DAC will handle them)
    At this point you should be in business.

    From here you can go to various customization. In my case, a big plus is being able to modify the sort and display options:
    • Go File > Preferences > Media Library > Album List; with a little fooling around you'll be able to change the way you files are sorted and displayed based on the metadata tags they contain.
    Enjoy Foobar2000
    Last edited by Feanor; 04-09-2009 at 10:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Many. many thanks for these tips, Feanor!
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

  3. #3
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I was wondering what '50 Cent' would be doing in a thread of yours

    I've actually installed Foobar but I seem to have problems doing the whole bit perfect thing. I should probably follow your instructions...

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Let me add

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Hi, folks,
    ...
    From here you can go to various customizations.
    ...
    Late Foobar2000 versions' Default User Interface is pretty good. Foobar supports something call Columns UI (with optional components); if you have time to spare, you might what to fool with this: there are lots of things that came be done with it.

    The Default User Interface is quite customizable by itself. Go Files > Preferences > Default Use Interface > Quick Setup; experiment. Personally I'm using 'Album List + Properties (tabbed)'; looks like the picture below; (the colorful Play, Pause, Stop buttons are my own, very simple customizations)
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 50 cent Foobar2000 primer-foobar_picture.jpg  

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I was wondering what '50 Cent' would be doing in a thread of yours

    I've actually installed Foobar but I seem to have problems doing the whole bit perfect thing. I should probably follow your instructions...
    All contributions gratefully received!!


    (Just kidding)

  6. #6
    nightflier
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    'You sure this isn't going to fubar my music collection?

    Wait a minute... is this a spam thread too?

  7. #7
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    We don't know what Feanor may be up to...

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